Texas

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Everything's Bigger in Texas, including the number of job options in integrated settings at competitive wages for individuals with disabilities. The Lone Star state is a place where anyone, including those with disabilities, can live the American Dream… Deep in the Heart of Texas! 

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 Texas' VR Rates and Services

2018 State Population.
1.38%
Change from
2017 to 2018
28,701,845
2018 Number of people with disabilities (all disabilities, ages 18-64).
1.02%
Change from
2017 to 2018
1,639,624
2018 Number of people with disabilities who are employed (all disabilities, ages 18-64).
1.76%
Change from
2017 to 2018
659,558
2018 Percentage of working age people who are employed (all disabilities).
0.75%
Change from
2017 to 2018
40.23%
2018 Percentage of working age people who are employed (NO disabilities).
0.56%
Change from
2017 to 2018
76.37%

General

2016 2017 2018
Population. 27,862,596 28,304,596 28,701,845
Number of people with disabilities (all disabilities, ages 18-64). 1,653,862 1,622,962 1,639,624
Number of people with disabilities who are employed (all disabilities, ages 18-64). 644,181 647,977 659,558
Number of people without disabilities who are employed (ages 18-64). 11,526,552 11,762,593 11,990,348
Percentage of working age people who are employed (all disabilities). 38.95% 39.93% 40.23%
Percentage of working age people who are employed (NO disabilities). 75.88% 75.94% 76.37%
State/National unemployment rate. 4.60% 4.30% 3.90%
Poverty Rate (all disabilities). 20.70% 20.30% 20.70%
Poverty Rate (NO disabilities). 15.00% 14.00% 14.20%
Number of males with disabilities (all ages). 1,572,569 1,561,091 1,585,669
Number of females with disabilities (all ages). 1,649,476 1,611,708 1,635,496
Number of Caucasians with disabilities (all ages). 2,471,177 2,423,447 2,463,899
Number of African Americans with disabilities (all ages). 426,381 431,831 436,029
Number of Hispanic/Latinos with disabilities (all ages). 1,023,202 1,038,033 1,055,473
Number of American Indians/Alaska Natives with disabilities (all ages). 22,545 23,445 24,413
Number of Asians with disabilities (all ages). 73,747 74,263 74,173
Number of Hawaiians/Pacific Islanders with disabilities (all ages). 2,502 2,304 3,784
Number of persons of two or more races with disabilities (all ages) 80,735 77,623 69,875
Number of persons of some other race alone with disabilities (all ages) 144,968 139,886 148,992

 

SSA OUTCOMES

2016 2017 2018
Number of SSI recipients with disabilities who work. 20,426 21,057 21,499
Percentage of SSI recipients with disabilities who work relative to total SSI recipients with disabilities. 3.70% 3.80% 3.90%
Old Age Survivor and Disability Insurance (OASDI) recipients/workers with disabilities. 564,733 562,264 553,435

 

MENTAL HEALTH OUTCOMES

2016 2017 2018
Number of mental health services consumers who are employed. 38,530 38,933 42,798
Number of mental health services consumers who are part of the labor force (employed or actively looking for employment). 73,413 74,153 80,752
Number of adults served who have a known employment status. 195,865 185,482 191,594
Percentage of all state mental health agency consumers served in the community who are employed. 19.70% 21.00% 22.30%
Percentage of supported employment services evidence based practices (EBP). 4.80% 3.70% 3.70%
Percentage of supported housing services evidence based practices (EBP). 4.60% 4.40% 4.20%
Percentage of assertive community treatment services evidence based practices (EBP). 1.80% 1.80% 2.20%
Percentage of medications management evidence based practices (EBP). 38.70% 44.00% 44.90%
Number of evidence based practices (EBP) supported employment services. 12,921 10,359 10,893
Number of evidence based practices (EBP) supported housing services. 12,379 12,359 12,215
Number of evidence based practices (EBP) assertive community treatment services. 7,986 5,228 6,515
Number of evidence based practices (EBP) medications management. 105,173 124,257 131,603

 

WAGNER PEYSER OUTCOMES

2013 2014 2015
Number of registered job seekers with a disability. 45,361 53,307 54,851
Proportion of registered job seekers with a disability. 0.04 0.04 0.04

 

WORKFORCE DEVELOPMENT OUTCOMES (ADULTS)

2013 2014 2015
Total number of people with a disability that is a substantial barrier to work served by Job Training and Partnership Act/Workforce Investment Act programs. 687 633 732
Total number of people with a disability that is a substantial barrier to work who entered unsubsidized employment. 346 365 447
Percentage of people with a disability that is a substantial barrier to work who entered unsubsidized employment relative to total the number of people with a disability that is a substantial barrier to work. 50.00% 58.00% 61.00%
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. 1.31 1.33 1.63

 

VR OUTCOMES

2016 2017 2018
Total Number of people served under VR.
22,122
N/A
N/A
Number of people with visual impairments served under VR. 31 N/A N/A
Number of people with communicative (hearing loss, deafness) impairments served under VR. 5,084 N/A N/A
Number of people with physical impairments served under VR. 6,939 N/A N/A
Number of people cognitive impairments served under VR. 5,452 N/A N/A
Number of people psychosocial impairments served under VR. 3,663 N/A N/A
Number of people with mental impairments served under VR. 953 N/A N/A
Percentage of overall closures into employment under VR. 39.20% 43.00% N/A
Number of employment network (EN) and vocational rehabilitation (VR) tickets assigned. 21,513 23,195 22,798
Number of eligible ticket to work beneficiaries. 920,058 918,939 911,883
Total number of ID closures using supported employment services with or without Title VI-B funds expended (VI-C prior to 2002). 567 390 N/A
Total number of ID competitive labor market closures. 782 639 N/A

 

IDD OUTCOMES

2015 2016 2017
Dollars spent on day/employment services for integrated employment funding. $6,715,000 $6,788,000 $4,839,117
Dollars spent on day/employment services for facility-based work funding. $0 $0 $0
Dollars spent on day/employment services for facility-based non-work funding. $110,894,000 $130,185,000 $148,302,612
Dollars spent on day/employment services for community based non-work funding. $0 $0 $0
Percentage of people served in integrated employment. 5.00% 5.00% 6.00%
Number of people served in community based non-work. 0 0 0
Number of people served in facility based work. 0 0 0
Number of people served in facility based non-work. 23,018 23,520 24,718
Number supported in integrated employment per 100,000 individuals in the general state population. 10.30 4.40 5.38

 

EDUCATION OUTCOMES

2015 2016 2017
Percent of children with IEPs aged 6 through 21 served inside the regular class 80% or more of the day (Indicator 5a). 68.13% 68.42% 68.75%
Percent of children with IEPs aged 6 through 21 served inside the regular class less than 40% of the day (Indicator 5b). 14.60% 14.79% 14.94%
Percent of children with IEPs aged 6 through 21 served in separate schools, residential facilities, or homebound/hospital placements (Indicator 5c). 1.12% 1.15% 1.11%
Percent of youth with IEPs aged 16 and above with an IEP that includes appropriate measurable postsecondary goals (Indicator 13). 99.58% 99.79% 99.52%
Percentage of youth who are no longer in secondary school, had IEPs in effect at the time they left school, and were enrolled in higher education within one year of leaving high school (Indicator 14a). 24.39% 21.41% 18.31%
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). 57.38% 53.69% 50.88%
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). 68.52% 66.67% 64.78%
Percentage of youth who are no longer in secondary school, had IEPs in effect at the time they left school, and were competitively employed within one year of leaving high school (Subset of Indicator 14). 32.99% 32.28% 32.57%

 

ABILITYONE/JWOD PROGRAM

2014
Number of overall agency blind and SD hours. 7,034,752
Number of overall total blind and SD workers. 6,822
Number of AbilityOne blind and SD hours (products). 1,436,521
Number of AbilityOne blind and SD hours (services). 4,235,134
Number of AbilityOne blind and SD hours (combined). 5,671,655
Number of AbilityOne blind and SD workers (products). 1,090
Number of AbilityOne blind and SD workers (services). 3,482
Number of AbilityOne blind and SD workers (combined). 4,572
AbilityOne wages (products). $12,142,783
AbilityOne wages (services). $54,025,955

 

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

2017 2018 2019
Number of 14(c) certificate-holding businesses. 0 1 1
Number of 14(c) certificate-holding school work experience programs (SWEPs). 0 0 0
Number of 14(c) certificate-holding community rehabilitation programs (CRPs). 81 66 60
Number of 14(c) certificate holding patient workers. 2 3 5
Total Number of 14(c) certificate holding entities. 83 70 66
Reported number of people with disabilities working under 14(c) certificate-holding businesses. 0 0 0
Reported number of people with disabilities working under 14 (c) certificate holding school work experience programs (SWEPs). 0 0 0
Reported number of people with disabilities working under 14(c) certificate holding community rehabilitation programs (CRPs). 6,425 5,317 4,331
Reported number of people with disabilities working under 14(c) certificate holding patient workers. 260 293 462
Total reported number of people with disabilities working under 14(c) certificate holding entities. 6,685 5,610 4,793

 

WIOA Profile

 

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

Employment First State Leadership Mentoring Program (EFSLMP)

~~At the federal, state, and local levels, Texas Workforce Commission (TWC) continues to make great strides toward a streamlined and coordinated one-stop delivery system serving adults and youth with disabilities and employers that employ these individuals. TWC’s executive director and the commissioner of assistive and rehabilitative services (transferred to TWC as of September 2016) participate as ex officio members of the Governor’s Committee on People with Disabilities. TWC also serves on state-level interagency councils and workgroups supporting gateways for individuals with disabilities, such as the Employment First Task Force and the Texas Department of Aging and Disability Services’ (DADS) Promoting Independence Advisory Council. Other memberships have included the Texas Department of Assistive and Rehabilitative Services’ (DARS) Medicaid Infrastructure Grant Advisory Council, and HHSC’s House Bill 1230 Workgroup on Transition Services for Youth with Disabilities. TWC will also continue to coordinate with the State Independent Living Council (SILC) and the Centers for Independent Living (CILs) to serve mutual consumers who need employment assistance as well as assistance with independent living resources. In this vein, TWC has collaborated with a number of agencies in developing guidance, such as a transition and employment guide for Texas students with disabilities.

On a local level, MOUs established between Boards and one-stop partners set forth the operation of the one-stop delivery system to seamlessly and meaningfully serve individuals with disabilities. The elements included in each MOU describe the referral processes between partners and funding of infrastructure costs for one-stop offices and the process for negotiation of the MOUs, as proposed under regulations §678.500 through §678.510 of WIOA. (Page 74) Title I

Evidence of Collaboration, Contracts, and Agreements To provide seamless service delivery to customers and ensure effective use of resources, TWC Vocational Rehabilitation Division (VRD) maintains the following collaborations with community partners and other state agencies:

• VRD Program Specialists provide information and technical assistance to the appropriate Texas Health and Human Services Commission (HHSC) Medical and Social Service Divisions when changes to VR employment services occur.

• VRD works with the appropriate HHSC Medical and Social Service Divisions to ensure that service definitions in the 1915(c) home- and community-based waivers accurately reflect Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services and Rehabilitation Services Administration regulations. This partnership allows services that result in competitive integrated employment to be delivered efficiently and timely through the payer of first resort.

• VRD offers free intensive training and technical assistance to HHSC’s Medical and Social Services Divisions’ Behavioral Health and Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities (IDD) Services Departments Special Projects Unit and community providers to become Benefits Subject Matter Resource staff.

• VRD partners with HHSC’s Medical and Social Services Divisions’ Behavioral Health and IDD Services Departments Special Projects Unit to provide cross training on the VR Long-Term Supports and Services System;

• VRD uses its current partnership with the Social Security Administration (SSA) to encourage CRP providers to become employment networks (ENs) under the SSA Ticket to Work Program. VRD offers incentive payments to CRP-ENs that provide:

• supported employment or job placement services during the provision of VR services; and

• extended support to Ticket to Work customers after VR case closure in order to advance employment or increase customer earnings. •

VRD partners with school districts that provide transition services to youth, and considers all aspects of the cooperative agreements in place to ensure continuity and timeliness of services for those school districts that initiate supported employment services before or after a student graduates.

VRD maintains membership and participation in the Association of People Supporting Employment First (APSE).

VRD has representation in the following: 

  • The Texas Council for Developmental Disabilities
  • The Council for Advising and Planning for the Prevention and Treatment of Mental and Substance Use Disorders
  • Texas Coordinating Council for Veteran Services
  • State Independent Living Council
  • Texas Technology Access Program Advisory Council
  • Texas Council on Consumer Direction
  • The Promoting Independence Advisory Council
  • HHSC Statewide Behavioral Health Coordinating Council
  • HHSC Office of Mental Health Coordination Cross Agency Liaison Committee
  • Governor’s Committee on People with Disabilities Contracts

VRD has bilateral service contracts with CRPs to provide specific employment services, which include supported employment services. VRD counselors may refer customers with all disabilities, including blindness and visual impairments, to CRPs with contracts for supported employment services. The terms and conditions of CRP service contracts are provided in the VRD Standards for Providers manual. (Page 247-248) Title IV

To improve employment rates, suggestions include flexibility in opportunities, increases in on-site work experiences, automated systems to assist providers in managing the reporting requirements of the services, and protections for the customer. All are under review for implementation. Continued data tracking will help identify effectiveness in technology or work experience training and may define service options that can be added for enhanced successes. Furthermore, the provision of SE services for customers will undergo an Rapid Process Improvement (RPI) process to identify opportunities for new or enhanced strategies for greater successes. The VR division has executed a memorandum of understanding with the Texas Education Agency (TEA) that includes prohibiting contracts between TEA or local education agencies (LEAs) and employers who pay subminimum wage. Customers already served in subminimum employment receive counseling consistent with Employment First principles and WIOA requirements to encourage meaningful employment in an integrated environment with or without supports. (Page 268) Title I

To improve employment rates, suggestions include flexibility in opportunities, increases in on-site work experiences, automated systems to assist providers in managing the reporting requirements of the services, and protections for the customer. All are under review for implementation. Continued data tracking will help identify effectiveness in technology or work experience training and may define service options that can be added for enhanced successes. Furthermore, the provision of SE services for customers will undergo an RPI process to identify opportunities for new or enhanced strategies for greater successes. The VR division has executed a memorandum of understanding with the Texas Education Agency (TEA) that includes prohibiting contracts between TEA or local education agencies (LEAs) and employers who pay subminimum wage. Customers already served in subminimum employment receive counseling consistent with Employment First principles and WIOA requirements to encourage meaningful employment in an integrated environment with or without supports. Finally, the VR division is also launching a capacity-building project for VR and LEA staff to develop skills for practical application through joint training. (Page 278) Title IV

VRCs work with Community Rehabilitation Program (CRP) SE specialists, HHSC providers, or service coordinators/case managers, and customers’ natural support networks to develop short- and long-term support strategies based on individual needs. This ensures the appropriate amount of support is available and provided so that employment can be maintained. Extended services, known in Texas as long-term support and services, can be publicly funded, “natural” or “in-kind,” or paid by the customer through SSI, Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI), or another Social Security Administration Title II work incentive program. Examples of extended services include, but are not limited to, consulting with a customer’s job supervisor regarding areas of concern or training needs; creating supports and strategies to improve work performance through job coaching; providing services such as medication management or hygiene; and identifying and training on transportation options. (Page 305) Title IV
 

Customized Employment

~~Plans for Improving Supported Employment Services TWC VRD will continue to strengthen the numerous supported employment service improvements implemented by legacy DARS in 2017, including the following:

  • Assisting CRPs in using the Supported Employment Assessment that focuses on discovery and person-centered techniques, vocational theme development, and providing worksite observations;
  • Working with VRCs on applying the supported employment planning and service provision to improve customer participation and informed choice by requiring review and signatures at each benchmark;
  • Providing ongoing training to TWC’s VRD subject matter experts, who provide technical assistance to VRCs on identifying and coordinating extended service/long-term support before beginning the benchmark process;
  • Ensuring that all criteria for determining job stability to ensure extended service/long-term support after VR case closure are being applied; and
  • Continuing to provide specific employment services to people with autism to improve their success in obtaining and maintaining employment. (Page 254) Title IV

All staff has access to training opportunities through the professional development plan created through the management chain’s professional development process. Training content for field staff is typically developed within the system of statewide training product modules disseminated through field management staff. Content learning includes topics that directly relate to the knowledge, skills, abilities, and attitudes necessary to perform jobs as expected by management and as detailed in job descriptions. Content training strategies include the following:

  • Continued focus on the foundations of the VR process for counselors and RAs, including accurate eligibility determination, inclusion of customers in planning for service delivery, thorough assessment and planning practices, models for VR counseling, informed customer choice, service to culturally diverse populations, purchasing practices, supported employment, customized employment, and other strategies for quality employment assistance, service delivery, and effective case note documentation;
  • Training in working with employers and customers to increase knowledge of the Americans with Disabilities Act, the Rehabilitation Act Amendments of 1998, the Olmstead decision, available independence initiatives, and WIOA to enhance employment options and employment knowledge;
  • Training in the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act, appropriate options and alternatives for effective transition services and Social Security work incentive programs, including programs under the Ticket to Work and Work Incentive Improvement Act of 1999;
  • Training in assessing appropriate rehabilitation technology interventions;
  • Extending opportunities to take advantage of training available from external sources for ongoing dissemination of timely trends related to disability and treatment modalities within the field of rehabilitation;
  • Coordinating with the Texas Administrators of Continuing Education and other entities as appropriate to develop localized training in targeted disability areas; and
  • Implementation of training for new counselors that focuses on critical thinking and sound decision making.(Page 263) Title IV

The division continues to work with the National Employment Team to facilitate employer relationships at the national level. Feedback and data gathered in the needs assessment for the 2017 CSNA encourage opportunities for additional and enhanced collaboration that have come about through some of the programmatic changes which moved other support programs HHSC. For example, HHSC outsourced the Independent Living program in Texas to the Centers for Independent Living. Meanwhile, the Independent Living Services for Older Individuals Who Are Blind (ILS-OIB) program has been retained in TWC with VR. As a result, formal referral processes and policies have been developed to expand the network of providers available for referral of those individuals needing independent living services and to increase the referral to VR of individuals who may benefit from ILS-OIB services. In one year, FFY’17, the VR division served 1,780 new customers in the ILS-OIB program following the program’s redesign. Similarly, the Comprehensive Rehabilitation Services program, which serves individuals with traumatic spinal cord or brain injury, and the Blind Children’s Vocational Discovery and Development program also remained in HHSC, which presents further opportunities to collaborate to provide referrals and receive referrals when those customers are ready for VR. Other collaboration with LEAs, higher education, and Boards has resulted in customer access to post—high school scenarios that provide training and employment in meaningful and higher-paying jobs. (Page 279) Title IV

Blending/ Braiding Resources

~~Over the past year, many of TWC’s analytic resources have been heavily focused on WOIA implementation activities, such as conducting an updated Comprehensive Statewide Needs Assessment and developing Participant Individual Record Layout (PIRL) and RSA-911 logic and testing. However, as that work begins to wind down over the next year, the Division of Operational Insight (DOI) has begun looking at several evaluation projects.

Regarding the Career and Training program, DOI is developing a new model to identify UI claimants who need additional assistance to have a timely return to work. This will be the seventh such model that TWC has developed and the sixth in the last 12 years. Additionally, TWC is interested in leveraging similar techniques to identify individuals who are not claimants but who might also benefit from additional assistance. (Page107) Title III

Texas has a proven history of supporting and encouraging regional planning and service delivery efforts. The benefits from regionalism include collaborative planning, pooling and leveraging of resources, capacity building, and ensuring that services can be delivered in the best possible way—regionalism is essential to the Boards’ mission. However, it is important that regionalism not be hampered by the designation of artificial boundaries. (Page 142) Title I

Barriers to serving unserved and underserved populations identified in the CSNA included:

  • lack of awareness of the impact of receiving services on Social Security benefits, highlighting the disincentive to work from the fear of losing benefits;
  • lack of awareness of VRD services among customers and/or parents;
  • lack of awareness of VRD services among doctors and other medical professionals;
  • growing need for services that will require partners to leverage available funding and may require increased funding; and
  • scarcity of available transportation that creates challenges for potential customers, especially in rural areas, to access VRD offices, providers, and jobs.

Strategies The following VRD strategies address the barrier created by not understanding the impact of service receipt on Social Security benefits:

  • Work closely with community partners such as the local Social Security Administration (SSA) offices and Work Incentives Planning and Assistance programs to dispel inaccurate perceptions regarding loss of benefits and attempt to work efforts.
  • Provide statewide training for all VRCs on basic benefits and work incentives support and services.
  • Expand training for additional VRD staff to be Benefits Subject Matter Resources (SMRs), including a train-the-trainer component for all SMRs, and provide ongoing statewide training in federal and state work incentive programs for all VRD staff.
  • Enhance current partnership with the SSA to encourage CRP providers to become ENs under the SSA Ticket to Work Program.

VRD offers incentive payments to CRP-ENs that provide: o supported employment or job placement services during the provision of VR services; and o extended support to Ticket to Work customers after VR case closure to advance employment or increase customer earnings.

The following VRD strategies address the barrier created by the lack of awareness of VRD services among customers, parents, and doctors and other medical professionals:

  • Increase collaboration with other organizations to improve customer access to services.
  • Increase outreach efforts in the business community.
  • Educate community leaders on the availability of VRD services to enhance outreach efforts to all ethnic groups.
  • Offer the 2-1-1 Texas statewide referral helpline, a service that assists customers with referrals to appropriate agencies for help.
  • Enhance community outreach activities. T

he following VRD strategies address the growing need for services by leveraging other partner and community resources, and seeking opportunities to increase efficiency in VRD structure and processes:

  • VRD will continue to work to educate state officials and oversight authorities about the value of VR services to Texans with disabilities and to the overall state economy.
  • VRD will leverage existing resources and make every effort to draw down the maximum federal funding match to provide needed services for Texans with disabilities.
  • VRD will fully use SSA programs and work to maximize SSA/VR reimbursements.
  • VRD will provide budget management training for staff. VRD strategy addressing the barrier created by scarcity of available transportation will be to continue to advocate for local improvement in public transportation at HHSC’s regional coordination forums. (Page 296-297) Title IV
     
DEI/Disability Resource Coordinators

~~No disability specific information found regarding this element.

Financial Literacy /Economic Advancement

~~2. Individualized career services. As consistent with program requirements and federal cost principles, individualized career services include the following:
• Comprehensive and specialized assessments of skill levels and service needs of adults and dislocated workers;
• Development of an individual employment plan;
• Group counseling;
• Individual counseling;
• Career planning;
• Short-term pre-vocational services;
• Internships and work experiences linked to careers;
• Workforce preparation activities;
• Financial literacy services;
• Out-of-area job search assistance and relocation assistance; and
• English language acquisition and integrated education and training programs. (Page 69) Title I

School to Work Transition

~~RCT recommends that VR ensure that the individual plan for employment (IPE) is completed as early as possible during the transition planning process and no later than the time the student with a disability who is determined to be eligible for VR services leaves the school setting. Response: Policy in VRSM C-1300 states that the VR counselor must complete the IPE before the eligible student leaves the school setting and no more than 90 days from the time of eligibility determination. VR is committed to ensuring that VR counselors comply with this policy, with an emphasis on monitoring through case reviews and readings. (Page 235) Title IV

The provision of quality VR services for Texas students with disabilities is a strategic priority for the Vocational Rehabilitation Division (VRD). VRD policies and procedures have been updated to align with the Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act (WIOA) §413(B)(F), which sets forth that the individualized plan for employment (IPE) must be developed as soon as possible, but not later than a deadline of 90 days after the date of the determination of eligibility, unless the counselor and the eligible individual agree to an extension to a specific date. Transition planning by VR counselors and school personnel facilitates the development and implementation of a student’s individualized education program (IEP) under the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act §614(d). The goals developed in the IEP are considered in the development of the IPE. The development and approval of an IPE is initiated by a VR counselor. Planning includes conversations about informed choice and program information so that students understand the available options for additional education, training, service providers, and employment. (Page 241) Title IV

The MOU will include the addition of pre-employment transition services (Pre-ETS) as defined in C.F.R. §361.48, and other Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act (WIOA) requirements, operationalizing a referral process for students with disabilities, and a process for inviting counselors to Admission, Review, and Dismissal (ARD) meetings. The MOU provides for consultation and technical assistance in planning for the transition of students with disabilities from school to post-school activities, including VR services; transition planning for students with disabilities that facilitates the development and completion of the IEP; clarification of the agencies’ respective roles and responsibilities, including financial responsibilities for providing transition planning services to students with disabilities; and a description of procedures for outreach to and identification of students with disabilities who are in need of transition services. (Page 242) Title IV

Pre-ETS are provided to students with disabilities. Required Pre-ETS activities are job exploration counseling, work-based learning experiences, counseling on opportunities for enrollment in postsecondary educational programs, workplace readiness training, and instruction in self-advocacy. In an effort to provide transitioning students with more effective and comprehensive preparation for work after high school, VRD is also increasing the number of summer work opportunities with community partners around the state. TWC is launching the Pathways to Careers Initiative (PCI), an initiative to expand Pre-ETS to Texas students with disabilities. The first strategy launched under PCI in summer 2017 was Summer Earn and Learn. (Page 243) Title IV

Consultation and technical assistance is provided at Admission, Review, and Dismissal meetings (ARDs), and attendance may be in person or through alternative means, including videoconferencing or conference calls (based on 34 C.F.R. §361.22(b)(1)). When necessary, VRD counselors and school personnel coordinate to satisfy documentation requirements for students and youth with disabilities who are seeking subminimum wage employment, as set forth in 34 CFR §397.4(c). VRD does not pursue subminimum wage employment for customers. When a customer chooses to pursue subminimum wage employment, counseling on other employment options is provided. When, after counseling, subminimum wage employment is still the customer’s choice, the VR case is closed. Those customers who choose subminimum wage employment receive counseling, guidance, and referral services within the first six months of employment and annually thereafter. TWC has regional and state office transition specialists who provide support to VR counselors and VRD field office managers in developing collaborative partnerships with and increasing cooperation between VRD, local school districts, and other community organizations as resources for students with disabilities. These transition specialists assist with the development of policy, training, and strategies that lead to effective provision of transition services. (Page 243) Title IV

TWC’s Pathways to Careers Initiative (PCI) is an initiative to expand Pre-ETS to students with disabilities during the summer months. It began in the summer of 2017. The first of five strategies, Summer Earn and Learn is a work-based learning program conducted in partnership with Boards and their employer partners. This statewide strategy includes employability skills training and paid work experience for students with disabilities. More than 1,500 students and more than 600 employers participated in Summer Earn and Learn in 2017. (Page 252) Title IV

As a result, these efforts improve the effectiveness of VR services for transition customers. Such collaborations take on many different forms in training VRD and educational staff, as well as in impacting families. VRD staff will continue to collaborate with ISDs in the provision of Pre-ETS as specified in WIOA. Additionally, counselors are often invited to education service centers to participate in educator training and to present training, particularly for more effective transition planning for students. VR staff works with schools in creating job fairs that allow students to meet with employers and gather information about the labor market. Family nights are hosted in some areas to invite interested members of the public to VRD offices to share resource information, discuss service delivery issues, and give input regarding best practices that would better support students and their families. In some areas, community partners such as churches, Workforce Solutions Offices, and community centers assist in providing training to school personnel on understanding cultural diversity in Texas. (Page 266-267) Title IV

As of October 1, 2017, the Vocational Rehabilitation Division (VRD) had 1,314 full-time employment (FTE) staff positions to provide direct services to VR customers, broken down as follows:
• Vocational Rehabilitation Counselors (VRCs)
• Transition Vocational Rehabilitation Counselors (TVRCs)
• Unit Support Coordinators (USCs)
• Vocational Rehabilitation Teachers (VRTs)
• Rehabilitation Assistants (RAs) (Page 256) Title IV

Typically, these are students who are on an IEP and in their last year of high school eligibility. The goal for these customers is competitive integrated employment within the business community or the business where the worksite rotations occur. Project SEARCH has expanded from one original program site established in 1996 at Cincinnati Children’s Hospital in Ohio, to over 400 sites internationally. Project SEARCH in Texas began in 2007 with Seton Healthcare Family in Austin. (Page 250) Title I

Typically, these are students who are on an IEP and in their last year of high school eligibility. The goal for these customers is competitive integrated employment within the business community or the business where the worksite rotations occur. Project SEARCH has expanded from one original program site established in 1996 at Cincinnati Children’s Hospital in Ohio, to over 400 sites internationally. Project SEARCH in Texas began in 2007 with Seton Healthcare Family in Austin. (Page 250) Title IV

The specialists assess staff skill levels, recommend and implement training approaches, and coordinate service delivery statewide. The Deafblind Unit serves customers who are deafblind. Specialists fluent in sign language consult with caseload-carrying staff, customers, and community resources to develop and implement plans and services. VRD also purchases state-certified interpreter services as needed. VRD works closely with the education system in transitioning students with disabilities from high school to postsecondary training or employment. TVRCs participate in training covering the Admission, Review, and Dismissal (ARD) process as well as the Individualized Education Program (IEP). When conducting seminars or workshops for the ARD and IEP process, trainers may also include parents and professionals from: • Texas Education Agency’s (TEA) Special Education Division • Regional education service centers and local education agencies (LEAs) • Disability Rights Texas • Partners Resource Network, Inc. • Texas School for the Blind and Visually Impaired Additionally, VR staff participates in cross-trainings with other entities involved in education for students with visual loss, such as the Texas Association for Education and Rehabilitation of the Blind and Visually Impaired, and sponsors and participates in workshops and seminars to help education staff members develop expertise in working with these students. (Page 262) Title IV

Table 1.

VR Needs Mentioned during 2017 Town Hall Meetings

  • SOURCE: DOI Town Hall Textual Analysis VR Program or Service Need Number of Mentions
  • Communication/Collaboration 89
  • Employer/Staff Training 39
  • Readiness/Work-Based Learning 34
  • Transportation/Housing 23
  • PAS & Supported Employment 18
  • Outreach & Marketing 15
  • Benefits & Work Incentives 10
  • Disability-Related Skills 10
  • Customer Choice 6
  • Academic/Vocational Training 2
  • Treatment of Impairments 2
  • Budgeting1
  • Medical/Vocational Assessment 1.

A few comments concerned the need for additional VR service providers, especially service providers that offer specialty skills training like orientation and mobility. Other comments expressed dissatisfaction with providers that did not meet expectations of quality and timeliness. These concerns will be addressed as the Texas VR program moves forward to implement the 2017 State Plan goal. Cultivating good working relationships between TWC’s VR division and external service providers is a top priority. (Page 274) Title IV

Partnerships Priority 1

Enhance collaboration and coordination with Boards, employers, and other stakeholders to increase competitive integrated employment outcomes and work-based learning experiences, which may include in-school or after-school opportunities such as internships, volunteer positions, and summer and year-round work experience programs. 

Discussion: Strengthening Relationships with Collaborators with VR’s merger into TWC, the agency has entered into data agreements with other federal and state agencies, including Veterans Affairs (VA). These agreements will help forge the way for programmatic collaboration and customer coordination for available services and resources. Working with the VA has resulted in an increased number of veterans who are served by the public VR program in collaboration with their VA counselors. To help anticipate and target Pre-ETS, TWC has also obtained per county counts of students with disabilities who are under a 504 Plan or receive IDEA services, current as of 2013—2014, from the US Department of Education’s Office of Civil Rights. (Page 279) Title IV

Expand and improve vocational rehabilitation services, including pre-employment transition services (Pre-ETS) for students with disabilities who are transitioning from high school to postsecondary education and/or employment, and improve coordination with state and local secondary and postsecondary educational entities.

Discussion: Meeting Pre-ETS Needs Over the past several years, the number of both eligible students and funds expended has increased. The number of students served increased by close to 10 percent, while funds, per transaction, increased by about 20 percent on average. The data from the 2017 CSNA shows several actions taken to address the needs of students and youth with disabilities. (Page 277) Title IV

Services to Students and Youth with Disabilities Priorities • Expand and improve vocational rehabilitation services, including Pre-ETS for students with disabilities who are transitioning from high school to postsecondary education and/or employment, and improve coordination with state and local secondary and postsecondary educational entities. • Provide supported employment services to youth and other individuals with the most significant disabilities who require extended support in order to achieve and maintain an employment outcome. 

Goal Area 3: Partnerships Priorities: • Enhance collaboration and coordination with Boards, employers, and other stakeholders to increase competitive integrated employment outcomes and work-based learning experiences, which may include in-school or after-school opportunities such as internships, volunteer positions, and summer and year-round work experience programs. (Page 282) Title IV

A customer’s extended services are identified and documented in the customer’s Individualized Plan for Employment. VRD providers do not provide services to customers during the 90-day period between “Job Stability” and “Service Closure.” If VRD providers do provide direct services to a customer during this period, job stability ends and is not reestablished until at least 30 days after the direct services or job change has occurred. A VRD-supported employment case is closed after a customer successfully maintains job stability for 90 days, with extended services being provided only by non—vocational rehabilitation resources. VRD identifies and makes arrangements, including entering into cooperative agreements, with other state agencies and other appropriate entities to assist in the provision of supported employment services. VRD coordinates with other public or non-profit agencies or organizations within the state, employers, natural supports, and other entities with respect to the provision of extended services. (Page 285) Title IV

The goal for Goal Area 3 is to enhance collaboration and coordination with local workforce development boards, employers, and other stakeholders to increase competitive integrated employment outcomes and work-based learning experiences, which may include in-school or after-school opportunities such as internships, volunteer positions, and summer and year-round work experience programs. In addition to the above goals, priorities for funds received under the Rehabilitation Act §603 are to increase the number of customers receiving supported employment services who achieve employment outcomes and the number of supported employment services providers statewide, and maintain the number of customers receiving supported employment services within their home communities. (Page 285) Title IV
 

Career Pathways

~~Texas aligned AEL and workforce development systems in 2013. The alignment required statewide deployment of models to develop the skills needed to transition to and complete postsecondary education programs and obtain and advance in employment. Successful models have included Integrated Education and Training (IET), career pathways, distance learning, and college and workforce preparation activities. Texas also aligned service-delivery options for individuals with disabilities and other special needs. AEL statewide service-delivery contracts are compliant with WIOA requirements under performance, workforce system, and rehabilitative services alignment and programmatic integration. (Page 115) Title IV

VRD has forged productive, proactive working relationships with Texas universities that train rehabilitation professionals. Involvement with Texas universities results in student requests for practicum and internship placements within VRD. Internships have been offered since 1999 for students completing master’s degrees in Rehabilitation Counseling or Rehabilitation. In FY’17, VRD hosted 20 internships. Evaluations of student interns come directly from certified, licensed, or Qualified Vocational Rehabilitation Counselor (QVRC) internship supervisors and department advisors from the intern’s university. Job vacancy notices are routinely posted on WorkInTexas.com, TWC’s statewide online jobsite. Hiring supervisors can also request a broader distribution of vacancy notices by having TWC Human Resources post them to additional sites such as Indeed.com, Monster.com, and others. Recruitment continues for bilingual Spanish- and English-speaking candidates to fill positions located in areas with high Spanish-speaking populations. Opportunities to promote employment to all community sectors are achieved by sharing job postings with universities. VRD encourages the hiring of qualified individuals with disabilities, and strives to ensure that staff represents ethnic diversity and thereby reflects the population of Texas and the customers we serve. Ethnic distribution of VRD employees and Texas residents is shown below. (Page 259) Title IV

VRD recognizes master’s or doctoral degrees in fields of specific study, such as VR counseling, clinical rehabilitation counseling, behavioral health, behavioral science, disability studies, human relations, human services, marriage and family therapy, occupational therapy, psychology, psychometrics, rehabilitation administration/services, social work, special education, vocational assessment/evaluation, or another field that reasonably provides competence in the employment sector in a disability field or rehabilitation-related fields. A counselor meets the CSPD standard by holding a master’s degree in VR counseling; master’s degree in “counseling or counseling-related field” with specific coursework; master’s, specialist, or doctoral degree in specific majors with specific coursework; current CRC certificate from CRCC; or current LPC licensure.

Therefore, a counselor with a master’s degree in counseling or a counseling-related field must, at a minimum, complete a graduate course in the Theories and Techniques of Counseling and successfully complete six graduate courses with a primary focus in the following areas:

  • one course on assessment;
  • one course on occupational information or job placement;
  • one course on case management and rehabilitation services;
  • one course on medical aspects of disabilities;
  • one course on psychosocial aspects of disabilities; and
  • one course on multicultural issues.

A counselor with a master’s or doctoral degree in one of the listed specific fields of study must complete a graduate course on the Theories and Techniques of Counseling, and successfully complete six graduate courses each with a primary focus in the areas listed, plus one course on Foundations of Rehabilitation Counseling. Although VR has taken steps to hire rehabilitation counselors with master’s degrees in VR counseling, a number of factors pose challenges to this undertaking. A significant barrier to hiring counselors with master’s degrees in rehabilitation counseling is the expanse of Texas that must be served. (Page 260) Title VI
 

Apprenticeship

Apprenticeship programs that are registered with the State or the U.S. Department of Labor (DOL), Office of Apprenticeship are automatically eligible to be included on the State Eligible Training Provider List (ETPL). Registered apprenticeship programs are given an opportunity to consent to inclusion on the ETPL before being placed on the list, and will remain on the ETPL for as long as the program is registered with DOL or until they request to be removed. Registered apprenticeship programs are not subject to the same application and performance information requirements or to the same initial or continued eligibility procedures as other eligible training providers. (Page 158) Title II

The Registered Apprenticeship Training Program for Veterans and/or Service members is a program that: • accelerates participants into or through a DOL Registered Apprenticeship Training Program in Texas (Apprenticeship Training Program); or • accelerates participants into or through a DOL Registered Pre-Apprenticeship Training Program that leads to enrollment of participants into an Apprenticeship Training Program during the grant period. (Page 151) Title I

As a division of TWC, VRD participates in the planning for and evaluation of the Texas workforce system conducted by the Texas Workforce Investment Council (TWIC), which serves as the state workforce investment board. These activities include:

  • participating in the development and implementation of the state-mandated strategic plan for the Texas workforce system;
  • participating in TWIC meetings and serving on the TWIC Apprenticeship and Training Advisory Committee; and
  • reporting quarterly and annually as requested by TWIC on the division’s activities to implement goals and objectives in the Texas workforce system strategic plan.

VRD works closely with other TWC staff to provide information, partner on community initiatives, and enhance customer referral processes. Across the state, VRD counselors have strong relationships with the 15 Disability Navigators located at Workforce Solutions Offices to provide consultation on disability issues to workforce system staff, and provide direct assistance to customers with disabilities as needed. Ongoing collaborative efforts between VRD and each of the 28 Boards have resulted in projects, initiatives, and processes such as joint community outreach and awareness events, summer youth initiatives, employer symposia and job fairs, customer referrals, coordination of services, and cross-training for staff. (Page 292) Title IV

Work Incentives & Benefits

~~Recommendation: RCT recommends that VR provide detailed training to VR counselors regarding the use of additional resources to assist customers, such as Medicaid waiver programs. Response: As part of a five-day intensive training, VR state office program specialists for benefits and work incentives provide training on Medicaid waivers to staff members who function as subject matter resources on Social Security Administration (SSA) benefits. Additionally, a two-part webinar series on waivers is held each year for relevant staff. To date, 121 VR counselors have been trained as subject matter resources for benefits and work incentives, and an additional 58 staff members in management, as well as state office program specialists, have completed the training.
 RCT acknowledges and commends VR for expanding the capacity of staff in assistive technology by training regional teams to become subject matter experts. Although it is possible that the Centers for Independent Living (CILs) around the state serve as resources to local VR staff, it is vital that VR staff have access to accurate and up-to-date information about assistive technology to overcome workplace barriers specific to disabilities. RCT recommends that VR clarify content in the Strategies and Use of Title I Funds for Innovation and Expansion Activities section to clarify which customers will be served by these teams. Response: The regional teams are composed of VR staff members who have been trained in all levels of assistive technology and who provide recommendations on assistive technology to customers with various disabilities. The loaning or purchasing of assistive technology is not limited to customers with specific disabilities; it is available to all customers as needed. (Page 235) Title IV

Recommendation: RCT recommends that VR indicate where and how the use of Social Security benefits can be used to pay for extended services after VR involvement. Response: Both VR and employment networks (ENs) participate in the Ticket to Work Partnership Plus Program for individuals between the ages of 18 and 64. When a VR case is closed successfully, the customer is informed that his or her Ticket to Work still has value and can be assigned to an EN to provide long-term job supports and services. Customers are informed of the ENs serving Texas. Additionally, subject matter resources on SSA disability benefits provide guidance to customers on using SSA work incentives, which can potentially assist with maintaining health insurance benefits and cash benefits after achieving employment. SSA benefits and the partnership between VR and ENs are fully explained on page 24, in the Social Security Administration section, and on page 58, in the Funding and Timing of Transition to Extended Services sections. (Page 236) Title IV

Recommendation: RCT recommends that VR indicate where and how the use of Social Security benefits can be used to pay for extended services after VR involvement. Response: Both VR and employment networks (ENs) participate in the Ticket to Work Partnership Plus Program for individuals between the ages of 18 and 64. When a VR case is closed successfully, the customer is informed that his or her Ticket to Work still has value and can be assigned to an EN to provide long-term job supports and services. Customers are informed of the ENs serving Texas. Additionally, subject matter resources on SSA disability benefits provide guidance to customers on using SSA work incentives, which can potentially assist with maintaining health insurance benefits and cash benefits after achieving employment. SSA benefits and the partnership between VR and ENs are fully explained on page 24, in the Social Security Administration section, and on page 58, in the Funding and Timing of Transition to Extended Services sections. (Page 238) Title IV

MOUs with education service centers, Texas Education Agency (TEA), and independent school districts (ISDs) to enhance coordination of services provided through programs like Project SEARCH and Project HIRE (Helping Individuals Reach Employment), and other community programs and support available to improve and expand services for transition-age students with disabilities • Coordination with the Texas School for the Blind and Visually Impaired to provide specialized programs that prepare students for the transition to postsecondary life and the workplace • A new MOU in 2016 with the Texas Department of Insurance’s Division of Workers’ Compensation to enhance referrals for return-to-work efforts • Coordination with the Social Security Administration (SSA) on employment incentives and support to maximize Social Security Administration/Vocational Rehabilitation (SSA/VR) reimbursement activity through the Ticket to Work Program • An MOU with the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs to maximize case service funds through better access to comparable benefits, and to enhance the case management process while avoiding duplication of services. • Coordination with the Texas Veterans Commission to help identify veterans who need additional support in securing benefits, gaining employment, and accessing advocacy services. (Page 239) Title IV

Social Security Administration TWC VRD coordinates with the Social Security Administration (SSA) to encourage CRP providers to become employment networks (ENs) under SSA’s Ticket to Work Program. TWC VRD offers incentive payments to CRP-ENs that provide: • supported employment or job placement services during the provision of VR services; and • extended supports to Ticket to Work customers after VR case closure in order to advance employment or increase customer earnings. TWC VRD and select CRPs participate in the Partnership Plus program. Additionally, VRD is participating in the Promoting Opportunity Demonstration (POD) pilot that will test a benefit offset in the Social Security Disability Insurance program to determine its effects on outcomes such as earnings, employment, and benefit payments. SSA and HHSC have a data exchange agreement that allows HHSC to access SSA data. Through a third-party agreement (State Verification and Exchange System), VRD is able to obtain SSA data regarding cost reimbursement from HHSC. (Page 254) Title IV

Changes to the VR program also promise to maximize counselors’ time with customers and allow for the creation of collaborative on-the-job training opportunities for counselors and other field staff. The future of the Texas VR program is customer-centered and needs-conscious, emphasizing access to resources and other employment-related programs at TWC. The implementation of Rapid Process Improvement (RPI) strategies will benefit the Texas VR program as well. RPI is a management tool based on the Theory of Constraints/Lean Management and provides a methodical approach to engaging staff to quickly identify, map, and improve the processes of an organization. RPI projects are designed to ensure that the division is making the most effective use of service delivery options available for both customers and employers.

Increase counselors’ knowledge of work incentives and the effect of earnings on SSI/SSDI. This will improve the quality of VR’s provision of counseling on decisions that impact employment. Discussion: Improving Knowledge Bases Interestingly, the data in the VR needs survey and Town Hall meetings for the 2017 CSNA indicate that staff, stakeholders, and customers have differing beliefs about work incentives and other benefits, their value, and application in the vocational counseling process. While respondents agree that a loss of benefits, along with lack of affordable child care, housing, and transportation are barriers to success, staff and stakeholders are more likely than customers to express concern for loss of benefits as a barrier. This could indicate several different beliefs. Applying a short-term problem-solving counseling methodology regarding child care, housing, and transportation may provide better information on a customer’s benefits and concerns while also addressing barriers to success. Continued tracking of financial beneficiary data, by type of beneficiary, as introduced in Table 3 below, will assist the VR division and the RCT in developing the specific extent of customer service needs among recipients of financial benefits. Financial benefits are defined as follows: • General assistance: cash assistance to dependent needy children and disabled adults who are not eligible for assistance under other cash assistance programs. (Page 275-276) Title IV

TWC’s Vocational Rehabilitation Division (VRD) provides supported employment services for customers with the most significant disabilities, including youth with the most significant disabilities. Funds received under Title VI, Part B §622 (also known as the supported employment program) of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973, as amended are used to serve these individuals. VR customers with the most significant disabilities may have multiple disabilities or functional limitations that result in the requirement for extended support services essential to retaining competitive integrated employment. Texas’ provision of supported employment services is integral to the state’s overall plan to provide services that result in competitive integrated employment outcomes for VRD customers.

Goal Area 1: Target Populations

The goals for Goal Area 1 are as follows:

  • Improve customer employment outcomes for individuals with significant disabilities, including but not limited to individuals who are blind or significantly visually impaired; individuals who are from minority backgrounds; individuals with neurodevelopmental disorders (including autism, intellectual disabilities and learning disabilities); individuals with mental health disorders; and veterans with disabilities.
  • Increase counselors’ knowledge of work incentives and the effect of earnings on Social Security Disability Insurance and Supplemental Security Income to improve counselors’ ability to provide vocational counseling on decisions impacting employment. (Page 284) Title IV

Potential funding sources include the Social Security Administration’s Ticket to Work Program, DSHS (the state mental health agency), CILs, Medicaid/CHIP—the administrative authority for all Medicaid waivers and state plan services. Additionally, HHSC, the intellectual and developmental disabilities state agency, is a potential funding source and is the operating authority for the following:

  • The majority of 1915(c) state Home and Community-based Services (HCS) Medicaid waivers;
  • 1915(k) Community First Choice; • Title XX community services; and
  • Employment services provided through state general revenue funds. (Page 286) Title IV

Expand training for additional VRD staff to be Benefits Subject Matter Resources (SMRs), including a train-the-trainer component for all SMRs, and provide ongoing statewide training in federal and state work incentive programs for all VRD staff. • Enhance current partnership with the SSA to encourage CRP providers to become ENs under the SSA Ticket to Work Program. VRD offers incentive payments to CRP-ENs that provide: • supported employment or job placement services during the provision of VR services; and • extended support to Ticket to Work customers after VR case closure to advance employment or increase customer earnings. The following VRD strategies address the barrier created by the lack of awareness of VRD services among customers, parents, and doctors and other medical professionals: (Page 296) Title IV
 

Employer/ Business

~~Starting January 1, 2016, all training providers must submit information and criteria as established under WIOA §122(d) through (g). Training providers use TWC’s Eligible Training Provider System (ETPS) to provide all required information for initial eligibility, which include Provider Assurances Statement, as well as applications for each program of study. ETPS doubles as TWC’s program certification system and the Statewide List of Eligible Training Providers, as required by WIOA §122 (a)(3). Boards then review and certify the provider and program if all minimum requirements are met, as established by the governor or higher standards as determined by Board policy. The ETPS automated system then informs TWC of the Board’s review and approval of programs of study, and validates all WIOA training provider requirements. Subsequent eligibility determinations take place on a biennial basis, where performance data is again evaluated against the standards. (Page157-158) Title II

Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act (WIOA) §231(a), pursuant to §222(a)(1), requires each eligible agency to award multiyear grants or contracts, on a competitive basis, to eligible training providers within the state for adult education and literacy (AEL) services. The Texas Workforce Commission (TWC) is seeking a waiver to grant the state flexibility to either award AEL grants directly to AEL providers or to allocate funds to Local Workforce Development Boards (Boards) to conduct a local competitive procurement for the delivery of AEL services. (Page 171) Title II
 

Data Collection

Congressional action to reauthorize and reform WIA—now WIOA—allows the Boards to continue to apply and improve upon an integrated strategy for serving the Texas labor market. Texas has implemented a majority of programmatic changes mandated by WIOA, such as providing Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF) participants with training and placement services by ES staff and using common performance measures across core programs for both adults and youth. WIOA clearly recognizes Texas’ integrated workforce system by the inclusion of the permissible alternate entity language. (Page 44) Title I

TWC envisions leveraging its experience in building an integrated reporting system to support Common Measures and the WISPR to build a similar system to perform integrated reporting for WIOA and for reports required by WIOA §116. Customer data from TWC’s case management systems, as well as other data such as UI wage records, will be extracted and combined to produce customer-centric, rather than program-centric, records to be used in reporting. The envisioned platform will allow integration of customer records across all six core programs as well as a variety of other partner programs to provide a holistic view of each customer, their services, and their outcomes. (Page 118) Title IV

Additional items required of the 2017 CSNA included:

i. an assessment of the needs of individuals with disabilities for transition services and pre-employment transition services, and the extent to which such services provided under RA73 are coordinated with transition services provided under the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA);

ii. an assessment of the need to establish, develop, or improve community rehabilitation programs (CRPs) within the state;

iii. a report submitted to the Texas Workforce Commission (TWC) containing information about updates to the aforementioned assessments, for any year in which updates are made; and

iv. the process that the state will use to demonstrate that required Pre-ETS are made available to potentially eligible students with disabilities before using any Pre-ETS funding on authorized activities.

Methodology the 2017 CSNA includes information from five main sources:

  1. An Internet-based needs assessment survey that was contracted with the Public Policy Research Institute at Texas A&M University to gather perspectives from customers, staff, and others
  2. Customer satisfaction surveys
  3. Data from ReHabWorks (the automated case management system used by the Texas VR program)
  4. Five town hall meetings held across Texas in Dallas, El Paso, Houston, McAllen, and San Antonio
  5. Ten key informant interviews of VR managers and counselors, including one VR manager from each integrated service area and one from each of the previously separate designated state units (DSUs) for blind and general VR services, one experienced counselor, and one novice counselor.

Data Collection and Organizational Challenges Data was gathered from January to October 2017. (Page 273) Title IV

511

~~When a customer chooses to pursue subminimum wage employment, counseling on other employment options is provided. When, after counseling, subminimum wage employment is still the customer’s choice, the VR case is closed. Those customers who choose subminimum wage employment receive counseling, guidance, and referral services within the first six months of employment and annually thereafter. TWC has regional and state office transition specialists who provide support to VR counselors and VRD field office managers in developing collaborative partnerships with and increasing cooperation between VRD, local school districts, and other community organizations as resources for students with disabilities. These transition specialists assist with the development of policy, training, and strategies that lead to effective provision of transition services. (Page 243) Title IV

Equal Opportunity and Nondiscrimination: Section 188

TWC additionally promotes partnerships with employers to overcome barriers to meeting workforce needs with the creative use of technology and innovation. TWC takes steps to ensure that the staff of public schools, vocational service programs, and community-based organizations are trained and supported to assist all individuals with disabilities in achieving competitive employment. TWC also promotes the availability and accessibility of individualized training designed to prepare an individual with a disability for the individual’s preferred employment. To this end, individuals with disabilities are given the opportunity to understand and explore options for education and training, including postsecondary, graduate and postgraduate education, vocational or technical training, or other training, as pathways to employment. (Page 46) Title I

Additionally, TWC employs an electronic and information resources (EIR) accessibility coordinator to serve as a contact for EIR accessibility concerns. The coordinator both monitors agency-wide compliance with accessibility policy and facilitates correction of noncompliant EIR. To these ends, the coordinator partners with accessibility-designated liaisons in each business area. An accessibility liaison functions as the primary contact for the business area’s compliance with EIR accessibility requirements. The liaison also assists in staff development, addressing the needs of individuals with disabilities, as well as in sharing TWC’s accessibility goals and requirements. (Page 130) Title I

Describe the State’s one-stop center certification policy, particularly the accessibility criteria. Achieving excellence in accessibility is based on three core principles:

  • ensuring that all customers can effectively use workforce products and services;
  • creating a workspace accessible for individuals with disabilities; and
  • complying with all federal and state legal requirements. (Page 130) Title I

The TWC Equal Opportunity (EO) Unit functions within the Sub recipient and Equal Opportunity Monitoring Department. The EO Unit monitors recipients of WIOA Title I financial assistance to determine compliance with the nondiscrimination and equal opportunity provisions of WIOA §188. Both programmatic and physical accessibility are addressed during an EO compliance review. As recipients of WIOA funding, Boards are monitored on-site based on a three-year rotation schedule, as referenced in the State Methods of Administration (MOA) maintained on file with DOL’s Civil Rights Center (DOL-CRC). All 28 Boards are scheduled for an EO review within a designated three-year period. Dates for EO monitoring reviews generally align with those of the TWC’s annual Board monitoring review. In determining which sites are selected for physical accessibility reviews, current Workforce Solutions Offices lists will be cross-referenced with the database of Workforce Solutions Offices previously reviewed by state-level staff. The EO manager will conduct a risk assessment in selecting locations for physical accessibility reviews based on the following criteria: • the location was not previously reviewed by TWC staff based on historical review data; • the location was not reviewed by TWC staff during the tenure of the current Board EO Officer; and/or • the location reflected numerous deficiencies in the previous EO review, thus warranting a follow-up review by TWC. (Page 131) Title I

TWC purchases services only from providers that are in compliance with the VR Standards. TWC-contracted service providers are subject to both ongoing and periodic programmatic and financial monitoring. Risk assessment tools are used at the state and the regional level to identify service providers to be monitored. On-site monitoring visits may be scheduled. Additionally, service providers not identified through the risk assessment tools may also be monitored. A monitoring team includes representatives from TWC VRD and VR Contract Oversight Monitoring. Contractors found in noncompliance with VR Standards may be placed on a corrective action plan. Sanctions vary and may include financial restitution where appropriate. All contractors are provided ongoing technical assistance. In addition to monitoring, VR Standards also require ongoing self-evaluation by each contracted service provider. (Page 246) Title IV

Approved providers also receive training in the field from VRCs, state office program specialists, employment assistance specialists, University of North Texas online courses, and Criss Cole Rehabilitation Center staff. Training may include:

  • disability awareness, including blindness, to give providers a better understanding of the challenges and limitations faced by customers;
  • education on Americans with Disabilities Act requirements to ensure that providers understand the guidelines and law governing provision of accommodations to customers;
  • education on other employment-related laws and recruitment, job matching, job customization, work accommodations, and retention;
  • Texas Confidence Builders training, which provides the philosophy TWC VRD has adopted to help customers gain personal independence, acceptance, and adjustment to blindness, and find meaningful work; and
  • accessible writing courses, which promote awareness and education related to the importance of accessibility in documents. (Page 247) Title II
Vets

Required one-stop partners: In addition to the core programs, the following partner programs are required to provide access through the one-stops: Career and Technical Education (Perkins), Community Services Block Grant, Indian and Native American programs, HUD Employment and Training programs, Job Corps, Local Veterans’ Employment Representatives and Disabled Veterans’ Outreach Program, National Farmworker Jobs program, Senior Community Service Employment program, Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF) (unless the Governor determines TANF will not be a required partner), Trade Adjustment Assistance programs, Unemployment Compensation programs, and YouthBuild. (Page 29)

CCH seeks to maximize college credits awarded to veterans and active duty service members for their military experience through streamlined degree paths and workforce certifications to expedite transition into the Texas workforce.

Since its initiation in 2011, CCH has undergone a phased-in expansion across the state. Fourteen Texas colleges and universities have established accelerated curricula for veterans and active duty service members in fields such as emergency medical services, surgical technology, respiratory therapy, nursing, information technology (IT), firefighting, advanced manufacturing, logistics, wind engineering, and oil field technology.

College Credit for Heroes (CCH) also created an online application and database where veterans and active duty service members can receive an official evaluation of credit to be used at colleges and universities. As of October 1, 2015, the website has received over 90,000 visits and more than 10,000 requests for evaluations. Texas veterans and active duty service members have earned an average of 25 credit hours each through the CCH website.

Additionally, the program aims to expand the network of partnering colleges and universities through memoranda of understanding partnerships. The award of academic credit is contingent on approval from a receiving Texas college or university; therefore, increasing awareness among these institutions is essential. Institutions that become partners commit to review CCH evaluations and to maximize the award of college credit to veterans and active duty service members for their military experience and training.

To date, the network of CCH partner schools has grown to more than 42 institutions of higher education, with more looking to join. (Page 76) Title I

Texas is home to 1.68 million veterans, the second largest veteran population in the nation. TWC is using the newest workforce development strategies and initiatives to expand services for veterans and spouses of veterans. (Page 127) Title I

Mental Health

~~Mental Health VRD promotes mental health evidence-based practices and other evidence-informed models of service that will improve competitive integrated employment outcome strategies for customers. Other examples of collaboration include: increasing coordination and developing new partnerships with other state and community organizations—mental health organizations, local authorities, DSHS (the state agency for mental health), and universities—that serve individuals with developmental or intellectual impairments and mental health disorders to develop resources, expand knowledge, and implement best practices; working with the HHSC Office of Mental Health to identify and implement best practices, engage potential community partners, and facilitate service coordination; and participating in the Mental Health First Aid training conducted by local mental health authorities, which teaches VRCs and other professionals how to assist someone experiencing a mental health crisis. Training is another area that emphasizes interagency cooperation. (Page 254-255) Title IV

Table 2: Vocational Rehabilitation Division Attrition Rate as of October 1, 2016 Job title Average Strength (average filled positions) Total Separations Volun Invol Retire Other (transfer to outside agency) Year-to-date (YTD) Rate Vol YTD Rate VRC 583.5 92 66 6 13 7 15.77% 11.31% TVRC 97.75 15 11 0 2 2 15.35% 11.28% Table notes: • YTD Rate calculated by dividing Total Separations by Average Strength • Vol YTD Rate calculated by dividing Volun by Average Strength • Attrition Rate information provided by TWC Human Resources Outreach activities will continue to be conducted to broaden the population of individuals with disabilities being served by VRD. Outreach, education, and awareness efforts will be targeted to underserved and unserved populations such as transition students, veterans, and individuals with neurodevelopmental disorders (including autism), and psychological disorders such as bipolar disorder or schizophrenia. (Page 257) Title IV

Return to Work/Stay at Work (RTW/SAW)

No disability specific information found regarding this element.

Past WIOA Profiles Year
Past WIOA Profile Year: 
2017
Past WIOA Profile Attachment : 
Displaying 1 - 10 of 85

Veterans On the Job Training - 05/16/2020

“On-the-Job training programs allow Veterans to learn a trade or skill through training on the job rather than by attending a formal program of classroom-based instruction yielding a degree or certificate.”

 

This page includes links to additional information and resources.

Systems
  • Other
Topics
  • Employer Engagement
  • Apprenticeship
  • Resource Leveraging
  • Veterans

2019 CMS Navigator Cooperative Agreement Recipient TEXAS Change Happens - 09/03/2019

~~“TEXAS Change Happens was awarded a statewide 2019 CMS Navigator Cooperative Agreement serving  “Left behind” consumers (i.e., hourly wage workers, variable income workers, persons without health insurance due to lack of affordability, persons with lack of knowledge about affordable health insurance options, victims of recent area storms and how to apply), rural residents, the uninsured and under insured.  There were no Sub-awardee/Subrecipient Contracted Organizations. They will partner with State Medicaid/CHIP agency; Enroll Gulf Coast Collaborative—made up of: schools; colleges/universities; businesses; government agencies; faith-based organizations; community-based organizations; civic organizations; elected and public officials; and various other organizations and institutions. For more information, please contact the designated project lead.Contact: Helen StaggPhone: (713) 374-1285Email: hstagg@changehappenstx.org  ” 

Systems
  • Other
Topics
  • Cross-Agency Collaboration / Partnerships

2019 CMS Navigator Cooperative Agreement Recipient MHP Salud - 09/03/2019

~~“MHP Salud was awarded a statewide 2019 CMS Navigator Cooperative Agreement serving The uninsured, low-income individuals with limited English proficiency from the “left behind” communities; and to the broader uninsured and currently insured population, including seasonal, self-employed individuals, and communities that may have been underserved during previous open enrollment periods, such as extremely rural populations. Sub-awardee/Subrecipient Contracted Organizations are. ARISE; LUPE;  South Texas Health Systems; Edinburg Regional Medical Center; McAllen Medical Center; Rio Grande State Center; Nuestra Clinica del Valle; Mid-Valley Half-Way House; and Colonia Unidas. They will partner with Community Resource Centers; Local Community Organizations; Public libraries; Federally-qualified Health Centers (FQHCs), clinics, and local hospital systems. For more information, please contact the designated project lead.Contact: Jennifer BishopPhone: (956) 968-3600 Ext. 2022Email: jbishop@mhpsalud.org  ” 

Systems
  • Other
Topics
  • Cross-Agency Collaboration / Partnerships

HUD Awards $4.8 Million To Help Low-Income Veterans Rehabiitate Their Homes - 07/18/2019

~~The U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) and the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) today announced $4.8 million in funding through the Veterans Housing Rehabilitation and Modification Pilot (VHRMP) Program to assist disabled veterans with modifying or rehabilitating their homes, making them more accessible.

Through the VHRMP program, grantees will make necessary physical modifications to address the adaptive housing needs of eligible veterans, including wheelchair ramps, widening exterior and interior doors, reconfiguring and reequipping bathrooms, or adding a bedroom or bathroom for the veteran’s caregiver.

“Our veterans gave everything in service to our country so it’s now our duty to ensure they have a safe and decent place to call home,” said HUD Secretary Ben Carson. “The grants awarded today ensure veterans living with disabilities can make the necessary adaptive modifications to their homes, allowing them to lead self-sufficient lives.”

“Our biggest hope for Veterans is that they fully participate in the country they fought to defend once they return from service,” said VA Secretary Robert Wilkie. “These grants further that goal by ensuring Veterans with service-related disabilities don’t just get housing, but live in a home that meets their specific needs. We’re proud to work with our nonprofit partners once again this year to help our Veterans.”

The purpose of this pilot program is to assist our nation’s low-income veterans living with disabilities who need adaptive housing to help them regain or maintain their independence. By partnering with the VA, HUD is addressing these challenges by awarding competitive grants to organizations that primarily serve veterans and low-income people.

Systems
  • Other
Topics
  • Cross-Agency Collaboration / Partnerships

Transition Services for Students and Youth with Disabilities - 07/01/2019

~~“Providing Pre-Employment Transition ServicesUnder the Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act (WIOA), vocational rehabilitation (VR) agencies are required to reserve and expend a minimum of 15 percent of their federal funding solely for pre-employment transition services (Pre-ETS).Pre-ETS activities are provided to individuals who:• meet the definition of a student with a disability; and are eligible or potentially eligible for VR services” 

Systems
  • Other
Topics
  • School-to-Work Transition
  • WIOA

VR-SFP Chapter 18: Supported Employment Services - 06/21/2019

~~“The VR Supported Employment Outcome-Based System uses the "Place, Then Train" model of employment placement to place customers in a job and then train them in order to help them find and keep long-term competitive integrated employment.

By being matched to a job first and then receiving ongoing supports and training, the customer develops job-readiness skills while on the job. An employer who hires a VR customer is expected to provide the same training to the VR customer as the employer would provide to other new employees, with help and support from the VR counselor and the SE specialist.

Customized employment practices develop the best job match for the customer, using flexible strategies to meet the individual's needs and the employer's unmet business needs. These practices address the unique skills, interests, abilities, capabilities, and support needs of an individual with a most significant disability. Many times, jobs must be created and/or designed with flexible strategies to allow for a suitable job match.”

Systems
  • Other
Topics
  • Customized Employment

Adult Mental Health Supported Employment - 06/18/2019

~~“Supported employment helps people 17 and older with mental illness, intellectual or developmental disabilities, and traumatic brain injury find jobs that pay competitive wages. These jobs are all in integrated settings in the community, meaning you will work with other people who don’t necessarily have disabilities. Unlike traditional vocational rehabilitation, which provides job readiness and other training, this program individualizes its services to align with your interests and preferences."

Systems
  • Other
Topics
  • Mental Health

Explanation of Services and Supports Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities - 06/04/2019

~~“This is a brief description of intellectual and developmental disability (IDD) services and supports provided by Texas Health and Human Services Commission (HHSC). Some services and supports have interest lists because they do not have immediate openings available. Persons who want particular services or supports should add their names to the appropriate interest list as soon as possible. Persons who are now receiving particular services or supports may add their names to the interest list for other services and supports. For more information about services and supports, including a list of providers in your area, please contact your local IDD authority (LIDDA). You can find your LIDDA’s contact information at https://apps.hhs.texas.gov/contact/search.cfm  .”

Systems
  • Other

5220 Money Follows the Person Demonstration Entitlement Tracking and Service Authorization System Data Entry - 06/03/2019

~~“Time spent in a nursing facility (NF) does not count toward the 365-day period; therefore, tracking is required to ensure Money Follows the Person Demonstration (MFPD) individuals receive the full 365-day entitlement period. The entitlement period begins the date the individual who agrees to participate in the demonstration is enrolled in the STAR+PLUS Home and Community Based Services (HCBS) program. The managed care organization (MCO) uploads Form H2067, Managed Care Programs Communication, to TxMedCentral in the MCO folder, indicating the total number of days the member spent in the NF. This information is sent after the 365th day.”

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

S.B. No. 753 AN ACT relating to wage requirements for community rehabilitation programs - 05/14/2019

~~“ AN ACT relating to wage requirements for community rehabilitation programs participating in the purchasing from people with disabilities program…

Sec.122.0075. MINIMUM WAGE PLAN.   (a) This  section applies to a community rehabilitation program that:(1)  is participating in the program administered under this chapter; and(2) pays workers with disabilities employed by the program wages that are less than the federal minimum wage under Section 6, Fair Labor Standards Act of 1938 (29 U.S.C. Section 206)”

Systems
  • Other
Topics
  • Segregated Day & Employment Services
Displaying 1 - 10 of 13

S.B. No. 753 AN ACT relating to wage requirements for community rehabilitation programs - 05/14/2019

~~“ AN ACT relating to wage requirements for community rehabilitation programs participating in the purchasing from people with disabilities program…

Sec.122.0075. MINIMUM WAGE PLAN.   (a) This  section applies to a community rehabilitation program that:(1)  is participating in the program administered under this chapter; and(2) pays workers with disabilities employed by the program wages that are less than the federal minimum wage under Section 6, Fair Labor Standards Act of 1938 (29 U.S.C. Section 206)”

Systems
  • Other
Topics
  • Segregated Day & Employment Services

Workforce Innovation & Opportunity Act (WIOA) - Program Overview - 04/21/2019

~~“The Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act (WIOA) is designed to help job seekers access employment, education, training and support services to succeed in the labor market, and to match employers with the skilled workers they need to compete in the global economy.”

Systems
  • Other
Topics
  • Cross-Agency Collaboration / Partnerships
  • WIOA

Texas SB 2027: Evaluation of Regional Employment and Training Opportunities for People with Disabilities - 09/01/2017

“(A) The Health and Human Services Commission in conjunction with the Texas Workforce Commission shall conduct a study regarding occupational training programs available in this state for individuals with an intellectual disability.

(B)The study must:

determine regions in this state where the training programs should be improved or expanded; and determine strategies for placing trained individuals with intellectual disabilities into fulfilling jobs using existing or improved training programs.”
Systems
  • Department of Workforce Development
  • Other
Topics
  • Cross-Agency Collaboration / Partnerships

S.B. No. 748 AN ACT relating to transition planning for a public school student enrolled in a special education program. - 06/09/2017

~~“SECTION 1. Section29.011, Education Code, is amended to read as follows:Sec. 29.011. TRANSITION PLANNING.   (a) The commissioner shall  by  rule  adopt  procedures  for  compliance  with  federal requirements relating to transition services for students who are enrolled in special education programs under this subchapter.” 

Systems
  • Other
Topics
  • School-to-Work Transition

TX Health and Human Services Commission: General Provisions - 09/01/2015

“It is the policy of the state that earning a living wage through competitive employment in the general workforce is the priority and preferred outcome for working-age individuals with disabilities who receive public benefits.”

Systems
  • Department of Rehabilitation Services
  • Other
Topics
  • Employer Engagement
  • 14(c)/Income Security
  • Provider Transformation
  • Cross-Agency Collaboration / Partnerships

Texas SB 1664 (ABLE Act) - 06/19/2015

"An act relating to the establishment of the Texas Achieving a Better Life Experience (ABLE) Program…(1) to encourage and assist individuals and families in saving funds for the purpose of supporting individuals with disabilities to maintain health, independence, and quality of life, and (2) to provide secure funding for qualified disability expenses on behalf of designated beneficiaries with disabilities that will supplement, but not supplant, benefits provided through private insurance, the Medicaid program under title XIX of the Social Security Act, the Supplemental Security Income program under title XVI of the Social Security Act, the beneficiary's employment, and other sources."

Systems
  • Department of Education
  • Other
Topics
  • Asset Development / Financial Capability
Citations

Texas SB 1664 - 06/19/2015

"An act relating to the establishment of the Texas Achieving a Better Life Experience (ABLE) Program…(1) to encourage and assist individuals and families in saving funds for the purpose of supporting individuals with disabilities to maintain health, independence, and quality of life, and (2) to provide secure funding for qualified disability expenses on behalf of designated beneficiaries with disabilities that will supplement, but not supplant, benefits provided through private insurance, the Medicaid program under title XIX of the Social Security Act, the Supplemental Security Income program under title XVI of the Social Security Act, the beneficiary's employment, and other sources."

 

Systems
  • Other
Topics
  • Asset Development / Financial Capability
Citations

Texas SB 7: Enacting Community First Choice - 06/14/2013

“AN ACT relating to improving the delivery and quality of certain health and human services, including the delivery and quality of Medicaid acute care services and long-term services and supports.”

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

2013 Employment Assistance and Supported Employment Bill - 06/14/2013

This acts relates to the provision of employment assistance and supported employment to certain Medicaid waiver program participants. Assistance includes providing assistance to an individual that helps them locate paid employment in the community.

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

Texas 2013 Employment First Bill (S.B 1226) - 06/14/2013

The act establishes an employment-first policy and task force to promote integrated competitive employment opportunities that provide a living wage for individuals with disabilities. The Texas Education Agency and the Texas Workforce Commission will jointly adopt and implement the policy.

Systems
  • Department of Workforce Development
  • Department of Education
Topics
  • School-to-Work Transition
  • Home and Community Based Services (HCBS)
  • Employer Engagement
  • Cross-Agency Collaboration / Partnerships

No Executive Orders have been entered for this state.

Displaying 1 - 10 of 35

Veterans On the Job Training - 05/16/2020

“On-the-Job training programs allow Veterans to learn a trade or skill through training on the job rather than by attending a formal program of classroom-based instruction yielding a degree or certificate.”

 

This page includes links to additional information and resources.

Systems
  • Other
Topics
  • Employer Engagement
  • Apprenticeship
  • Resource Leveraging
  • Veterans

Transition Services for Students and Youth with Disabilities - 07/01/2019

~~“Providing Pre-Employment Transition ServicesUnder the Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act (WIOA), vocational rehabilitation (VR) agencies are required to reserve and expend a minimum of 15 percent of their federal funding solely for pre-employment transition services (Pre-ETS).Pre-ETS activities are provided to individuals who:• meet the definition of a student with a disability; and are eligible or potentially eligible for VR services” 

Systems
  • Other
Topics
  • School-to-Work Transition
  • WIOA

VR-SFP Chapter 18: Supported Employment Services - 06/21/2019

~~“The VR Supported Employment Outcome-Based System uses the "Place, Then Train" model of employment placement to place customers in a job and then train them in order to help them find and keep long-term competitive integrated employment.

By being matched to a job first and then receiving ongoing supports and training, the customer develops job-readiness skills while on the job. An employer who hires a VR customer is expected to provide the same training to the VR customer as the employer would provide to other new employees, with help and support from the VR counselor and the SE specialist.

Customized employment practices develop the best job match for the customer, using flexible strategies to meet the individual's needs and the employer's unmet business needs. These practices address the unique skills, interests, abilities, capabilities, and support needs of an individual with a most significant disability. Many times, jobs must be created and/or designed with flexible strategies to allow for a suitable job match.”

Systems
  • Other
Topics
  • Customized Employment

Adult Mental Health Supported Employment - 06/18/2019

~~“Supported employment helps people 17 and older with mental illness, intellectual or developmental disabilities, and traumatic brain injury find jobs that pay competitive wages. These jobs are all in integrated settings in the community, meaning you will work with other people who don’t necessarily have disabilities. Unlike traditional vocational rehabilitation, which provides job readiness and other training, this program individualizes its services to align with your interests and preferences."

Systems
  • Other
Topics
  • Mental Health

Explanation of Services and Supports Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities - 06/04/2019

~~“This is a brief description of intellectual and developmental disability (IDD) services and supports provided by Texas Health and Human Services Commission (HHSC). Some services and supports have interest lists because they do not have immediate openings available. Persons who want particular services or supports should add their names to the appropriate interest list as soon as possible. Persons who are now receiving particular services or supports may add their names to the interest list for other services and supports. For more information about services and supports, including a list of providers in your area, please contact your local IDD authority (LIDDA). You can find your LIDDA’s contact information at https://apps.hhs.texas.gov/contact/search.cfm  .”

Systems
  • Other

Michael E. DeBakey VA Medical Center - Houston, Texas Vocational Rehabilitation - 04/23/2019

~~“Program MissionVocational Rehabilitation is committed to assisting Veterans with psychiatric or physical disabilities reach their highest level of vocational productivity.Program Goals• Provide structured vocational evaluations• Improve pre-vocational skills including:   - Adhering to a work schedule   - Working cooperatively with others   - Accepting supervision and doing quality work• Reduce psychiatric and physical symptoms• Increase relapse prevention skills• Improve self-esteem and enhance quality of life• Return Veterans to competitive employment ” 

Systems
  • Other

S.B. 748: Modernizing Transition Planning - 02/28/2019

~~This is a presentation on the current state of Transition in the Texas Education Agency.  Topics include: Senate Bill 748 (85th Texas Legislature) Current Statutes Amended Responsibilities What is “Appropriate?” Supported Decision-Making TEA Model Form and Resources Takeaways for LEAs 

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

Texas Statewide Behavioral Health Fiscal Years 2017 – 2021Strategic Plan Update and the Foundation for the IDD Strategic Plan - 02/05/2019

~~“The 2018-19General Appropriations Act, S.B. 1, 85thLegislature, Regular Session, 2017(Article IX, Section 10.04) added three agencies to the Council: Texas Department of Housing and Community Affairs, Texas Workforce Commission, and Texas Education Agency. It also required community collaboratives that receive funding under the provisions of the bill to report twice annually to the Statewide Behavioral Health Coordinating Council(“the Council”).While this strategic plan was originally intended to help legislators understand the scope of programs and outcomes related to behavioral health-related appropriated funds, this plan does reference programs and initiatives implemented using multiple or other funding sources”

Systems
  • Other
Topics
  • Mental Health
  • Cross-Agency Collaboration / Partnerships

Employment First Fact Sheet - 02/01/2019

~~“It is policy and law in the State of Texas that earning a living wage through competitive integrated employment is the first and preferred outcome for adults with disabilities who receive public benefits. Employment First promotes the expectation that Texans with disabilities are valued members of the workforce and able to meet the same employment standards, responsibilities, and expectations as other working-age adults. The Council supports Employment First policies and will work with the legislature, state agency staff, stakeholders (self-advocates, family members, and employers), and interested parties to pro-mote Employment First policies and positions.”

Systems
  • Other
Topics
  • Cross-Agency Collaboration / Partnerships

Governor’s Small Business Handbook - 01/12/2019

~~“There are several important steps to consider when starting a business in Texas. The Small Business Handbook provides a comprehensive overview of business planning, registration, requirements and financing. The Handbook also identifies programs and organizations supporting entrepreneurs and small business owners throughout the state..”

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

HUD Awards $4.8 Million To Help Low-Income Veterans Rehabiitate Their Homes - 07/18/2019

~~The U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) and the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) today announced $4.8 million in funding through the Veterans Housing Rehabilitation and Modification Pilot (VHRMP) Program to assist disabled veterans with modifying or rehabilitating their homes, making them more accessible.

Through the VHRMP program, grantees will make necessary physical modifications to address the adaptive housing needs of eligible veterans, including wheelchair ramps, widening exterior and interior doors, reconfiguring and reequipping bathrooms, or adding a bedroom or bathroom for the veteran’s caregiver.

“Our veterans gave everything in service to our country so it’s now our duty to ensure they have a safe and decent place to call home,” said HUD Secretary Ben Carson. “The grants awarded today ensure veterans living with disabilities can make the necessary adaptive modifications to their homes, allowing them to lead self-sufficient lives.”

“Our biggest hope for Veterans is that they fully participate in the country they fought to defend once they return from service,” said VA Secretary Robert Wilkie. “These grants further that goal by ensuring Veterans with service-related disabilities don’t just get housing, but live in a home that meets their specific needs. We’re proud to work with our nonprofit partners once again this year to help our Veterans.”

The purpose of this pilot program is to assist our nation’s low-income veterans living with disabilities who need adaptive housing to help them regain or maintain their independence. By partnering with the VA, HUD is addressing these challenges by awarding competitive grants to organizations that primarily serve veterans and low-income people.

Systems
  • Other
Topics
  • Cross-Agency Collaboration / Partnerships

Employment First Training - 07/02/2018

~~HHSC works with employers to match them with job applicants with disabilities who can add value to a business as they live the life they want.

HHSC will provide a series of free, one-day workshops on our Employment First Training program:

Who Should Attend

Staff who support individuals who have set employment as a goal, providers of waiver services, service coordinators, case managers, LIDDAs, professional and direct care staff.

Advocates, service recipients, families, guardians and anyone interested in employment services for people with Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities are welcome to attend.

What's Covered•Texas Employment First Policy.•Employment services in Medicaid waivers, including billable services and billing information.•How Medicaid waiver employment services and Texas Workforce Solutions-Vocational Rehabilitation Services works.•Overview of Social Security Administration disability benefits.•HCBS settings rule changes.•HHS Employment Recruitment Coordinator Project and Employment Initiatives.”

Systems
  • Other
Topics
  • Cross-Agency Collaboration / Partnerships

Texas State Plans for VR Services and Supported Employment Services Programs - 09/30/2014

“The Division for Rehabilitation Services (DRS) recognizes that collaboration with community organizations and other state agencies is essential to achieving successful employment outcomes for consumers with the most significant disabilities. DRS seeks opportunities to identify, develop, and implement cooperative agreements with other state agencies and appropriate entities, particularly when these agreements establish a framework to assist with the provision of supported employment services and extended services for consumers with the most significant disabilities.”

Systems
  • Department of Rehabilitation Services
  • Department of Education
Topics
  • School-to-Work Transition
  • Mental Health
  • Home and Community Based Services (HCBS)
  • Employer Engagement
  • Cross-Agency Collaboration / Partnerships

Employment First Task Force Home Page

The Employment First Task Force, authorized by Senate Bill 1226 (83rd Legislature, Regular Session, 2013), was established by the Texas Health and Human Services Commission executive commissioner to promote competitive employment of people with disabilities and the expectation that individuals with disabilities are able to meet the same employment standards, responsibilities, and expectations as any other working-age adult.”

 

Systems
  • Department of Rehabilitation Services
  • Department of Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities
  • Department of Workforce Development
  • Department of Education
Topics
  • School-to-Work Transition
  • Home and Community Based Services (HCBS)
  • Employer Engagement
  • Cross-Agency Collaboration / Partnerships

Texas Dept of Assistive and Rehabilitative Services and Dept of Aging and Disability Services MOA

Recognizing the need to coordinate the provision of services to individuals receiving services from the Texas Department of Aging and Disability Services (DADS) who may be eligible for or are receiving Vocational Rehabilitation (VR) or Independent Living (IL) services from the Texas Department of Assistive and Rehabilitative Services (DARS), DARS and DADS enter into this Memorandum of Agreement (MOA) in accordance with the provisions of CFR §361.53(d) and 111.0525(b) of the Texas Human Resources Code. 

Systems
  • Department of Rehabilitation Services
  • Department of Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities
Topics
  • Home and Community Based Services (HCBS)
  • Cross-Agency Collaboration / Partnerships
Displaying 1 - 4 of 4

Texas Money Follows The Person - 06/30/2016

~~“Texas was among the first 30 states chosen to participate in the Money Follows the Person Demonstration (MFPD) in 2007. As of June 2016, 43 states participate in this federal demonstration designed to help older adults or persons who have disabilities move from institutional settings back into their communities.MFPD provides federal grant funding as well as funding from Medicaid matching cost savings [1], as defined at the bottom of this document.> to assist states in moving individuals from institutions to the community. In fiscal year 2016, HHSC has budgeted over $16 million in federal funding to help individuals transition out of nursing facilities, State Supported Living Centers, Intermediate Care Facilities for Individuals with Intellectual Disabilities and other institutions. Funds are also used to provide behavioral health supports that help individuals remain living in the community, enhance opportunities for integrated employment for greater self-sufficiency, and increase the availability of affordable, accessible housing.MFPD has helped Texas rebalance its long-term services and supports system by increasing the use of community-based services rather than institutional services. Early in calendar year 2008, Texas reported 51 percent of its long term services and support expenditures were used to support institution-based services. By the end of calendar year 2014, institution-based services accounted for 41.2 percent of long-term services and supports spending. Community-based services now comprise the majority of Texas long-term services and supports system.” 

Systems
  • Department of Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities
  • Medicaid Agencies
  • Other
Topics
  • Home and Community Based Services (HCBS)
  • Cross-Agency Collaboration / Partnerships

Texas 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.”

In FY2012, Texas was awarded an EDI grant for an expansion of supported employment through Consumer Operated Services Programs.

Systems
  • Department of Mental Health
Topics
  • Mental Health

Texas Ticket to Work - 06/25/2008

“Under the Ticket to Work Program and Title II and Title XVI of the Act, SSA issues “tickets” to SSDI and SSI blind or disabled beneficiaries. In this voluntary program, each beneficiary who receives a ticket can use it to obtain services from a provider, known as an employment network (EN), or from a state vocational rehabilitation (VR) agency. The VR agency in Texas is the Texas Department of Assistive and Rehabilitative Services (DARS)…

The intent of the Ticket to Work Program is to…establish a system in which qualified ENs provide employment and other support services (e.g., case management, benefits counseling, and job training); provide individualized tickets to beneficiaries for the “purchase” of services from approved ENs; and give beneficiaries a real choice in obtaining the services, education, and technology needed to find, enter, and maintain employment within an expanding universe of service providers.”

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

Texas Medicaid Buy-In Program

The program “offers low-cost Medicaid health care services — including community-based services and supports to working people with a disability. Some people might have to pay a monthly fee” to receive services which include but not limited to:  • Doctor / clinic visits  • Mental health care  • Occupational therapy (help learning how to do everyday tasks)  • X-rays  • Physical therapy (help learning how to move around better or become stronger)

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

2019 CMS Navigator Cooperative Agreement Recipient TEXAS Change Happens - 09/03/2019

~~“TEXAS Change Happens was awarded a statewide 2019 CMS Navigator Cooperative Agreement serving  “Left behind” consumers (i.e., hourly wage workers, variable income workers, persons without health insurance due to lack of affordability, persons with lack of knowledge about affordable health insurance options, victims of recent area storms and how to apply), rural residents, the uninsured and under insured.  There were no Sub-awardee/Subrecipient Contracted Organizations. They will partner with State Medicaid/CHIP agency; Enroll Gulf Coast Collaborative—made up of: schools; colleges/universities; businesses; government agencies; faith-based organizations; community-based organizations; civic organizations; elected and public officials; and various other organizations and institutions. For more information, please contact the designated project lead.Contact: Helen StaggPhone: (713) 374-1285Email: hstagg@changehappenstx.org  ” 

Systems
  • Other
Topics
  • Cross-Agency Collaboration / Partnerships

2019 CMS Navigator Cooperative Agreement Recipient MHP Salud - 09/03/2019

~~“MHP Salud was awarded a statewide 2019 CMS Navigator Cooperative Agreement serving The uninsured, low-income individuals with limited English proficiency from the “left behind” communities; and to the broader uninsured and currently insured population, including seasonal, self-employed individuals, and communities that may have been underserved during previous open enrollment periods, such as extremely rural populations. Sub-awardee/Subrecipient Contracted Organizations are. ARISE; LUPE;  South Texas Health Systems; Edinburg Regional Medical Center; McAllen Medical Center; Rio Grande State Center; Nuestra Clinica del Valle; Mid-Valley Half-Way House; and Colonia Unidas. They will partner with Community Resource Centers; Local Community Organizations; Public libraries; Federally-qualified Health Centers (FQHCs), clinics, and local hospital systems. For more information, please contact the designated project lead.Contact: Jennifer BishopPhone: (956) 968-3600 Ext. 2022Email: jbishop@mhpsalud.org  ” 

Systems
  • Other
Topics
  • Cross-Agency Collaboration / Partnerships

Texas Department of Health and Human Services Training Initiatives - 07/01/2017

“To provide educational opportunities to enhance services provided across the state, Texas Health and Human Services develops and provides free training. Training initiatives are based on identified needs of services providers, individuals receiving services and supports, and emerging and best practices.”

Topics include employment, SSI/SSDI benefits, Employment First, Positive Behavior Management and Support, and mental health and trauma-informed care for people with intellectual and developmental disabilities.

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

Texas Medicaid Person-Centered Planning Training - 02/16/2017

This page lists the Person-Centered Planning Training Requirements for various providers, caseworkers, state employees, etc. if they are part of a planning team. It also includes a link to sign up for trainings.

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

The Texas Customized Self-Employment Project: The Customized Employment Plan Design

This presentation describes Customized Employment as “a flexible process designed to personalize the employment relationship between a job candidate and an employer in a way that meets the needs of both.”  It focuses heavily on the processes and value of Discovery in the employment process.

Systems
  • Department of Rehabilitation Services
  • Department of Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities
  • Other
Topics
  • Customized Employment
  • Self-Employment
  • Employer Engagement
  • Provider Transformation

The Texas Customized Self-Employment Project

This presentation presents Self-Employment as a viable employment option for people with disabilities.

Systems
  • Department of Rehabilitation Services
  • Department of Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities
Topics
  • Customized Employment
  • Self-Employment

Texas Transition and Employment Guide

This transition and employment guide is for you, the student in Texas public school, who may have received special education services due to a disability. It also provides helpful information for your parents. This guide has steps you and your parents can take to make sure you are able to find the right work or educational choices for you after high school. It also tells you where to get the services you will need after high school.    The guide is divided into sections on Self Advocacy, Transition Services, Employment and Supported Employment, Social Security Programs, Community and Long Term Services and Supports, Postsecondary Educational Programs and Services, Information Sharing, and Guardianship and Alternatives. Each section has phone numbers, emails, and websites to help you find what you need. At the end of each section and at the end of the guide, you will find a timeline of steps that you and your parents can take as you make the transition from student to adult.”  
Systems
  • Department of Education
  • Other
Topics
  • Self-Employment
  • School-to-Work Transition
  • Mental Health
Displaying 1 - 3 of 3

Wal-Mart to Pay $150,000 to Settle EEOC Age and Disability Discrimination Suit - 02/19/2015

“Under the terms of the two-year consent decree settling the case, Wal-Mart will pay $150,000 in relief to Moorman. In addition, Wal-Mart agreed to provide training for employees on the ADA and the ADEA. The training will include an instruction on the kind of conduct that may constitute unlawful discrimination or harassment, as well as an instruction on Wal-Mart's procedures for handling requests for reasonable accommodations under the ADA. Wal-Mart will also report to the EEOC regarding its compliance with the consent decree and post a notice to employees about the settlement.”

Systems
  • Other
Topics
  • Employer Engagement

Texas Wendy’s Consent Decree - 10/10/2012

“Under the terms of the two-year consent decree settling the case, Wendy's will pay $41,500 in relief to a person who applied to a job with the company, but was denied despite his qualifications. “In addition, Wendy's has agreed to provide training for all managers and supervisory employees, including its company president, on the ADA. The training will include a discussion related to hiring individuals with disabilities. In addition, the training will include a specific instruction on communication devices, such as the use of the Texas Relay System or video relay service regarding communication between Wendy's employees and applicants with hearing impairments.’“

Systems
  • Other
Topics
  • Employer Engagement

Steward et. al. v. Abbott et. al. – 5:10-CV-1025 – (W.D. Tex. 2010)

~On September 20, 2012, the Court granted the United States' request to intervene in a pending lawsuit against the State of Texas. The suit claims that Texas unnecessarily segregates individuals with intellectual and developmental disabilities in nursing facilities, and that this violates the law under Title II of the Americans with Disabilities Act and Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act.

In August 2013, the Parties entered a two-year Interim Settlement that required the State to begin expanding community alternatives to nursing facilities. During this time, the Parties negotiated extensively to reach a comprehensive settlement of all remaining issues. Litigation resumed in October 2015, after settlement negotiations failed and the Interim Agreement expired. In May 2016, the Court denied the State’s motions to dismiss the lawsuit and granted the private Plaintiffs’ renewed motion for class certification. The United States had filed a brief in support of the Plaintiffs’ motion, which asked the Court to resolve the common claims of over 4,000 people with intellectual and developmental disabilities “who currently or will in the future reside in nursing facilities, or who are being, will be, or should be screened for admission . . .”. The Parties are now in the early stages of discovery.

Systems
  • Other
Topics
  • Mental Health
  • Home and Community Based Services (HCBS)
Displaying 1 - 10 of 18

5220 Money Follows the Person Demonstration Entitlement Tracking and Service Authorization System Data Entry - 06/03/2019

~~“Time spent in a nursing facility (NF) does not count toward the 365-day period; therefore, tracking is required to ensure Money Follows the Person Demonstration (MFPD) individuals receive the full 365-day entitlement period. The entitlement period begins the date the individual who agrees to participate in the demonstration is enrolled in the STAR+PLUS Home and Community Based Services (HCBS) program. The managed care organization (MCO) uploads Form H2067, Managed Care Programs Communication, to TxMedCentral in the MCO folder, indicating the total number of days the member spent in the NF. This information is sent after the 365th day.”

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

What is Community First Choice? - 01/01/2019

~~“Community First Choice (CFC) provides certain services and supports to individuals living in the community who are enrolled in the Medicaid program and meet CFC eligibility requirements. Services and supports may include:• activities of daily living (eating, toileting, and grooming), activities related to living independently in the community, and health-related tasks (personal assistance services);• acquisition, maintenance, and enhancement of skills necessary for the individuals to care for themselves and to live independently in the community (habilitation);• providing a backup system or ways to ensure continuity of services and supports (emergency response services); and• training people how to select, manage and dismiss their own attendants (support management).In Texas, CFC may be available to people enrolled in Medicaid, including those served by:• 1915 (c) waiver programs;• Medicaid managed care; andpersonal care services for children.” 

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

Texas Medicaid and CHIP Reference Guide - 12/31/2018

~~“Medicaid Buy-In (MBI) for Workers with DisabilitiesThe Medicaid Buy-In (MBI) program enables working persons with disabilities to buy in to Medicaid. Individuals with income below 250 percent of the federal poverty level (FPL) and resources at or below $5,000 may qualify and may pay a monthly premium in order to receive Medicaid benefits.” 

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

2018 Revised Texas Promoting Independence Plan - 12/07/2018

~~“Funding for Reduction in Community-based Services Interest Lists  Texas has five 1915(c) Medicaid waiver programs and one Home and Community-Based Services (HCBS) program in the 1115 waiver, which serve people who have a physical, IDD or a related condition.20 Community-based services and supports delivered via Medicaid waiver programs are in high demand and interest consistently outweighs available resources. Interest list numbers reflect individuals who have demonstrated interest in a waiver, but have not yet been assessed for financial or functional eligibility. Individuals may not be found eligible for the program after being assessed. Some service needs may be met through other programs, such as CFC or GR or Title XX funded services, until the individual’s name reaches the top of the interest list.”

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

Medicaid buy-in program for employees with disabilities - 09/18/2018

~~The Medicaid buy-in program allows working Texans with disabilities to get Medicaid, even if they earn more than the Medicaid income limits. To take part in the program, you can't earn more than $2,453 per month. People in the buy-in program pay monthly premiums based on their income and other factors. 

Systems
  • Medicaid Agencies
  • Other
Topics
  • Resource Leveraging

Texas Youth Empowerment Services (YES) Waiver Program Payment Rates - 07/01/2017

~~“4900 Supported Employment and Employment AssistanceRevision 17-1; Effective June 1, 2017Senate Bill 45, 83rd Legislature, Regular Session, 2013, required all Medicaid waivers offer employment assistance (EA) and supported employment (SE). Employment services are intended to assist members to find employment and maintain employment. Employment services available for members in the Medically Dependent Children Program are EA and SE. STAR Kids managed care organizations may not require SE or EA providers to obtain a denial or explanation of benefits from a member's primary insurance before seeking reimbursement for SE or EA services. “ 

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

Texas Home Living Program (TxHmL) - Amended Rules Effective 3/2016 - 03/20/2016

~~Amended HCS, TxHmL Rules Effective March 20, 2016“TxHmL provides selected essential services and supports to people with intellectual and developmental disabilities who live  in their family homes or their own homes.” 

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

Texas Community First Choice - 06/01/2015

“Senate Bill 7 from the 2013 Texas Legislature requires the Health and Human Services Commission (HHSC) to put in place a cost-effective option for attendant and habilitation services for people with disabilities who have STAR+PLUS Medicaid coverage.

A federal option, called Community First Choice, allows states to provide home and community-based attendant services and supports to Medicaid recipients with disabilities. This option provides states with a 6 percent increase in federal matching funds for Medicaid for these services.”

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

Medicaid Balancing Incentives Program - 09/04/2012

~~“Federal law established the Balancing Incentive Program (BIP) which increases the Federal Medical Assistance Percentage to participating states through September 2015 in exchange for states making certain structural reforms to increase access to Medicaid community based long-term services and supports (LTSS).These required structural reforms include• implementing a "no wrong door" eligibility and enrollment system;• developing core standardized assessment instruments; and• ensuring case management activities are conflict free.The Texas Health and Human Services Commission (HHSC) and the Texas Department of Aging and Disability Services (DADS) submitted an application to the federal Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) to participate in the BIP (PDF format). On September 4, 2012, CMS approved the state's BIP application.” 

Systems
  • Department of Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities
  • Medicaid Agencies
  • Other
Topics
  • Home and Community Based Services (HCBS)
  • Cross-Agency Collaboration / Partnerships

Balancing Incentives Program - 09/04/2012

~~“Federal law established the Balancing Incentive Program (BIP) which increases the Federal Medical Assistance Percentage to participating states through September 2015 in exchange for states making certain structural reforms to increase access to Medicaid community based long-term services and supports (LTSS).These required structural reforms include• implementing a "no wrong door" eligibility and enrollment system;• developing core standardized assessment instruments; and• ensuring case management activities are conflict free.The Texas Health and Human Services Commission (HHSC) and the Texas Department of Aging and Disability Services (DADS) submitted an application to the federal Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) to participate in the BIP (PDF format). On September 4, 2012, CMS approved the state's BIP application.”
Systems
  • Department of Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities
  • Medicaid Agencies
  • Other
Topics
  • Home and Community Based Services (HCBS)
  • Cross-Agency Collaboration / Partnerships

States - Large Tablet

Snapshot

Everything's Bigger in Texas, including the number of job options in integrated settings at competitive wages for individuals with disabilities. The Lone Star state is a place where anyone, including those with disabilities, can live the American Dream… Deep in the Heart of Texas! 

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 Texas' VR Rates and Services

2018 State Population.
1.38%
Change from
2017 to 2018
28,701,845
2018 Number of people with disabilities (all disabilities, ages 18-64).
1.02%
Change from
2017 to 2018
1,639,624
2018 Number of people with disabilities who are employed (all disabilities, ages 18-64).
1.76%
Change from
2017 to 2018
659,558
2018 Percentage of working age people who are employed (all disabilities).
0.75%
Change from
2017 to 2018
40.23%
2018 Percentage of working age people who are employed (NO disabilities).
0.56%
Change from
2017 to 2018
76.37%

State Data

General

2016 2017 2018
Population. 27,862,596 28,304,596 28,701,845
Number of people with disabilities (all disabilities, ages 18-64). 1,653,862 1,622,962 1,639,624
Number of people with disabilities who are employed (all disabilities, ages 18-64). 644,181 647,977 659,558
Number of people without disabilities who are employed (ages 18-64). 11,526,552 11,762,593 11,990,348
Percentage of working age people who are employed (all disabilities). 38.95% 39.93% 40.23%
Percentage of working age people who are employed (NO disabilities). 75.88% 75.94% 76.37%
State/National unemployment rate. 4.60% 4.30% 3.90%
Poverty Rate (all disabilities). 20.70% 20.30% 20.70%
Poverty Rate (NO disabilities). 15.00% 14.00% 14.20%
Number of males with disabilities (all ages). 1,572,569 1,561,091 1,585,669
Number of females with disabilities (all ages). 1,649,476 1,611,708 1,635,496
Number of Caucasians with disabilities (all ages). 2,471,177 2,423,447 2,463,899
Number of African Americans with disabilities (all ages). 426,381 431,831 436,029
Number of Hispanic/Latinos with disabilities (all ages). 1,023,202 1,038,033 1,055,473
Number of American Indians/Alaska Natives with disabilities (all ages). 22,545 23,445 24,413
Number of Asians with disabilities (all ages). 73,747 74,263 74,173
Number of Hawaiians/Pacific Islanders with disabilities (all ages). 2,502 2,304 3,784
Number of persons of two or more races with disabilities (all ages) 80,735 77,623 69,875
Number of persons of some other race alone with disabilities (all ages) 144,968 139,886 148,992

 

SSA OUTCOMES

2016 2017 2018
Number of SSI recipients with disabilities who work. 20,426 21,057 21,499
Percentage of SSI recipients with disabilities who work relative to total SSI recipients with disabilities. 3.70% 3.80% 3.90%
Old Age Survivor and Disability Insurance (OASDI) recipients/workers with disabilities. 564,733 562,264 553,435

 

MENTAL HEALTH OUTCOMES

2016 2017 2018
Number of mental health services consumers who are employed. 38,530 38,933 42,798
Number of mental health services consumers who are part of the labor force (employed or actively looking for employment). 73,413 74,153 80,752
Number of adults served who have a known employment status. 195,865 185,482 191,594
Percentage of all state mental health agency consumers served in the community who are employed. 19.70% 21.00% 22.30%
Percentage of supported employment services evidence based practices (EBP). 4.80% 3.70% 3.70%
Percentage of supported housing services evidence based practices (EBP). 4.60% 4.40% 4.20%
Percentage of assertive community treatment services evidence based practices (EBP). 1.80% 1.80% 2.20%
Percentage of medications management evidence based practices (EBP). 38.70% 44.00% 44.90%
Number of evidence based practices (EBP) supported employment services. 12,921 10,359 10,893
Number of evidence based practices (EBP) supported housing services. 12,379 12,359 12,215
Number of evidence based practices (EBP) assertive community treatment services. 7,986 5,228 6,515
Number of evidence based practices (EBP) medications management. 105,173 124,257 131,603

 

WAGNER PEYSER OUTCOMES

2013 2014 2015
Number of registered job seekers with a disability. 45,361 53,307 54,851
Proportion of registered job seekers with a disability. 0.04 0.04 0.04

 

WORKFORCE DEVELOPMENT OUTCOMES (ADULTS)

2013 2014 2015
Total number of people with a disability that is a substantial barrier to work served by Job Training and Partnership Act/Workforce Investment Act programs. 687 633 732
Total number of people with a disability that is a substantial barrier to work who entered unsubsidized employment. 346 365 447
Percentage of people with a disability that is a substantial barrier to work who entered unsubsidized employment relative to total the number of people with a disability that is a substantial barrier to work. 50.00% 58.00% 61.00%
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. 1.31 1.33 1.63

 

VR OUTCOMES

2016 2017 2018
Total Number of people served under VR.
22,122
N/A
N/A
Number of people with visual impairments served under VR. 31 N/A N/A
Number of people with communicative (hearing loss, deafness) impairments served under VR. 5,084 N/A N/A
Number of people with physical impairments served under VR. 6,939 N/A N/A
Number of people cognitive impairments served under VR. 5,452 N/A N/A
Number of people psychosocial impairments served under VR. 3,663 N/A N/A
Number of people with mental impairments served under VR. 953 N/A N/A
Percentage of overall closures into employment under VR. 39.20% 43.00% N/A
Number of employment network (EN) and vocational rehabilitation (VR) tickets assigned. 21,513 23,195 22,798
Number of eligible ticket to work beneficiaries. 920,058 918,939 911,883
Total number of ID closures using supported employment services with or without Title VI-B funds expended (VI-C prior to 2002). 567 390 N/A
Total number of ID competitive labor market closures. 782 639 N/A

 

IDD OUTCOMES

2015 2016 2017
Dollars spent on day/employment services for integrated employment funding. $6,715,000 $6,788,000 $4,839,117
Dollars spent on day/employment services for facility-based work funding. $0 $0 $0
Dollars spent on day/employment services for facility-based non-work funding. $110,894,000 $130,185,000 $148,302,612
Dollars spent on day/employment services for community based non-work funding. $0 $0 $0
Percentage of people served in integrated employment. 5.00% 5.00% 6.00%
Number of people served in community based non-work. 0 0 0
Number of people served in facility based work. 0 0 0
Number of people served in facility based non-work. 23,018 23,520 24,718
Number supported in integrated employment per 100,000 individuals in the general state population. 10.30 4.40 5.38

 

EDUCATION OUTCOMES

2015 2016 2017
Percent of children with IEPs aged 6 through 21 served inside the regular class 80% or more of the day (Indicator 5a). 68.13% 68.42% 68.75%
Percent of children with IEPs aged 6 through 21 served inside the regular class less than 40% of the day (Indicator 5b). 14.60% 14.79% 14.94%
Percent of children with IEPs aged 6 through 21 served in separate schools, residential facilities, or homebound/hospital placements (Indicator 5c). 1.12% 1.15% 1.11%
Percent of youth with IEPs aged 16 and above with an IEP that includes appropriate measurable postsecondary goals (Indicator 13). 99.58% 99.79% 99.52%
Percentage of youth who are no longer in secondary school, had IEPs in effect at the time they left school, and were enrolled in higher education within one year of leaving high school (Indicator 14a). 24.39% 21.41% 18.31%
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). 57.38% 53.69% 50.88%
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). 68.52% 66.67% 64.78%
Percentage of youth who are no longer in secondary school, had IEPs in effect at the time they left school, and were competitively employed within one year of leaving high school (Subset of Indicator 14). 32.99% 32.28% 32.57%

 

ABILITYONE/JWOD PROGRAM

2014
Number of overall agency blind and SD hours. 7,034,752
Number of overall total blind and SD workers. 6,822
Number of AbilityOne blind and SD hours (products). 1,436,521
Number of AbilityOne blind and SD hours (services). 4,235,134
Number of AbilityOne blind and SD hours (combined). 5,671,655
Number of AbilityOne blind and SD workers (products). 1,090
Number of AbilityOne blind and SD workers (services). 3,482
Number of AbilityOne blind and SD workers (combined). 4,572
AbilityOne wages (products). $12,142,783
AbilityOne wages (services). $54,025,955

 

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

2017 2018 2019
Number of 14(c) certificate-holding businesses. 0 1 1
Number of 14(c) certificate-holding school work experience programs (SWEPs). 0 0 0
Number of 14(c) certificate-holding community rehabilitation programs (CRPs). 81 66 60
Number of 14(c) certificate holding patient workers. 2 3 5
Total Number of 14(c) certificate holding entities. 83 70 66
Reported number of people with disabilities working under 14(c) certificate-holding businesses. 0 0 0
Reported number of people with disabilities working under 14 (c) certificate holding school work experience programs (SWEPs). 0 0 0
Reported number of people with disabilities working under 14(c) certificate holding community rehabilitation programs (CRPs). 6,425 5,317 4,331
Reported number of people with disabilities working under 14(c) certificate holding patient workers. 260 293 462
Total reported number of people with disabilities working under 14(c) certificate holding entities. 6,685 5,610 4,793

 

WIOA Profile

WIOA Profile

 

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

Employment First State Leadership Mentoring Program (EFSLMP)

~~At the federal, state, and local levels, Texas Workforce Commission (TWC) continues to make great strides toward a streamlined and coordinated one-stop delivery system serving adults and youth with disabilities and employers that employ these individuals. TWC’s executive director and the commissioner of assistive and rehabilitative services (transferred to TWC as of September 2016) participate as ex officio members of the Governor’s Committee on People with Disabilities. TWC also serves on state-level interagency councils and workgroups supporting gateways for individuals with disabilities, such as the Employment First Task Force and the Texas Department of Aging and Disability Services’ (DADS) Promoting Independence Advisory Council. Other memberships have included the Texas Department of Assistive and Rehabilitative Services’ (DARS) Medicaid Infrastructure Grant Advisory Council, and HHSC’s House Bill 1230 Workgroup on Transition Services for Youth with Disabilities. TWC will also continue to coordinate with the State Independent Living Council (SILC) and the Centers for Independent Living (CILs) to serve mutual consumers who need employment assistance as well as assistance with independent living resources. In this vein, TWC has collaborated with a number of agencies in developing guidance, such as a transition and employment guide for Texas students with disabilities.

On a local level, MOUs established between Boards and one-stop partners set forth the operation of the one-stop delivery system to seamlessly and meaningfully serve individuals with disabilities. The elements included in each MOU describe the referral processes between partners and funding of infrastructure costs for one-stop offices and the process for negotiation of the MOUs, as proposed under regulations §678.500 through §678.510 of WIOA. (Page 74) Title I

Evidence of Collaboration, Contracts, and Agreements To provide seamless service delivery to customers and ensure effective use of resources, TWC Vocational Rehabilitation Division (VRD) maintains the following collaborations with community partners and other state agencies:

• VRD Program Specialists provide information and technical assistance to the appropriate Texas Health and Human Services Commission (HHSC) Medical and Social Service Divisions when changes to VR employment services occur.

• VRD works with the appropriate HHSC Medical and Social Service Divisions to ensure that service definitions in the 1915(c) home- and community-based waivers accurately reflect Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services and Rehabilitation Services Administration regulations. This partnership allows services that result in competitive integrated employment to be delivered efficiently and timely through the payer of first resort.

• VRD offers free intensive training and technical assistance to HHSC’s Medical and Social Services Divisions’ Behavioral Health and Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities (IDD) Services Departments Special Projects Unit and community providers to become Benefits Subject Matter Resource staff.

• VRD partners with HHSC’s Medical and Social Services Divisions’ Behavioral Health and IDD Services Departments Special Projects Unit to provide cross training on the VR Long-Term Supports and Services System;

• VRD uses its current partnership with the Social Security Administration (SSA) to encourage CRP providers to become employment networks (ENs) under the SSA Ticket to Work Program. VRD offers incentive payments to CRP-ENs that provide:

• supported employment or job placement services during the provision of VR services; and

• extended support to Ticket to Work customers after VR case closure in order to advance employment or increase customer earnings. •

VRD partners with school districts that provide transition services to youth, and considers all aspects of the cooperative agreements in place to ensure continuity and timeliness of services for those school districts that initiate supported employment services before or after a student graduates.

VRD maintains membership and participation in the Association of People Supporting Employment First (APSE).

VRD has representation in the following: 

  • The Texas Council for Developmental Disabilities
  • The Council for Advising and Planning for the Prevention and Treatment of Mental and Substance Use Disorders
  • Texas Coordinating Council for Veteran Services
  • State Independent Living Council
  • Texas Technology Access Program Advisory Council
  • Texas Council on Consumer Direction
  • The Promoting Independence Advisory Council
  • HHSC Statewide Behavioral Health Coordinating Council
  • HHSC Office of Mental Health Coordination Cross Agency Liaison Committee
  • Governor’s Committee on People with Disabilities Contracts

VRD has bilateral service contracts with CRPs to provide specific employment services, which include supported employment services. VRD counselors may refer customers with all disabilities, including blindness and visual impairments, to CRPs with contracts for supported employment services. The terms and conditions of CRP service contracts are provided in the VRD Standards for Providers manual. (Page 247-248) Title IV

To improve employment rates, suggestions include flexibility in opportunities, increases in on-site work experiences, automated systems to assist providers in managing the reporting requirements of the services, and protections for the customer. All are under review for implementation. Continued data tracking will help identify effectiveness in technology or work experience training and may define service options that can be added for enhanced successes. Furthermore, the provision of SE services for customers will undergo an Rapid Process Improvement (RPI) process to identify opportunities for new or enhanced strategies for greater successes. The VR division has executed a memorandum of understanding with the Texas Education Agency (TEA) that includes prohibiting contracts between TEA or local education agencies (LEAs) and employers who pay subminimum wage. Customers already served in subminimum employment receive counseling consistent with Employment First principles and WIOA requirements to encourage meaningful employment in an integrated environment with or without supports. (Page 268) Title I

To improve employment rates, suggestions include flexibility in opportunities, increases in on-site work experiences, automated systems to assist providers in managing the reporting requirements of the services, and protections for the customer. All are under review for implementation. Continued data tracking will help identify effectiveness in technology or work experience training and may define service options that can be added for enhanced successes. Furthermore, the provision of SE services for customers will undergo an RPI process to identify opportunities for new or enhanced strategies for greater successes. The VR division has executed a memorandum of understanding with the Texas Education Agency (TEA) that includes prohibiting contracts between TEA or local education agencies (LEAs) and employers who pay subminimum wage. Customers already served in subminimum employment receive counseling consistent with Employment First principles and WIOA requirements to encourage meaningful employment in an integrated environment with or without supports. Finally, the VR division is also launching a capacity-building project for VR and LEA staff to develop skills for practical application through joint training. (Page 278) Title IV

VRCs work with Community Rehabilitation Program (CRP) SE specialists, HHSC providers, or service coordinators/case managers, and customers’ natural support networks to develop short- and long-term support strategies based on individual needs. This ensures the appropriate amount of support is available and provided so that employment can be maintained. Extended services, known in Texas as long-term support and services, can be publicly funded, “natural” or “in-kind,” or paid by the customer through SSI, Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI), or another Social Security Administration Title II work incentive program. Examples of extended services include, but are not limited to, consulting with a customer’s job supervisor regarding areas of concern or training needs; creating supports and strategies to improve work performance through job coaching; providing services such as medication management or hygiene; and identifying and training on transportation options. (Page 305) Title IV
 

Customized Employment

~~Plans for Improving Supported Employment Services TWC VRD will continue to strengthen the numerous supported employment service improvements implemented by legacy DARS in 2017, including the following:

  • Assisting CRPs in using the Supported Employment Assessment that focuses on discovery and person-centered techniques, vocational theme development, and providing worksite observations;
  • Working with VRCs on applying the supported employment planning and service provision to improve customer participation and informed choice by requiring review and signatures at each benchmark;
  • Providing ongoing training to TWC’s VRD subject matter experts, who provide technical assistance to VRCs on identifying and coordinating extended service/long-term support before beginning the benchmark process;
  • Ensuring that all criteria for determining job stability to ensure extended service/long-term support after VR case closure are being applied; and
  • Continuing to provide specific employment services to people with autism to improve their success in obtaining and maintaining employment. (Page 254) Title IV

All staff has access to training opportunities through the professional development plan created through the management chain’s professional development process. Training content for field staff is typically developed within the system of statewide training product modules disseminated through field management staff. Content learning includes topics that directly relate to the knowledge, skills, abilities, and attitudes necessary to perform jobs as expected by management and as detailed in job descriptions. Content training strategies include the following:

  • Continued focus on the foundations of the VR process for counselors and RAs, including accurate eligibility determination, inclusion of customers in planning for service delivery, thorough assessment and planning practices, models for VR counseling, informed customer choice, service to culturally diverse populations, purchasing practices, supported employment, customized employment, and other strategies for quality employment assistance, service delivery, and effective case note documentation;
  • Training in working with employers and customers to increase knowledge of the Americans with Disabilities Act, the Rehabilitation Act Amendments of 1998, the Olmstead decision, available independence initiatives, and WIOA to enhance employment options and employment knowledge;
  • Training in the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act, appropriate options and alternatives for effective transition services and Social Security work incentive programs, including programs under the Ticket to Work and Work Incentive Improvement Act of 1999;
  • Training in assessing appropriate rehabilitation technology interventions;
  • Extending opportunities to take advantage of training available from external sources for ongoing dissemination of timely trends related to disability and treatment modalities within the field of rehabilitation;
  • Coordinating with the Texas Administrators of Continuing Education and other entities as appropriate to develop localized training in targeted disability areas; and
  • Implementation of training for new counselors that focuses on critical thinking and sound decision making.(Page 263) Title IV

The division continues to work with the National Employment Team to facilitate employer relationships at the national level. Feedback and data gathered in the needs assessment for the 2017 CSNA encourage opportunities for additional and enhanced collaboration that have come about through some of the programmatic changes which moved other support programs HHSC. For example, HHSC outsourced the Independent Living program in Texas to the Centers for Independent Living. Meanwhile, the Independent Living Services for Older Individuals Who Are Blind (ILS-OIB) program has been retained in TWC with VR. As a result, formal referral processes and policies have been developed to expand the network of providers available for referral of those individuals needing independent living services and to increase the referral to VR of individuals who may benefit from ILS-OIB services. In one year, FFY’17, the VR division served 1,780 new customers in the ILS-OIB program following the program’s redesign. Similarly, the Comprehensive Rehabilitation Services program, which serves individuals with traumatic spinal cord or brain injury, and the Blind Children’s Vocational Discovery and Development program also remained in HHSC, which presents further opportunities to collaborate to provide referrals and receive referrals when those customers are ready for VR. Other collaboration with LEAs, higher education, and Boards has resulted in customer access to post—high school scenarios that provide training and employment in meaningful and higher-paying jobs. (Page 279) Title IV

Blending/ Braiding Resources

~~Over the past year, many of TWC’s analytic resources have been heavily focused on WOIA implementation activities, such as conducting an updated Comprehensive Statewide Needs Assessment and developing Participant Individual Record Layout (PIRL) and RSA-911 logic and testing. However, as that work begins to wind down over the next year, the Division of Operational Insight (DOI) has begun looking at several evaluation projects.

Regarding the Career and Training program, DOI is developing a new model to identify UI claimants who need additional assistance to have a timely return to work. This will be the seventh such model that TWC has developed and the sixth in the last 12 years. Additionally, TWC is interested in leveraging similar techniques to identify individuals who are not claimants but who might also benefit from additional assistance. (Page107) Title III

Texas has a proven history of supporting and encouraging regional planning and service delivery efforts. The benefits from regionalism include collaborative planning, pooling and leveraging of resources, capacity building, and ensuring that services can be delivered in the best possible way—regionalism is essential to the Boards’ mission. However, it is important that regionalism not be hampered by the designation of artificial boundaries. (Page 142) Title I

Barriers to serving unserved and underserved populations identified in the CSNA included:

  • lack of awareness of the impact of receiving services on Social Security benefits, highlighting the disincentive to work from the fear of losing benefits;
  • lack of awareness of VRD services among customers and/or parents;
  • lack of awareness of VRD services among doctors and other medical professionals;
  • growing need for services that will require partners to leverage available funding and may require increased funding; and
  • scarcity of available transportation that creates challenges for potential customers, especially in rural areas, to access VRD offices, providers, and jobs.

Strategies The following VRD strategies address the barrier created by not understanding the impact of service receipt on Social Security benefits:

  • Work closely with community partners such as the local Social Security Administration (SSA) offices and Work Incentives Planning and Assistance programs to dispel inaccurate perceptions regarding loss of benefits and attempt to work efforts.
  • Provide statewide training for all VRCs on basic benefits and work incentives support and services.
  • Expand training for additional VRD staff to be Benefits Subject Matter Resources (SMRs), including a train-the-trainer component for all SMRs, and provide ongoing statewide training in federal and state work incentive programs for all VRD staff.
  • Enhance current partnership with the SSA to encourage CRP providers to become ENs under the SSA Ticket to Work Program.

VRD offers incentive payments to CRP-ENs that provide: o supported employment or job placement services during the provision of VR services; and o extended support to Ticket to Work customers after VR case closure to advance employment or increase customer earnings.

The following VRD strategies address the barrier created by the lack of awareness of VRD services among customers, parents, and doctors and other medical professionals:

  • Increase collaboration with other organizations to improve customer access to services.
  • Increase outreach efforts in the business community.
  • Educate community leaders on the availability of VRD services to enhance outreach efforts to all ethnic groups.
  • Offer the 2-1-1 Texas statewide referral helpline, a service that assists customers with referrals to appropriate agencies for help.
  • Enhance community outreach activities. T

he following VRD strategies address the growing need for services by leveraging other partner and community resources, and seeking opportunities to increase efficiency in VRD structure and processes:

  • VRD will continue to work to educate state officials and oversight authorities about the value of VR services to Texans with disabilities and to the overall state economy.
  • VRD will leverage existing resources and make every effort to draw down the maximum federal funding match to provide needed services for Texans with disabilities.
  • VRD will fully use SSA programs and work to maximize SSA/VR reimbursements.
  • VRD will provide budget management training for staff. VRD strategy addressing the barrier created by scarcity of available transportation will be to continue to advocate for local improvement in public transportation at HHSC’s regional coordination forums. (Page 296-297) Title IV
     
DEI/Disability Resource Coordinators

~~No disability specific information found regarding this element.

Financial Literacy /Economic Advancement

~~2. Individualized career services. As consistent with program requirements and federal cost principles, individualized career services include the following:
• Comprehensive and specialized assessments of skill levels and service needs of adults and dislocated workers;
• Development of an individual employment plan;
• Group counseling;
• Individual counseling;
• Career planning;
• Short-term pre-vocational services;
• Internships and work experiences linked to careers;
• Workforce preparation activities;
• Financial literacy services;
• Out-of-area job search assistance and relocation assistance; and
• English language acquisition and integrated education and training programs. (Page 69) Title I

School to Work Transition

~~RCT recommends that VR ensure that the individual plan for employment (IPE) is completed as early as possible during the transition planning process and no later than the time the student with a disability who is determined to be eligible for VR services leaves the school setting. Response: Policy in VRSM C-1300 states that the VR counselor must complete the IPE before the eligible student leaves the school setting and no more than 90 days from the time of eligibility determination. VR is committed to ensuring that VR counselors comply with this policy, with an emphasis on monitoring through case reviews and readings. (Page 235) Title IV

The provision of quality VR services for Texas students with disabilities is a strategic priority for the Vocational Rehabilitation Division (VRD). VRD policies and procedures have been updated to align with the Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act (WIOA) §413(B)(F), which sets forth that the individualized plan for employment (IPE) must be developed as soon as possible, but not later than a deadline of 90 days after the date of the determination of eligibility, unless the counselor and the eligible individual agree to an extension to a specific date. Transition planning by VR counselors and school personnel facilitates the development and implementation of a student’s individualized education program (IEP) under the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act §614(d). The goals developed in the IEP are considered in the development of the IPE. The development and approval of an IPE is initiated by a VR counselor. Planning includes conversations about informed choice and program information so that students understand the available options for additional education, training, service providers, and employment. (Page 241) Title IV

The MOU will include the addition of pre-employment transition services (Pre-ETS) as defined in C.F.R. §361.48, and other Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act (WIOA) requirements, operationalizing a referral process for students with disabilities, and a process for inviting counselors to Admission, Review, and Dismissal (ARD) meetings. The MOU provides for consultation and technical assistance in planning for the transition of students with disabilities from school to post-school activities, including VR services; transition planning for students with disabilities that facilitates the development and completion of the IEP; clarification of the agencies’ respective roles and responsibilities, including financial responsibilities for providing transition planning services to students with disabilities; and a description of procedures for outreach to and identification of students with disabilities who are in need of transition services. (Page 242) Title IV

Pre-ETS are provided to students with disabilities. Required Pre-ETS activities are job exploration counseling, work-based learning experiences, counseling on opportunities for enrollment in postsecondary educational programs, workplace readiness training, and instruction in self-advocacy. In an effort to provide transitioning students with more effective and comprehensive preparation for work after high school, VRD is also increasing the number of summer work opportunities with community partners around the state. TWC is launching the Pathways to Careers Initiative (PCI), an initiative to expand Pre-ETS to Texas students with disabilities. The first strategy launched under PCI in summer 2017 was Summer Earn and Learn. (Page 243) Title IV

Consultation and technical assistance is provided at Admission, Review, and Dismissal meetings (ARDs), and attendance may be in person or through alternative means, including videoconferencing or conference calls (based on 34 C.F.R. §361.22(b)(1)). When necessary, VRD counselors and school personnel coordinate to satisfy documentation requirements for students and youth with disabilities who are seeking subminimum wage employment, as set forth in 34 CFR §397.4(c). VRD does not pursue subminimum wage employment for customers. When a customer chooses to pursue subminimum wage employment, counseling on other employment options is provided. When, after counseling, subminimum wage employment is still the customer’s choice, the VR case is closed. Those customers who choose subminimum wage employment receive counseling, guidance, and referral services within the first six months of employment and annually thereafter. TWC has regional and state office transition specialists who provide support to VR counselors and VRD field office managers in developing collaborative partnerships with and increasing cooperation between VRD, local school districts, and other community organizations as resources for students with disabilities. These transition specialists assist with the development of policy, training, and strategies that lead to effective provision of transition services. (Page 243) Title IV

TWC’s Pathways to Careers Initiative (PCI) is an initiative to expand Pre-ETS to students with disabilities during the summer months. It began in the summer of 2017. The first of five strategies, Summer Earn and Learn is a work-based learning program conducted in partnership with Boards and their employer partners. This statewide strategy includes employability skills training and paid work experience for students with disabilities. More than 1,500 students and more than 600 employers participated in Summer Earn and Learn in 2017. (Page 252) Title IV

As a result, these efforts improve the effectiveness of VR services for transition customers. Such collaborations take on many different forms in training VRD and educational staff, as well as in impacting families. VRD staff will continue to collaborate with ISDs in the provision of Pre-ETS as specified in WIOA. Additionally, counselors are often invited to education service centers to participate in educator training and to present training, particularly for more effective transition planning for students. VR staff works with schools in creating job fairs that allow students to meet with employers and gather information about the labor market. Family nights are hosted in some areas to invite interested members of the public to VRD offices to share resource information, discuss service delivery issues, and give input regarding best practices that would better support students and their families. In some areas, community partners such as churches, Workforce Solutions Offices, and community centers assist in providing training to school personnel on understanding cultural diversity in Texas. (Page 266-267) Title IV

As of October 1, 2017, the Vocational Rehabilitation Division (VRD) had 1,314 full-time employment (FTE) staff positions to provide direct services to VR customers, broken down as follows:
• Vocational Rehabilitation Counselors (VRCs)
• Transition Vocational Rehabilitation Counselors (TVRCs)
• Unit Support Coordinators (USCs)
• Vocational Rehabilitation Teachers (VRTs)
• Rehabilitation Assistants (RAs) (Page 256) Title IV

Typically, these are students who are on an IEP and in their last year of high school eligibility. The goal for these customers is competitive integrated employment within the business community or the business where the worksite rotations occur. Project SEARCH has expanded from one original program site established in 1996 at Cincinnati Children’s Hospital in Ohio, to over 400 sites internationally. Project SEARCH in Texas began in 2007 with Seton Healthcare Family in Austin. (Page 250) Title I

Typically, these are students who are on an IEP and in their last year of high school eligibility. The goal for these customers is competitive integrated employment within the business community or the business where the worksite rotations occur. Project SEARCH has expanded from one original program site established in 1996 at Cincinnati Children’s Hospital in Ohio, to over 400 sites internationally. Project SEARCH in Texas began in 2007 with Seton Healthcare Family in Austin. (Page 250) Title IV

The specialists assess staff skill levels, recommend and implement training approaches, and coordinate service delivery statewide. The Deafblind Unit serves customers who are deafblind. Specialists fluent in sign language consult with caseload-carrying staff, customers, and community resources to develop and implement plans and services. VRD also purchases state-certified interpreter services as needed. VRD works closely with the education system in transitioning students with disabilities from high school to postsecondary training or employment. TVRCs participate in training covering the Admission, Review, and Dismissal (ARD) process as well as the Individualized Education Program (IEP). When conducting seminars or workshops for the ARD and IEP process, trainers may also include parents and professionals from: • Texas Education Agency’s (TEA) Special Education Division • Regional education service centers and local education agencies (LEAs) • Disability Rights Texas • Partners Resource Network, Inc. • Texas School for the Blind and Visually Impaired Additionally, VR staff participates in cross-trainings with other entities involved in education for students with visual loss, such as the Texas Association for Education and Rehabilitation of the Blind and Visually Impaired, and sponsors and participates in workshops and seminars to help education staff members develop expertise in working with these students. (Page 262) Title IV

Table 1.

VR Needs Mentioned during 2017 Town Hall Meetings

  • SOURCE: DOI Town Hall Textual Analysis VR Program or Service Need Number of Mentions
  • Communication/Collaboration 89
  • Employer/Staff Training 39
  • Readiness/Work-Based Learning 34
  • Transportation/Housing 23
  • PAS & Supported Employment 18
  • Outreach & Marketing 15
  • Benefits & Work Incentives 10
  • Disability-Related Skills 10
  • Customer Choice 6
  • Academic/Vocational Training 2
  • Treatment of Impairments 2
  • Budgeting1
  • Medical/Vocational Assessment 1.

A few comments concerned the need for additional VR service providers, especially service providers that offer specialty skills training like orientation and mobility. Other comments expressed dissatisfaction with providers that did not meet expectations of quality and timeliness. These concerns will be addressed as the Texas VR program moves forward to implement the 2017 State Plan goal. Cultivating good working relationships between TWC’s VR division and external service providers is a top priority. (Page 274) Title IV

Partnerships Priority 1

Enhance collaboration and coordination with Boards, employers, and other stakeholders to increase competitive integrated employment outcomes and work-based learning experiences, which may include in-school or after-school opportunities such as internships, volunteer positions, and summer and year-round work experience programs. 

Discussion: Strengthening Relationships with Collaborators with VR’s merger into TWC, the agency has entered into data agreements with other federal and state agencies, including Veterans Affairs (VA). These agreements will help forge the way for programmatic collaboration and customer coordination for available services and resources. Working with the VA has resulted in an increased number of veterans who are served by the public VR program in collaboration with their VA counselors. To help anticipate and target Pre-ETS, TWC has also obtained per county counts of students with disabilities who are under a 504 Plan or receive IDEA services, current as of 2013—2014, from the US Department of Education’s Office of Civil Rights. (Page 279) Title IV

Expand and improve vocational rehabilitation services, including pre-employment transition services (Pre-ETS) for students with disabilities who are transitioning from high school to postsecondary education and/or employment, and improve coordination with state and local secondary and postsecondary educational entities.

Discussion: Meeting Pre-ETS Needs Over the past several years, the number of both eligible students and funds expended has increased. The number of students served increased by close to 10 percent, while funds, per transaction, increased by about 20 percent on average. The data from the 2017 CSNA shows several actions taken to address the needs of students and youth with disabilities. (Page 277) Title IV

Services to Students and Youth with Disabilities Priorities • Expand and improve vocational rehabilitation services, including Pre-ETS for students with disabilities who are transitioning from high school to postsecondary education and/or employment, and improve coordination with state and local secondary and postsecondary educational entities. • Provide supported employment services to youth and other individuals with the most significant disabilities who require extended support in order to achieve and maintain an employment outcome. 

Goal Area 3: Partnerships Priorities: • Enhance collaboration and coordination with Boards, employers, and other stakeholders to increase competitive integrated employment outcomes and work-based learning experiences, which may include in-school or after-school opportunities such as internships, volunteer positions, and summer and year-round work experience programs. (Page 282) Title IV

A customer’s extended services are identified and documented in the customer’s Individualized Plan for Employment. VRD providers do not provide services to customers during the 90-day period between “Job Stability” and “Service Closure.” If VRD providers do provide direct services to a customer during this period, job stability ends and is not reestablished until at least 30 days after the direct services or job change has occurred. A VRD-supported employment case is closed after a customer successfully maintains job stability for 90 days, with extended services being provided only by non—vocational rehabilitation resources. VRD identifies and makes arrangements, including entering into cooperative agreements, with other state agencies and other appropriate entities to assist in the provision of supported employment services. VRD coordinates with other public or non-profit agencies or organizations within the state, employers, natural supports, and other entities with respect to the provision of extended services. (Page 285) Title IV

The goal for Goal Area 3 is to enhance collaboration and coordination with local workforce development boards, employers, and other stakeholders to increase competitive integrated employment outcomes and work-based learning experiences, which may include in-school or after-school opportunities such as internships, volunteer positions, and summer and year-round work experience programs. In addition to the above goals, priorities for funds received under the Rehabilitation Act §603 are to increase the number of customers receiving supported employment services who achieve employment outcomes and the number of supported employment services providers statewide, and maintain the number of customers receiving supported employment services within their home communities. (Page 285) Title IV
 

Career Pathways

~~Texas aligned AEL and workforce development systems in 2013. The alignment required statewide deployment of models to develop the skills needed to transition to and complete postsecondary education programs and obtain and advance in employment. Successful models have included Integrated Education and Training (IET), career pathways, distance learning, and college and workforce preparation activities. Texas also aligned service-delivery options for individuals with disabilities and other special needs. AEL statewide service-delivery contracts are compliant with WIOA requirements under performance, workforce system, and rehabilitative services alignment and programmatic integration. (Page 115) Title IV

VRD has forged productive, proactive working relationships with Texas universities that train rehabilitation professionals. Involvement with Texas universities results in student requests for practicum and internship placements within VRD. Internships have been offered since 1999 for students completing master’s degrees in Rehabilitation Counseling or Rehabilitation. In FY’17, VRD hosted 20 internships. Evaluations of student interns come directly from certified, licensed, or Qualified Vocational Rehabilitation Counselor (QVRC) internship supervisors and department advisors from the intern’s university. Job vacancy notices are routinely posted on WorkInTexas.com, TWC’s statewide online jobsite. Hiring supervisors can also request a broader distribution of vacancy notices by having TWC Human Resources post them to additional sites such as Indeed.com, Monster.com, and others. Recruitment continues for bilingual Spanish- and English-speaking candidates to fill positions located in areas with high Spanish-speaking populations. Opportunities to promote employment to all community sectors are achieved by sharing job postings with universities. VRD encourages the hiring of qualified individuals with disabilities, and strives to ensure that staff represents ethnic diversity and thereby reflects the population of Texas and the customers we serve. Ethnic distribution of VRD employees and Texas residents is shown below. (Page 259) Title IV

VRD recognizes master’s or doctoral degrees in fields of specific study, such as VR counseling, clinical rehabilitation counseling, behavioral health, behavioral science, disability studies, human relations, human services, marriage and family therapy, occupational therapy, psychology, psychometrics, rehabilitation administration/services, social work, special education, vocational assessment/evaluation, or another field that reasonably provides competence in the employment sector in a disability field or rehabilitation-related fields. A counselor meets the CSPD standard by holding a master’s degree in VR counseling; master’s degree in “counseling or counseling-related field” with specific coursework; master’s, specialist, or doctoral degree in specific majors with specific coursework; current CRC certificate from CRCC; or current LPC licensure.

Therefore, a counselor with a master’s degree in counseling or a counseling-related field must, at a minimum, complete a graduate course in the Theories and Techniques of Counseling and successfully complete six graduate courses with a primary focus in the following areas:

  • one course on assessment;
  • one course on occupational information or job placement;
  • one course on case management and rehabilitation services;
  • one course on medical aspects of disabilities;
  • one course on psychosocial aspects of disabilities; and
  • one course on multicultural issues.

A counselor with a master’s or doctoral degree in one of the listed specific fields of study must complete a graduate course on the Theories and Techniques of Counseling, and successfully complete six graduate courses each with a primary focus in the areas listed, plus one course on Foundations of Rehabilitation Counseling. Although VR has taken steps to hire rehabilitation counselors with master’s degrees in VR counseling, a number of factors pose challenges to this undertaking. A significant barrier to hiring counselors with master’s degrees in rehabilitation counseling is the expanse of Texas that must be served. (Page 260) Title VI
 

Apprenticeship

Apprenticeship programs that are registered with the State or the U.S. Department of Labor (DOL), Office of Apprenticeship are automatically eligible to be included on the State Eligible Training Provider List (ETPL). Registered apprenticeship programs are given an opportunity to consent to inclusion on the ETPL before being placed on the list, and will remain on the ETPL for as long as the program is registered with DOL or until they request to be removed. Registered apprenticeship programs are not subject to the same application and performance information requirements or to the same initial or continued eligibility procedures as other eligible training providers. (Page 158) Title II

The Registered Apprenticeship Training Program for Veterans and/or Service members is a program that: • accelerates participants into or through a DOL Registered Apprenticeship Training Program in Texas (Apprenticeship Training Program); or • accelerates participants into or through a DOL Registered Pre-Apprenticeship Training Program that leads to enrollment of participants into an Apprenticeship Training Program during the grant period. (Page 151) Title I

As a division of TWC, VRD participates in the planning for and evaluation of the Texas workforce system conducted by the Texas Workforce Investment Council (TWIC), which serves as the state workforce investment board. These activities include:

  • participating in the development and implementation of the state-mandated strategic plan for the Texas workforce system;
  • participating in TWIC meetings and serving on the TWIC Apprenticeship and Training Advisory Committee; and
  • reporting quarterly and annually as requested by TWIC on the division’s activities to implement goals and objectives in the Texas workforce system strategic plan.

VRD works closely with other TWC staff to provide information, partner on community initiatives, and enhance customer referral processes. Across the state, VRD counselors have strong relationships with the 15 Disability Navigators located at Workforce Solutions Offices to provide consultation on disability issues to workforce system staff, and provide direct assistance to customers with disabilities as needed. Ongoing collaborative efforts between VRD and each of the 28 Boards have resulted in projects, initiatives, and processes such as joint community outreach and awareness events, summer youth initiatives, employer symposia and job fairs, customer referrals, coordination of services, and cross-training for staff. (Page 292) Title IV

Work Incentives & Benefits

~~Recommendation: RCT recommends that VR provide detailed training to VR counselors regarding the use of additional resources to assist customers, such as Medicaid waiver programs. Response: As part of a five-day intensive training, VR state office program specialists for benefits and work incentives provide training on Medicaid waivers to staff members who function as subject matter resources on Social Security Administration (SSA) benefits. Additionally, a two-part webinar series on waivers is held each year for relevant staff. To date, 121 VR counselors have been trained as subject matter resources for benefits and work incentives, and an additional 58 staff members in management, as well as state office program specialists, have completed the training.
 RCT acknowledges and commends VR for expanding the capacity of staff in assistive technology by training regional teams to become subject matter experts. Although it is possible that the Centers for Independent Living (CILs) around the state serve as resources to local VR staff, it is vital that VR staff have access to accurate and up-to-date information about assistive technology to overcome workplace barriers specific to disabilities. RCT recommends that VR clarify content in the Strategies and Use of Title I Funds for Innovation and Expansion Activities section to clarify which customers will be served by these teams. Response: The regional teams are composed of VR staff members who have been trained in all levels of assistive technology and who provide recommendations on assistive technology to customers with various disabilities. The loaning or purchasing of assistive technology is not limited to customers with specific disabilities; it is available to all customers as needed. (Page 235) Title IV

Recommendation: RCT recommends that VR indicate where and how the use of Social Security benefits can be used to pay for extended services after VR involvement. Response: Both VR and employment networks (ENs) participate in the Ticket to Work Partnership Plus Program for individuals between the ages of 18 and 64. When a VR case is closed successfully, the customer is informed that his or her Ticket to Work still has value and can be assigned to an EN to provide long-term job supports and services. Customers are informed of the ENs serving Texas. Additionally, subject matter resources on SSA disability benefits provide guidance to customers on using SSA work incentives, which can potentially assist with maintaining health insurance benefits and cash benefits after achieving employment. SSA benefits and the partnership between VR and ENs are fully explained on page 24, in the Social Security Administration section, and on page 58, in the Funding and Timing of Transition to Extended Services sections. (Page 236) Title IV

Recommendation: RCT recommends that VR indicate where and how the use of Social Security benefits can be used to pay for extended services after VR involvement. Response: Both VR and employment networks (ENs) participate in the Ticket to Work Partnership Plus Program for individuals between the ages of 18 and 64. When a VR case is closed successfully, the customer is informed that his or her Ticket to Work still has value and can be assigned to an EN to provide long-term job supports and services. Customers are informed of the ENs serving Texas. Additionally, subject matter resources on SSA disability benefits provide guidance to customers on using SSA work incentives, which can potentially assist with maintaining health insurance benefits and cash benefits after achieving employment. SSA benefits and the partnership between VR and ENs are fully explained on page 24, in the Social Security Administration section, and on page 58, in the Funding and Timing of Transition to Extended Services sections. (Page 238) Title IV

MOUs with education service centers, Texas Education Agency (TEA), and independent school districts (ISDs) to enhance coordination of services provided through programs like Project SEARCH and Project HIRE (Helping Individuals Reach Employment), and other community programs and support available to improve and expand services for transition-age students with disabilities • Coordination with the Texas School for the Blind and Visually Impaired to provide specialized programs that prepare students for the transition to postsecondary life and the workplace • A new MOU in 2016 with the Texas Department of Insurance’s Division of Workers’ Compensation to enhance referrals for return-to-work efforts • Coordination with the Social Security Administration (SSA) on employment incentives and support to maximize Social Security Administration/Vocational Rehabilitation (SSA/VR) reimbursement activity through the Ticket to Work Program • An MOU with the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs to maximize case service funds through better access to comparable benefits, and to enhance the case management process while avoiding duplication of services. • Coordination with the Texas Veterans Commission to help identify veterans who need additional support in securing benefits, gaining employment, and accessing advocacy services. (Page 239) Title IV

Social Security Administration TWC VRD coordinates with the Social Security Administration (SSA) to encourage CRP providers to become employment networks (ENs) under SSA’s Ticket to Work Program. TWC VRD offers incentive payments to CRP-ENs that provide: • supported employment or job placement services during the provision of VR services; and • extended supports to Ticket to Work customers after VR case closure in order to advance employment or increase customer earnings. TWC VRD and select CRPs participate in the Partnership Plus program. Additionally, VRD is participating in the Promoting Opportunity Demonstration (POD) pilot that will test a benefit offset in the Social Security Disability Insurance program to determine its effects on outcomes such as earnings, employment, and benefit payments. SSA and HHSC have a data exchange agreement that allows HHSC to access SSA data. Through a third-party agreement (State Verification and Exchange System), VRD is able to obtain SSA data regarding cost reimbursement from HHSC. (Page 254) Title IV

Changes to the VR program also promise to maximize counselors’ time with customers and allow for the creation of collaborative on-the-job training opportunities for counselors and other field staff. The future of the Texas VR program is customer-centered and needs-conscious, emphasizing access to resources and other employment-related programs at TWC. The implementation of Rapid Process Improvement (RPI) strategies will benefit the Texas VR program as well. RPI is a management tool based on the Theory of Constraints/Lean Management and provides a methodical approach to engaging staff to quickly identify, map, and improve the processes of an organization. RPI projects are designed to ensure that the division is making the most effective use of service delivery options available for both customers and employers.

Increase counselors’ knowledge of work incentives and the effect of earnings on SSI/SSDI. This will improve the quality of VR’s provision of counseling on decisions that impact employment. Discussion: Improving Knowledge Bases Interestingly, the data in the VR needs survey and Town Hall meetings for the 2017 CSNA indicate that staff, stakeholders, and customers have differing beliefs about work incentives and other benefits, their value, and application in the vocational counseling process. While respondents agree that a loss of benefits, along with lack of affordable child care, housing, and transportation are barriers to success, staff and stakeholders are more likely than customers to express concern for loss of benefits as a barrier. This could indicate several different beliefs. Applying a short-term problem-solving counseling methodology regarding child care, housing, and transportation may provide better information on a customer’s benefits and concerns while also addressing barriers to success. Continued tracking of financial beneficiary data, by type of beneficiary, as introduced in Table 3 below, will assist the VR division and the RCT in developing the specific extent of customer service needs among recipients of financial benefits. Financial benefits are defined as follows: • General assistance: cash assistance to dependent needy children and disabled adults who are not eligible for assistance under other cash assistance programs. (Page 275-276) Title IV

TWC’s Vocational Rehabilitation Division (VRD) provides supported employment services for customers with the most significant disabilities, including youth with the most significant disabilities. Funds received under Title VI, Part B §622 (also known as the supported employment program) of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973, as amended are used to serve these individuals. VR customers with the most significant disabilities may have multiple disabilities or functional limitations that result in the requirement for extended support services essential to retaining competitive integrated employment. Texas’ provision of supported employment services is integral to the state’s overall plan to provide services that result in competitive integrated employment outcomes for VRD customers.

Goal Area 1: Target Populations

The goals for Goal Area 1 are as follows:

  • Improve customer employment outcomes for individuals with significant disabilities, including but not limited to individuals who are blind or significantly visually impaired; individuals who are from minority backgrounds; individuals with neurodevelopmental disorders (including autism, intellectual disabilities and learning disabilities); individuals with mental health disorders; and veterans with disabilities.
  • Increase counselors’ knowledge of work incentives and the effect of earnings on Social Security Disability Insurance and Supplemental Security Income to improve counselors’ ability to provide vocational counseling on decisions impacting employment. (Page 284) Title IV

Potential funding sources include the Social Security Administration’s Ticket to Work Program, DSHS (the state mental health agency), CILs, Medicaid/CHIP—the administrative authority for all Medicaid waivers and state plan services. Additionally, HHSC, the intellectual and developmental disabilities state agency, is a potential funding source and is the operating authority for the following:

  • The majority of 1915(c) state Home and Community-based Services (HCS) Medicaid waivers;
  • 1915(k) Community First Choice; • Title XX community services; and
  • Employment services provided through state general revenue funds. (Page 286) Title IV

Expand training for additional VRD staff to be Benefits Subject Matter Resources (SMRs), including a train-the-trainer component for all SMRs, and provide ongoing statewide training in federal and state work incentive programs for all VRD staff. • Enhance current partnership with the SSA to encourage CRP providers to become ENs under the SSA Ticket to Work Program. VRD offers incentive payments to CRP-ENs that provide: • supported employment or job placement services during the provision of VR services; and • extended support to Ticket to Work customers after VR case closure to advance employment or increase customer earnings. The following VRD strategies address the barrier created by the lack of awareness of VRD services among customers, parents, and doctors and other medical professionals: (Page 296) Title IV
 

Employer/ Business

~~Starting January 1, 2016, all training providers must submit information and criteria as established under WIOA §122(d) through (g). Training providers use TWC’s Eligible Training Provider System (ETPS) to provide all required information for initial eligibility, which include Provider Assurances Statement, as well as applications for each program of study. ETPS doubles as TWC’s program certification system and the Statewide List of Eligible Training Providers, as required by WIOA §122 (a)(3). Boards then review and certify the provider and program if all minimum requirements are met, as established by the governor or higher standards as determined by Board policy. The ETPS automated system then informs TWC of the Board’s review and approval of programs of study, and validates all WIOA training provider requirements. Subsequent eligibility determinations take place on a biennial basis, where performance data is again evaluated against the standards. (Page157-158) Title II

Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act (WIOA) §231(a), pursuant to §222(a)(1), requires each eligible agency to award multiyear grants or contracts, on a competitive basis, to eligible training providers within the state for adult education and literacy (AEL) services. The Texas Workforce Commission (TWC) is seeking a waiver to grant the state flexibility to either award AEL grants directly to AEL providers or to allocate funds to Local Workforce Development Boards (Boards) to conduct a local competitive procurement for the delivery of AEL services. (Page 171) Title II
 

Data Collection

Congressional action to reauthorize and reform WIA—now WIOA—allows the Boards to continue to apply and improve upon an integrated strategy for serving the Texas labor market. Texas has implemented a majority of programmatic changes mandated by WIOA, such as providing Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF) participants with training and placement services by ES staff and using common performance measures across core programs for both adults and youth. WIOA clearly recognizes Texas’ integrated workforce system by the inclusion of the permissible alternate entity language. (Page 44) Title I

TWC envisions leveraging its experience in building an integrated reporting system to support Common Measures and the WISPR to build a similar system to perform integrated reporting for WIOA and for reports required by WIOA §116. Customer data from TWC’s case management systems, as well as other data such as UI wage records, will be extracted and combined to produce customer-centric, rather than program-centric, records to be used in reporting. The envisioned platform will allow integration of customer records across all six core programs as well as a variety of other partner programs to provide a holistic view of each customer, their services, and their outcomes. (Page 118) Title IV

Additional items required of the 2017 CSNA included:

i. an assessment of the needs of individuals with disabilities for transition services and pre-employment transition services, and the extent to which such services provided under RA73 are coordinated with transition services provided under the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA);

ii. an assessment of the need to establish, develop, or improve community rehabilitation programs (CRPs) within the state;

iii. a report submitted to the Texas Workforce Commission (TWC) containing information about updates to the aforementioned assessments, for any year in which updates are made; and

iv. the process that the state will use to demonstrate that required Pre-ETS are made available to potentially eligible students with disabilities before using any Pre-ETS funding on authorized activities.

Methodology the 2017 CSNA includes information from five main sources:

  1. An Internet-based needs assessment survey that was contracted with the Public Policy Research Institute at Texas A&M University to gather perspectives from customers, staff, and others
  2. Customer satisfaction surveys
  3. Data from ReHabWorks (the automated case management system used by the Texas VR program)
  4. Five town hall meetings held across Texas in Dallas, El Paso, Houston, McAllen, and San Antonio
  5. Ten key informant interviews of VR managers and counselors, including one VR manager from each integrated service area and one from each of the previously separate designated state units (DSUs) for blind and general VR services, one experienced counselor, and one novice counselor.

Data Collection and Organizational Challenges Data was gathered from January to October 2017. (Page 273) Title IV

511

~~When a customer chooses to pursue subminimum wage employment, counseling on other employment options is provided. When, after counseling, subminimum wage employment is still the customer’s choice, the VR case is closed. Those customers who choose subminimum wage employment receive counseling, guidance, and referral services within the first six months of employment and annually thereafter. TWC has regional and state office transition specialists who provide support to VR counselors and VRD field office managers in developing collaborative partnerships with and increasing cooperation between VRD, local school districts, and other community organizations as resources for students with disabilities. These transition specialists assist with the development of policy, training, and strategies that lead to effective provision of transition services. (Page 243) Title IV

Equal Opportunity and Nondiscrimination: Section 188

TWC additionally promotes partnerships with employers to overcome barriers to meeting workforce needs with the creative use of technology and innovation. TWC takes steps to ensure that the staff of public schools, vocational service programs, and community-based organizations are trained and supported to assist all individuals with disabilities in achieving competitive employment. TWC also promotes the availability and accessibility of individualized training designed to prepare an individual with a disability for the individual’s preferred employment. To this end, individuals with disabilities are given the opportunity to understand and explore options for education and training, including postsecondary, graduate and postgraduate education, vocational or technical training, or other training, as pathways to employment. (Page 46) Title I

Additionally, TWC employs an electronic and information resources (EIR) accessibility coordinator to serve as a contact for EIR accessibility concerns. The coordinator both monitors agency-wide compliance with accessibility policy and facilitates correction of noncompliant EIR. To these ends, the coordinator partners with accessibility-designated liaisons in each business area. An accessibility liaison functions as the primary contact for the business area’s compliance with EIR accessibility requirements. The liaison also assists in staff development, addressing the needs of individuals with disabilities, as well as in sharing TWC’s accessibility goals and requirements. (Page 130) Title I

Describe the State’s one-stop center certification policy, particularly the accessibility criteria. Achieving excellence in accessibility is based on three core principles:

  • ensuring that all customers can effectively use workforce products and services;
  • creating a workspace accessible for individuals with disabilities; and
  • complying with all federal and state legal requirements. (Page 130) Title I

The TWC Equal Opportunity (EO) Unit functions within the Sub recipient and Equal Opportunity Monitoring Department. The EO Unit monitors recipients of WIOA Title I financial assistance to determine compliance with the nondiscrimination and equal opportunity provisions of WIOA §188. Both programmatic and physical accessibility are addressed during an EO compliance review. As recipients of WIOA funding, Boards are monitored on-site based on a three-year rotation schedule, as referenced in the State Methods of Administration (MOA) maintained on file with DOL’s Civil Rights Center (DOL-CRC). All 28 Boards are scheduled for an EO review within a designated three-year period. Dates for EO monitoring reviews generally align with those of the TWC’s annual Board monitoring review. In determining which sites are selected for physical accessibility reviews, current Workforce Solutions Offices lists will be cross-referenced with the database of Workforce Solutions Offices previously reviewed by state-level staff. The EO manager will conduct a risk assessment in selecting locations for physical accessibility reviews based on the following criteria: • the location was not previously reviewed by TWC staff based on historical review data; • the location was not reviewed by TWC staff during the tenure of the current Board EO Officer; and/or • the location reflected numerous deficiencies in the previous EO review, thus warranting a follow-up review by TWC. (Page 131) Title I

TWC purchases services only from providers that are in compliance with the VR Standards. TWC-contracted service providers are subject to both ongoing and periodic programmatic and financial monitoring. Risk assessment tools are used at the state and the regional level to identify service providers to be monitored. On-site monitoring visits may be scheduled. Additionally, service providers not identified through the risk assessment tools may also be monitored. A monitoring team includes representatives from TWC VRD and VR Contract Oversight Monitoring. Contractors found in noncompliance with VR Standards may be placed on a corrective action plan. Sanctions vary and may include financial restitution where appropriate. All contractors are provided ongoing technical assistance. In addition to monitoring, VR Standards also require ongoing self-evaluation by each contracted service provider. (Page 246) Title IV

Approved providers also receive training in the field from VRCs, state office program specialists, employment assistance specialists, University of North Texas online courses, and Criss Cole Rehabilitation Center staff. Training may include:

  • disability awareness, including blindness, to give providers a better understanding of the challenges and limitations faced by customers;
  • education on Americans with Disabilities Act requirements to ensure that providers understand the guidelines and law governing provision of accommodations to customers;
  • education on other employment-related laws and recruitment, job matching, job customization, work accommodations, and retention;
  • Texas Confidence Builders training, which provides the philosophy TWC VRD has adopted to help customers gain personal independence, acceptance, and adjustment to blindness, and find meaningful work; and
  • accessible writing courses, which promote awareness and education related to the importance of accessibility in documents. (Page 247) Title II
Vets

Required one-stop partners: In addition to the core programs, the following partner programs are required to provide access through the one-stops: Career and Technical Education (Perkins), Community Services Block Grant, Indian and Native American programs, HUD Employment and Training programs, Job Corps, Local Veterans’ Employment Representatives and Disabled Veterans’ Outreach Program, National Farmworker Jobs program, Senior Community Service Employment program, Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF) (unless the Governor determines TANF will not be a required partner), Trade Adjustment Assistance programs, Unemployment Compensation programs, and YouthBuild. (Page 29)

CCH seeks to maximize college credits awarded to veterans and active duty service members for their military experience through streamlined degree paths and workforce certifications to expedite transition into the Texas workforce.

Since its initiation in 2011, CCH has undergone a phased-in expansion across the state. Fourteen Texas colleges and universities have established accelerated curricula for veterans and active duty service members in fields such as emergency medical services, surgical technology, respiratory therapy, nursing, information technology (IT), firefighting, advanced manufacturing, logistics, wind engineering, and oil field technology.

College Credit for Heroes (CCH) also created an online application and database where veterans and active duty service members can receive an official evaluation of credit to be used at colleges and universities. As of October 1, 2015, the website has received over 90,000 visits and more than 10,000 requests for evaluations. Texas veterans and active duty service members have earned an average of 25 credit hours each through the CCH website.

Additionally, the program aims to expand the network of partnering colleges and universities through memoranda of understanding partnerships. The award of academic credit is contingent on approval from a receiving Texas college or university; therefore, increasing awareness among these institutions is essential. Institutions that become partners commit to review CCH evaluations and to maximize the award of college credit to veterans and active duty service members for their military experience and training.

To date, the network of CCH partner schools has grown to more than 42 institutions of higher education, with more looking to join. (Page 76) Title I

Texas is home to 1.68 million veterans, the second largest veteran population in the nation. TWC is using the newest workforce development strategies and initiatives to expand services for veterans and spouses of veterans. (Page 127) Title I

Mental Health

~~Mental Health VRD promotes mental health evidence-based practices and other evidence-informed models of service that will improve competitive integrated employment outcome strategies for customers. Other examples of collaboration include: increasing coordination and developing new partnerships with other state and community organizations—mental health organizations, local authorities, DSHS (the state agency for mental health), and universities—that serve individuals with developmental or intellectual impairments and mental health disorders to develop resources, expand knowledge, and implement best practices; working with the HHSC Office of Mental Health to identify and implement best practices, engage potential community partners, and facilitate service coordination; and participating in the Mental Health First Aid training conducted by local mental health authorities, which teaches VRCs and other professionals how to assist someone experiencing a mental health crisis. Training is another area that emphasizes interagency cooperation. (Page 254-255) Title IV

Table 2: Vocational Rehabilitation Division Attrition Rate as of October 1, 2016 Job title Average Strength (average filled positions) Total Separations Volun Invol Retire Other (transfer to outside agency) Year-to-date (YTD) Rate Vol YTD Rate VRC 583.5 92 66 6 13 7 15.77% 11.31% TVRC 97.75 15 11 0 2 2 15.35% 11.28% Table notes: • YTD Rate calculated by dividing Total Separations by Average Strength • Vol YTD Rate calculated by dividing Volun by Average Strength • Attrition Rate information provided by TWC Human Resources Outreach activities will continue to be conducted to broaden the population of individuals with disabilities being served by VRD. Outreach, education, and awareness efforts will be targeted to underserved and unserved populations such as transition students, veterans, and individuals with neurodevelopmental disorders (including autism), and psychological disorders such as bipolar disorder or schizophrenia. (Page 257) Title IV

Return to Work/Stay at Work (RTW/SAW)

No disability specific information found regarding this element.

Past WIOA Profiles Year
Past WIOA Profile Year: 
2017
Past WIOA Profile Attachment : 

Policies and Initiatives

Displaying 1 - 10 of 85

Veterans On the Job Training - 05/16/2020

“On-the-Job training programs allow Veterans to learn a trade or skill through training on the job rather than by attending a formal program of classroom-based instruction yielding a degree or certificate.”

 

This page includes links to additional information and resources.

Systems
  • Other
Topics
  • Employer Engagement
  • Apprenticeship
  • Resource Leveraging
  • Veterans

2019 CMS Navigator Cooperative Agreement Recipient TEXAS Change Happens - 09/03/2019

~~“TEXAS Change Happens was awarded a statewide 2019 CMS Navigator Cooperative Agreement serving  “Left behind” consumers (i.e., hourly wage workers, variable income workers, persons without health insurance due to lack of affordability, persons with lack of knowledge about affordable health insurance options, victims of recent area storms and how to apply), rural residents, the uninsured and under insured.  There were no Sub-awardee/Subrecipient Contracted Organizations. They will partner with State Medicaid/CHIP agency; Enroll Gulf Coast Collaborative—made up of: schools; colleges/universities; businesses; government agencies; faith-based organizations; community-based organizations; civic organizations; elected and public officials; and various other organizations and institutions. For more information, please contact the designated project lead.Contact: Helen StaggPhone: (713) 374-1285Email: hstagg@changehappenstx.org  ” 

Systems
  • Other
Topics
  • Cross-Agency Collaboration / Partnerships

2019 CMS Navigator Cooperative Agreement Recipient MHP Salud - 09/03/2019

~~“MHP Salud was awarded a statewide 2019 CMS Navigator Cooperative Agreement serving The uninsured, low-income individuals with limited English proficiency from the “left behind” communities; and to the broader uninsured and currently insured population, including seasonal, self-employed individuals, and communities that may have been underserved during previous open enrollment periods, such as extremely rural populations. Sub-awardee/Subrecipient Contracted Organizations are. ARISE; LUPE;  South Texas Health Systems; Edinburg Regional Medical Center; McAllen Medical Center; Rio Grande State Center; Nuestra Clinica del Valle; Mid-Valley Half-Way House; and Colonia Unidas. They will partner with Community Resource Centers; Local Community Organizations; Public libraries; Federally-qualified Health Centers (FQHCs), clinics, and local hospital systems. For more information, please contact the designated project lead.Contact: Jennifer BishopPhone: (956) 968-3600 Ext. 2022Email: jbishop@mhpsalud.org  ” 

Systems
  • Other
Topics
  • Cross-Agency Collaboration / Partnerships

HUD Awards $4.8 Million To Help Low-Income Veterans Rehabiitate Their Homes - 07/18/2019

~~The U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) and the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) today announced $4.8 million in funding through the Veterans Housing Rehabilitation and Modification Pilot (VHRMP) Program to assist disabled veterans with modifying or rehabilitating their homes, making them more accessible.

Through the VHRMP program, grantees will make necessary physical modifications to address the adaptive housing needs of eligible veterans, including wheelchair ramps, widening exterior and interior doors, reconfiguring and reequipping bathrooms, or adding a bedroom or bathroom for the veteran’s caregiver.

“Our veterans gave everything in service to our country so it’s now our duty to ensure they have a safe and decent place to call home,” said HUD Secretary Ben Carson. “The grants awarded today ensure veterans living with disabilities can make the necessary adaptive modifications to their homes, allowing them to lead self-sufficient lives.”

“Our biggest hope for Veterans is that they fully participate in the country they fought to defend once they return from service,” said VA Secretary Robert Wilkie. “These grants further that goal by ensuring Veterans with service-related disabilities don’t just get housing, but live in a home that meets their specific needs. We’re proud to work with our nonprofit partners once again this year to help our Veterans.”

The purpose of this pilot program is to assist our nation’s low-income veterans living with disabilities who need adaptive housing to help them regain or maintain their independence. By partnering with the VA, HUD is addressing these challenges by awarding competitive grants to organizations that primarily serve veterans and low-income people.

Systems
  • Other
Topics
  • Cross-Agency Collaboration / Partnerships

Transition Services for Students and Youth with Disabilities - 07/01/2019

~~“Providing Pre-Employment Transition ServicesUnder the Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act (WIOA), vocational rehabilitation (VR) agencies are required to reserve and expend a minimum of 15 percent of their federal funding solely for pre-employment transition services (Pre-ETS).Pre-ETS activities are provided to individuals who:• meet the definition of a student with a disability; and are eligible or potentially eligible for VR services” 

Systems
  • Other
Topics
  • School-to-Work Transition
  • WIOA

VR-SFP Chapter 18: Supported Employment Services - 06/21/2019

~~“The VR Supported Employment Outcome-Based System uses the "Place, Then Train" model of employment placement to place customers in a job and then train them in order to help them find and keep long-term competitive integrated employment.

By being matched to a job first and then receiving ongoing supports and training, the customer develops job-readiness skills while on the job. An employer who hires a VR customer is expected to provide the same training to the VR customer as the employer would provide to other new employees, with help and support from the VR counselor and the SE specialist.

Customized employment practices develop the best job match for the customer, using flexible strategies to meet the individual's needs and the employer's unmet business needs. These practices address the unique skills, interests, abilities, capabilities, and support needs of an individual with a most significant disability. Many times, jobs must be created and/or designed with flexible strategies to allow for a suitable job match.”

Systems
  • Other
Topics
  • Customized Employment

Adult Mental Health Supported Employment - 06/18/2019

~~“Supported employment helps people 17 and older with mental illness, intellectual or developmental disabilities, and traumatic brain injury find jobs that pay competitive wages. These jobs are all in integrated settings in the community, meaning you will work with other people who don’t necessarily have disabilities. Unlike traditional vocational rehabilitation, which provides job readiness and other training, this program individualizes its services to align with your interests and preferences."

Systems
  • Other
Topics
  • Mental Health

Explanation of Services and Supports Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities - 06/04/2019

~~“This is a brief description of intellectual and developmental disability (IDD) services and supports provided by Texas Health and Human Services Commission (HHSC). Some services and supports have interest lists because they do not have immediate openings available. Persons who want particular services or supports should add their names to the appropriate interest list as soon as possible. Persons who are now receiving particular services or supports may add their names to the interest list for other services and supports. For more information about services and supports, including a list of providers in your area, please contact your local IDD authority (LIDDA). You can find your LIDDA’s contact information at https://apps.hhs.texas.gov/contact/search.cfm  .”

Systems
  • Other

5220 Money Follows the Person Demonstration Entitlement Tracking and Service Authorization System Data Entry - 06/03/2019

~~“Time spent in a nursing facility (NF) does not count toward the 365-day period; therefore, tracking is required to ensure Money Follows the Person Demonstration (MFPD) individuals receive the full 365-day entitlement period. The entitlement period begins the date the individual who agrees to participate in the demonstration is enrolled in the STAR+PLUS Home and Community Based Services (HCBS) program. The managed care organization (MCO) uploads Form H2067, Managed Care Programs Communication, to TxMedCentral in the MCO folder, indicating the total number of days the member spent in the NF. This information is sent after the 365th day.”

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

S.B. No. 753 AN ACT relating to wage requirements for community rehabilitation programs - 05/14/2019

~~“ AN ACT relating to wage requirements for community rehabilitation programs participating in the purchasing from people with disabilities program…

Sec.122.0075. MINIMUM WAGE PLAN.   (a) This  section applies to a community rehabilitation program that:(1)  is participating in the program administered under this chapter; and(2) pays workers with disabilities employed by the program wages that are less than the federal minimum wage under Section 6, Fair Labor Standards Act of 1938 (29 U.S.C. Section 206)”

Systems
  • Other
Topics
  • Segregated Day & Employment Services
Displaying 1 - 10 of 13

S.B. No. 753 AN ACT relating to wage requirements for community rehabilitation programs - 05/14/2019

~~“ AN ACT relating to wage requirements for community rehabilitation programs participating in the purchasing from people with disabilities program…

Sec.122.0075. MINIMUM WAGE PLAN.   (a) This  section applies to a community rehabilitation program that:(1)  is participating in the program administered under this chapter; and(2) pays workers with disabilities employed by the program wages that are less than the federal minimum wage under Section 6, Fair Labor Standards Act of 1938 (29 U.S.C. Section 206)”

Systems
  • Other
Topics
  • Segregated Day & Employment Services

Workforce Innovation & Opportunity Act (WIOA) - Program Overview - 04/21/2019

~~“The Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act (WIOA) is designed to help job seekers access employment, education, training and support services to succeed in the labor market, and to match employers with the skilled workers they need to compete in the global economy.”

Systems
  • Other
Topics
  • Cross-Agency Collaboration / Partnerships
  • WIOA

Texas SB 2027: Evaluation of Regional Employment and Training Opportunities for People with Disabilities - 09/01/2017

“(A) The Health and Human Services Commission in conjunction with the Texas Workforce Commission shall conduct a study regarding occupational training programs available in this state for individuals with an intellectual disability.

(B)The study must:

determine regions in this state where the training programs should be improved or expanded; and determine strategies for placing trained individuals with intellectual disabilities into fulfilling jobs using existing or improved training programs.”
Systems
  • Department of Workforce Development
  • Other
Topics
  • Cross-Agency Collaboration / Partnerships

S.B. No. 748 AN ACT relating to transition planning for a public school student enrolled in a special education program. - 06/09/2017

~~“SECTION 1. Section29.011, Education Code, is amended to read as follows:Sec. 29.011. TRANSITION PLANNING.   (a) The commissioner shall  by  rule  adopt  procedures  for  compliance  with  federal requirements relating to transition services for students who are enrolled in special education programs under this subchapter.” 

Systems
  • Other
Topics
  • School-to-Work Transition

TX Health and Human Services Commission: General Provisions - 09/01/2015

“It is the policy of the state that earning a living wage through competitive employment in the general workforce is the priority and preferred outcome for working-age individuals with disabilities who receive public benefits.”

Systems
  • Department of Rehabilitation Services
  • Other
Topics
  • Employer Engagement
  • 14(c)/Income Security
  • Provider Transformation
  • Cross-Agency Collaboration / Partnerships

Texas SB 1664 (ABLE Act) - 06/19/2015

"An act relating to the establishment of the Texas Achieving a Better Life Experience (ABLE) Program…(1) to encourage and assist individuals and families in saving funds for the purpose of supporting individuals with disabilities to maintain health, independence, and quality of life, and (2) to provide secure funding for qualified disability expenses on behalf of designated beneficiaries with disabilities that will supplement, but not supplant, benefits provided through private insurance, the Medicaid program under title XIX of the Social Security Act, the Supplemental Security Income program under title XVI of the Social Security Act, the beneficiary's employment, and other sources."

Systems
  • Department of Education
  • Other
Topics
  • Asset Development / Financial Capability
Citations

Texas SB 1664 - 06/19/2015

"An act relating to the establishment of the Texas Achieving a Better Life Experience (ABLE) Program…(1) to encourage and assist individuals and families in saving funds for the purpose of supporting individuals with disabilities to maintain health, independence, and quality of life, and (2) to provide secure funding for qualified disability expenses on behalf of designated beneficiaries with disabilities that will supplement, but not supplant, benefits provided through private insurance, the Medicaid program under title XIX of the Social Security Act, the Supplemental Security Income program under title XVI of the Social Security Act, the beneficiary's employment, and other sources."

 

Systems
  • Other
Topics
  • Asset Development / Financial Capability
Citations

Texas SB 7: Enacting Community First Choice - 06/14/2013

“AN ACT relating to improving the delivery and quality of certain health and human services, including the delivery and quality of Medicaid acute care services and long-term services and supports.”

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

2013 Employment Assistance and Supported Employment Bill - 06/14/2013

This acts relates to the provision of employment assistance and supported employment to certain Medicaid waiver program participants. Assistance includes providing assistance to an individual that helps them locate paid employment in the community.

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

Texas 2013 Employment First Bill (S.B 1226) - 06/14/2013

The act establishes an employment-first policy and task force to promote integrated competitive employment opportunities that provide a living wage for individuals with disabilities. The Texas Education Agency and the Texas Workforce Commission will jointly adopt and implement the policy.

Systems
  • Department of Workforce Development
  • Department of Education
Topics
  • School-to-Work Transition
  • Home and Community Based Services (HCBS)
  • Employer Engagement
  • Cross-Agency Collaboration / Partnerships

No Executive Orders have been entered for this state.

Displaying 1 - 10 of 35

Veterans On the Job Training - 05/16/2020

“On-the-Job training programs allow Veterans to learn a trade or skill through training on the job rather than by attending a formal program of classroom-based instruction yielding a degree or certificate.”

 

This page includes links to additional information and resources.

Systems
  • Other
Topics
  • Employer Engagement
  • Apprenticeship
  • Resource Leveraging
  • Veterans

Transition Services for Students and Youth with Disabilities - 07/01/2019

~~“Providing Pre-Employment Transition ServicesUnder the Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act (WIOA), vocational rehabilitation (VR) agencies are required to reserve and expend a minimum of 15 percent of their federal funding solely for pre-employment transition services (Pre-ETS).Pre-ETS activities are provided to individuals who:• meet the definition of a student with a disability; and are eligible or potentially eligible for VR services” 

Systems
  • Other
Topics
  • School-to-Work Transition
  • WIOA

VR-SFP Chapter 18: Supported Employment Services - 06/21/2019

~~“The VR Supported Employment Outcome-Based System uses the "Place, Then Train" model of employment placement to place customers in a job and then train them in order to help them find and keep long-term competitive integrated employment.

By being matched to a job first and then receiving ongoing supports and training, the customer develops job-readiness skills while on the job. An employer who hires a VR customer is expected to provide the same training to the VR customer as the employer would provide to other new employees, with help and support from the VR counselor and the SE specialist.

Customized employment practices develop the best job match for the customer, using flexible strategies to meet the individual's needs and the employer's unmet business needs. These practices address the unique skills, interests, abilities, capabilities, and support needs of an individual with a most significant disability. Many times, jobs must be created and/or designed with flexible strategies to allow for a suitable job match.”

Systems
  • Other
Topics
  • Customized Employment

Adult Mental Health Supported Employment - 06/18/2019

~~“Supported employment helps people 17 and older with mental illness, intellectual or developmental disabilities, and traumatic brain injury find jobs that pay competitive wages. These jobs are all in integrated settings in the community, meaning you will work with other people who don’t necessarily have disabilities. Unlike traditional vocational rehabilitation, which provides job readiness and other training, this program individualizes its services to align with your interests and preferences."

Systems
  • Other
Topics
  • Mental Health

Explanation of Services and Supports Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities - 06/04/2019

~~“This is a brief description of intellectual and developmental disability (IDD) services and supports provided by Texas Health and Human Services Commission (HHSC). Some services and supports have interest lists because they do not have immediate openings available. Persons who want particular services or supports should add their names to the appropriate interest list as soon as possible. Persons who are now receiving particular services or supports may add their names to the interest list for other services and supports. For more information about services and supports, including a list of providers in your area, please contact your local IDD authority (LIDDA). You can find your LIDDA’s contact information at https://apps.hhs.texas.gov/contact/search.cfm  .”

Systems
  • Other

Michael E. DeBakey VA Medical Center - Houston, Texas Vocational Rehabilitation - 04/23/2019

~~“Program MissionVocational Rehabilitation is committed to assisting Veterans with psychiatric or physical disabilities reach their highest level of vocational productivity.Program Goals• Provide structured vocational evaluations• Improve pre-vocational skills including:   - Adhering to a work schedule   - Working cooperatively with others   - Accepting supervision and doing quality work• Reduce psychiatric and physical symptoms• Increase relapse prevention skills• Improve self-esteem and enhance quality of life• Return Veterans to competitive employment ” 

Systems
  • Other

S.B. 748: Modernizing Transition Planning - 02/28/2019

~~This is a presentation on the current state of Transition in the Texas Education Agency.  Topics include: Senate Bill 748 (85th Texas Legislature) Current Statutes Amended Responsibilities What is “Appropriate?” Supported Decision-Making TEA Model Form and Resources Takeaways for LEAs 

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

Texas Statewide Behavioral Health Fiscal Years 2017 – 2021Strategic Plan Update and the Foundation for the IDD Strategic Plan - 02/05/2019

~~“The 2018-19General Appropriations Act, S.B. 1, 85thLegislature, Regular Session, 2017(Article IX, Section 10.04) added three agencies to the Council: Texas Department of Housing and Community Affairs, Texas Workforce Commission, and Texas Education Agency. It also required community collaboratives that receive funding under the provisions of the bill to report twice annually to the Statewide Behavioral Health Coordinating Council(“the Council”).While this strategic plan was originally intended to help legislators understand the scope of programs and outcomes related to behavioral health-related appropriated funds, this plan does reference programs and initiatives implemented using multiple or other funding sources”

Systems
  • Other
Topics
  • Mental Health
  • Cross-Agency Collaboration / Partnerships

Employment First Fact Sheet - 02/01/2019

~~“It is policy and law in the State of Texas that earning a living wage through competitive integrated employment is the first and preferred outcome for adults with disabilities who receive public benefits. Employment First promotes the expectation that Texans with disabilities are valued members of the workforce and able to meet the same employment standards, responsibilities, and expectations as other working-age adults. The Council supports Employment First policies and will work with the legislature, state agency staff, stakeholders (self-advocates, family members, and employers), and interested parties to pro-mote Employment First policies and positions.”

Systems
  • Other
Topics
  • Cross-Agency Collaboration / Partnerships

Governor’s Small Business Handbook - 01/12/2019

~~“There are several important steps to consider when starting a business in Texas. The Small Business Handbook provides a comprehensive overview of business planning, registration, requirements and financing. The Handbook also identifies programs and organizations supporting entrepreneurs and small business owners throughout the state..”

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

HUD Awards $4.8 Million To Help Low-Income Veterans Rehabiitate Their Homes - 07/18/2019

~~The U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) and the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) today announced $4.8 million in funding through the Veterans Housing Rehabilitation and Modification Pilot (VHRMP) Program to assist disabled veterans with modifying or rehabilitating their homes, making them more accessible.

Through the VHRMP program, grantees will make necessary physical modifications to address the adaptive housing needs of eligible veterans, including wheelchair ramps, widening exterior and interior doors, reconfiguring and reequipping bathrooms, or adding a bedroom or bathroom for the veteran’s caregiver.

“Our veterans gave everything in service to our country so it’s now our duty to ensure they have a safe and decent place to call home,” said HUD Secretary Ben Carson. “The grants awarded today ensure veterans living with disabilities can make the necessary adaptive modifications to their homes, allowing them to lead self-sufficient lives.”

“Our biggest hope for Veterans is that they fully participate in the country they fought to defend once they return from service,” said VA Secretary Robert Wilkie. “These grants further that goal by ensuring Veterans with service-related disabilities don’t just get housing, but live in a home that meets their specific needs. We’re proud to work with our nonprofit partners once again this year to help our Veterans.”

The purpose of this pilot program is to assist our nation’s low-income veterans living with disabilities who need adaptive housing to help them regain or maintain their independence. By partnering with the VA, HUD is addressing these challenges by awarding competitive grants to organizations that primarily serve veterans and low-income people.

Systems
  • Other
Topics
  • Cross-Agency Collaboration / Partnerships

Employment First Training - 07/02/2018

~~HHSC works with employers to match them with job applicants with disabilities who can add value to a business as they live the life they want.

HHSC will provide a series of free, one-day workshops on our Employment First Training program:

Who Should Attend

Staff who support individuals who have set employment as a goal, providers of waiver services, service coordinators, case managers, LIDDAs, professional and direct care staff.

Advocates, service recipients, families, guardians and anyone interested in employment services for people with Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities are welcome to attend.

What's Covered•Texas Employment First Policy.•Employment services in Medicaid waivers, including billable services and billing information.•How Medicaid waiver employment services and Texas Workforce Solutions-Vocational Rehabilitation Services works.•Overview of Social Security Administration disability benefits.•HCBS settings rule changes.•HHS Employment Recruitment Coordinator Project and Employment Initiatives.”

Systems
  • Other
Topics
  • Cross-Agency Collaboration / Partnerships

Texas State Plans for VR Services and Supported Employment Services Programs - 09/30/2014

“The Division for Rehabilitation Services (DRS) recognizes that collaboration with community organizations and other state agencies is essential to achieving successful employment outcomes for consumers with the most significant disabilities. DRS seeks opportunities to identify, develop, and implement cooperative agreements with other state agencies and appropriate entities, particularly when these agreements establish a framework to assist with the provision of supported employment services and extended services for consumers with the most significant disabilities.”

Systems
  • Department of Rehabilitation Services
  • Department of Education
Topics
  • School-to-Work Transition
  • Mental Health
  • Home and Community Based Services (HCBS)
  • Employer Engagement
  • Cross-Agency Collaboration / Partnerships

Employment First Task Force Home Page

The Employment First Task Force, authorized by Senate Bill 1226 (83rd Legislature, Regular Session, 2013), was established by the Texas Health and Human Services Commission executive commissioner to promote competitive employment of people with disabilities and the expectation that individuals with disabilities are able to meet the same employment standards, responsibilities, and expectations as any other working-age adult.”

 

Systems
  • Department of Rehabilitation Services
  • Department of Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities
  • Department of Workforce Development
  • Department of Education
Topics
  • School-to-Work Transition
  • Home and Community Based Services (HCBS)
  • Employer Engagement
  • Cross-Agency Collaboration / Partnerships

Texas Dept of Assistive and Rehabilitative Services and Dept of Aging and Disability Services MOA

Recognizing the need to coordinate the provision of services to individuals receiving services from the Texas Department of Aging and Disability Services (DADS) who may be eligible for or are receiving Vocational Rehabilitation (VR) or Independent Living (IL) services from the Texas Department of Assistive and Rehabilitative Services (DARS), DARS and DADS enter into this Memorandum of Agreement (MOA) in accordance with the provisions of CFR §361.53(d) and 111.0525(b) of the Texas Human Resources Code. 

Systems
  • Department of Rehabilitation Services
  • Department of Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities
Topics
  • Home and Community Based Services (HCBS)
  • Cross-Agency Collaboration / Partnerships
Displaying 1 - 4 of 4

Texas Money Follows The Person - 06/30/2016

~~“Texas was among the first 30 states chosen to participate in the Money Follows the Person Demonstration (MFPD) in 2007. As of June 2016, 43 states participate in this federal demonstration designed to help older adults or persons who have disabilities move from institutional settings back into their communities.MFPD provides federal grant funding as well as funding from Medicaid matching cost savings [1], as defined at the bottom of this document.> to assist states in moving individuals from institutions to the community. In fiscal year 2016, HHSC has budgeted over $16 million in federal funding to help individuals transition out of nursing facilities, State Supported Living Centers, Intermediate Care Facilities for Individuals with Intellectual Disabilities and other institutions. Funds are also used to provide behavioral health supports that help individuals remain living in the community, enhance opportunities for integrated employment for greater self-sufficiency, and increase the availability of affordable, accessible housing.MFPD has helped Texas rebalance its long-term services and supports system by increasing the use of community-based services rather than institutional services. Early in calendar year 2008, Texas reported 51 percent of its long term services and support expenditures were used to support institution-based services. By the end of calendar year 2014, institution-based services accounted for 41.2 percent of long-term services and supports spending. Community-based services now comprise the majority of Texas long-term services and supports system.” 

Systems
  • Department of Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities
  • Medicaid Agencies
  • Other
Topics
  • Home and Community Based Services (HCBS)
  • Cross-Agency Collaboration / Partnerships

Texas 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.”

In FY2012, Texas was awarded an EDI grant for an expansion of supported employment through Consumer Operated Services Programs.

Systems
  • Department of Mental Health
Topics
  • Mental Health

Texas Ticket to Work - 06/25/2008

“Under the Ticket to Work Program and Title II and Title XVI of the Act, SSA issues “tickets” to SSDI and SSI blind or disabled beneficiaries. In this voluntary program, each beneficiary who receives a ticket can use it to obtain services from a provider, known as an employment network (EN), or from a state vocational rehabilitation (VR) agency. The VR agency in Texas is the Texas Department of Assistive and Rehabilitative Services (DARS)…

The intent of the Ticket to Work Program is to…establish a system in which qualified ENs provide employment and other support services (e.g., case management, benefits counseling, and job training); provide individualized tickets to beneficiaries for the “purchase” of services from approved ENs; and give beneficiaries a real choice in obtaining the services, education, and technology needed to find, enter, and maintain employment within an expanding universe of service providers.”

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

Texas Medicaid Buy-In Program

The program “offers low-cost Medicaid health care services — including community-based services and supports to working people with a disability. Some people might have to pay a monthly fee” to receive services which include but not limited to:  • Doctor / clinic visits  • Mental health care  • Occupational therapy (help learning how to do everyday tasks)  • X-rays  • Physical therapy (help learning how to move around better or become stronger)

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

2019 CMS Navigator Cooperative Agreement Recipient TEXAS Change Happens - 09/03/2019

~~“TEXAS Change Happens was awarded a statewide 2019 CMS Navigator Cooperative Agreement serving  “Left behind” consumers (i.e., hourly wage workers, variable income workers, persons without health insurance due to lack of affordability, persons with lack of knowledge about affordable health insurance options, victims of recent area storms and how to apply), rural residents, the uninsured and under insured.  There were no Sub-awardee/Subrecipient Contracted Organizations. They will partner with State Medicaid/CHIP agency; Enroll Gulf Coast Collaborative—made up of: schools; colleges/universities; businesses; government agencies; faith-based organizations; community-based organizations; civic organizations; elected and public officials; and various other organizations and institutions. For more information, please contact the designated project lead.Contact: Helen StaggPhone: (713) 374-1285Email: hstagg@changehappenstx.org  ” 

Systems
  • Other
Topics
  • Cross-Agency Collaboration / Partnerships

2019 CMS Navigator Cooperative Agreement Recipient MHP Salud - 09/03/2019

~~“MHP Salud was awarded a statewide 2019 CMS Navigator Cooperative Agreement serving The uninsured, low-income individuals with limited English proficiency from the “left behind” communities; and to the broader uninsured and currently insured population, including seasonal, self-employed individuals, and communities that may have been underserved during previous open enrollment periods, such as extremely rural populations. Sub-awardee/Subrecipient Contracted Organizations are. ARISE; LUPE;  South Texas Health Systems; Edinburg Regional Medical Center; McAllen Medical Center; Rio Grande State Center; Nuestra Clinica del Valle; Mid-Valley Half-Way House; and Colonia Unidas. They will partner with Community Resource Centers; Local Community Organizations; Public libraries; Federally-qualified Health Centers (FQHCs), clinics, and local hospital systems. For more information, please contact the designated project lead.Contact: Jennifer BishopPhone: (956) 968-3600 Ext. 2022Email: jbishop@mhpsalud.org  ” 

Systems
  • Other
Topics
  • Cross-Agency Collaboration / Partnerships

Texas Department of Health and Human Services Training Initiatives - 07/01/2017

“To provide educational opportunities to enhance services provided across the state, Texas Health and Human Services develops and provides free training. Training initiatives are based on identified needs of services providers, individuals receiving services and supports, and emerging and best practices.”

Topics include employment, SSI/SSDI benefits, Employment First, Positive Behavior Management and Support, and mental health and trauma-informed care for people with intellectual and developmental disabilities.

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

Texas Medicaid Person-Centered Planning Training - 02/16/2017

This page lists the Person-Centered Planning Training Requirements for various providers, caseworkers, state employees, etc. if they are part of a planning team. It also includes a link to sign up for trainings.

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

The Texas Customized Self-Employment Project: The Customized Employment Plan Design

This presentation describes Customized Employment as “a flexible process designed to personalize the employment relationship between a job candidate and an employer in a way that meets the needs of both.”  It focuses heavily on the processes and value of Discovery in the employment process.

Systems
  • Department of Rehabilitation Services
  • Department of Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities
  • Other
Topics
  • Customized Employment
  • Self-Employment
  • Employer Engagement
  • Provider Transformation

The Texas Customized Self-Employment Project

This presentation presents Self-Employment as a viable employment option for people with disabilities.

Systems
  • Department of Rehabilitation Services
  • Department of Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities
Topics
  • Customized Employment
  • Self-Employment

Texas Transition and Employment Guide

This transition and employment guide is for you, the student in Texas public school, who may have received special education services due to a disability. It also provides helpful information for your parents. This guide has steps you and your parents can take to make sure you are able to find the right work or educational choices for you after high school. It also tells you where to get the services you will need after high school.    The guide is divided into sections on Self Advocacy, Transition Services, Employment and Supported Employment, Social Security Programs, Community and Long Term Services and Supports, Postsecondary Educational Programs and Services, Information Sharing, and Guardianship and Alternatives. Each section has phone numbers, emails, and websites to help you find what you need. At the end of each section and at the end of the guide, you will find a timeline of steps that you and your parents can take as you make the transition from student to adult.”  
Systems
  • Department of Education
  • Other
Topics
  • Self-Employment
  • School-to-Work Transition
  • Mental Health
Displaying 1 - 3 of 3

Wal-Mart to Pay $150,000 to Settle EEOC Age and Disability Discrimination Suit - 02/19/2015

“Under the terms of the two-year consent decree settling the case, Wal-Mart will pay $150,000 in relief to Moorman. In addition, Wal-Mart agreed to provide training for employees on the ADA and the ADEA. The training will include an instruction on the kind of conduct that may constitute unlawful discrimination or harassment, as well as an instruction on Wal-Mart's procedures for handling requests for reasonable accommodations under the ADA. Wal-Mart will also report to the EEOC regarding its compliance with the consent decree and post a notice to employees about the settlement.”

Systems
  • Other
Topics
  • Employer Engagement

Texas Wendy’s Consent Decree - 10/10/2012

“Under the terms of the two-year consent decree settling the case, Wendy's will pay $41,500 in relief to a person who applied to a job with the company, but was denied despite his qualifications. “In addition, Wendy's has agreed to provide training for all managers and supervisory employees, including its company president, on the ADA. The training will include a discussion related to hiring individuals with disabilities. In addition, the training will include a specific instruction on communication devices, such as the use of the Texas Relay System or video relay service regarding communication between Wendy's employees and applicants with hearing impairments.’“

Systems
  • Other
Topics
  • Employer Engagement

Steward et. al. v. Abbott et. al. – 5:10-CV-1025 – (W.D. Tex. 2010)

~On September 20, 2012, the Court granted the United States' request to intervene in a pending lawsuit against the State of Texas. The suit claims that Texas unnecessarily segregates individuals with intellectual and developmental disabilities in nursing facilities, and that this violates the law under Title II of the Americans with Disabilities Act and Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act.

In August 2013, the Parties entered a two-year Interim Settlement that required the State to begin expanding community alternatives to nursing facilities. During this time, the Parties negotiated extensively to reach a comprehensive settlement of all remaining issues. Litigation resumed in October 2015, after settlement negotiations failed and the Interim Agreement expired. In May 2016, the Court denied the State’s motions to dismiss the lawsuit and granted the private Plaintiffs’ renewed motion for class certification. The United States had filed a brief in support of the Plaintiffs’ motion, which asked the Court to resolve the common claims of over 4,000 people with intellectual and developmental disabilities “who currently or will in the future reside in nursing facilities, or who are being, will be, or should be screened for admission . . .”. The Parties are now in the early stages of discovery.

Systems
  • Other
Topics
  • Mental Health
  • Home and Community Based Services (HCBS)
Displaying 1 - 10 of 18

5220 Money Follows the Person Demonstration Entitlement Tracking and Service Authorization System Data Entry - 06/03/2019

~~“Time spent in a nursing facility (NF) does not count toward the 365-day period; therefore, tracking is required to ensure Money Follows the Person Demonstration (MFPD) individuals receive the full 365-day entitlement period. The entitlement period begins the date the individual who agrees to participate in the demonstration is enrolled in the STAR+PLUS Home and Community Based Services (HCBS) program. The managed care organization (MCO) uploads Form H2067, Managed Care Programs Communication, to TxMedCentral in the MCO folder, indicating the total number of days the member spent in the NF. This information is sent after the 365th day.”

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

What is Community First Choice? - 01/01/2019

~~“Community First Choice (CFC) provides certain services and supports to individuals living in the community who are enrolled in the Medicaid program and meet CFC eligibility requirements. Services and supports may include:• activities of daily living (eating, toileting, and grooming), activities related to living independently in the community, and health-related tasks (personal assistance services);• acquisition, maintenance, and enhancement of skills necessary for the individuals to care for themselves and to live independently in the community (habilitation);• providing a backup system or ways to ensure continuity of services and supports (emergency response services); and• training people how to select, manage and dismiss their own attendants (support management).In Texas, CFC may be available to people enrolled in Medicaid, including those served by:• 1915 (c) waiver programs;• Medicaid managed care; andpersonal care services for children.” 

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

Texas Medicaid and CHIP Reference Guide - 12/31/2018

~~“Medicaid Buy-In (MBI) for Workers with DisabilitiesThe Medicaid Buy-In (MBI) program enables working persons with disabilities to buy in to Medicaid. Individuals with income below 250 percent of the federal poverty level (FPL) and resources at or below $5,000 may qualify and may pay a monthly premium in order to receive Medicaid benefits.” 

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

2018 Revised Texas Promoting Independence Plan - 12/07/2018

~~“Funding for Reduction in Community-based Services Interest Lists  Texas has five 1915(c) Medicaid waiver programs and one Home and Community-Based Services (HCBS) program in the 1115 waiver, which serve people who have a physical, IDD or a related condition.20 Community-based services and supports delivered via Medicaid waiver programs are in high demand and interest consistently outweighs available resources. Interest list numbers reflect individuals who have demonstrated interest in a waiver, but have not yet been assessed for financial or functional eligibility. Individuals may not be found eligible for the program after being assessed. Some service needs may be met through other programs, such as CFC or GR or Title XX funded services, until the individual’s name reaches the top of the interest list.”

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

Medicaid buy-in program for employees with disabilities - 09/18/2018

~~The Medicaid buy-in program allows working Texans with disabilities to get Medicaid, even if they earn more than the Medicaid income limits. To take part in the program, you can't earn more than $2,453 per month. People in the buy-in program pay monthly premiums based on their income and other factors. 

Systems
  • Medicaid Agencies
  • Other
Topics
  • Resource Leveraging

Texas Youth Empowerment Services (YES) Waiver Program Payment Rates - 07/01/2017

~~“4900 Supported Employment and Employment AssistanceRevision 17-1; Effective June 1, 2017Senate Bill 45, 83rd Legislature, Regular Session, 2013, required all Medicaid waivers offer employment assistance (EA) and supported employment (SE). Employment services are intended to assist members to find employment and maintain employment. Employment services available for members in the Medically Dependent Children Program are EA and SE. STAR Kids managed care organizations may not require SE or EA providers to obtain a denial or explanation of benefits from a member's primary insurance before seeking reimbursement for SE or EA services. “ 

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

Texas Home Living Program (TxHmL) - Amended Rules Effective 3/2016 - 03/20/2016

~~Amended HCS, TxHmL Rules Effective March 20, 2016“TxHmL provides selected essential services and supports to people with intellectual and developmental disabilities who live  in their family homes or their own homes.” 

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

Texas Community First Choice - 06/01/2015

“Senate Bill 7 from the 2013 Texas Legislature requires the Health and Human Services Commission (HHSC) to put in place a cost-effective option for attendant and habilitation services for people with disabilities who have STAR+PLUS Medicaid coverage.

A federal option, called Community First Choice, allows states to provide home and community-based attendant services and supports to Medicaid recipients with disabilities. This option provides states with a 6 percent increase in federal matching funds for Medicaid for these services.”

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

Medicaid Balancing Incentives Program - 09/04/2012

~~“Federal law established the Balancing Incentive Program (BIP) which increases the Federal Medical Assistance Percentage to participating states through September 2015 in exchange for states making certain structural reforms to increase access to Medicaid community based long-term services and supports (LTSS).These required structural reforms include• implementing a "no wrong door" eligibility and enrollment system;• developing core standardized assessment instruments; and• ensuring case management activities are conflict free.The Texas Health and Human Services Commission (HHSC) and the Texas Department of Aging and Disability Services (DADS) submitted an application to the federal Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) to participate in the BIP (PDF format). On September 4, 2012, CMS approved the state's BIP application.” 

Systems
  • Department of Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities
  • Medicaid Agencies
  • Other
Topics
  • Home and Community Based Services (HCBS)
  • Cross-Agency Collaboration / Partnerships

Balancing Incentives Program - 09/04/2012

~~“Federal law established the Balancing Incentive Program (BIP) which increases the Federal Medical Assistance Percentage to participating states through September 2015 in exchange for states making certain structural reforms to increase access to Medicaid community based long-term services and supports (LTSS).These required structural reforms include• implementing a "no wrong door" eligibility and enrollment system;• developing core standardized assessment instruments; and• ensuring case management activities are conflict free.The Texas Health and Human Services Commission (HHSC) and the Texas Department of Aging and Disability Services (DADS) submitted an application to the federal Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) to participate in the BIP (PDF format). On September 4, 2012, CMS approved the state's BIP application.”
Systems
  • Department of Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities
  • Medicaid Agencies
  • Other
Topics
  • Home and Community Based Services (HCBS)
  • Cross-Agency Collaboration / Partnerships

States - Small Tablet

Snapshot

Everything's Bigger in Texas, including the number of job options in integrated settings at competitive wages for individuals with disabilities. The Lone Star state is a place where anyone, including those with disabilities, can live the American Dream… Deep in the Heart of Texas! 

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 Texas' VR Rates and Services

2018 State Population.
1.38%
Change from
2017 to 2018
28,701,845
2018 Number of people with disabilities (all disabilities, ages 18-64).
1.02%
Change from
2017 to 2018
1,639,624
2018 Number of people with disabilities who are employed (all disabilities, ages 18-64).
1.76%
Change from
2017 to 2018
659,558
2018 Percentage of working age people who are employed (all disabilities).
0.75%
Change from
2017 to 2018
40.23%
2018 Percentage of working age people who are employed (NO disabilities).
0.56%
Change from
2017 to 2018
76.37%

State Data

General

2016 2017 2018
Population. 27,862,596 28,304,596 28,701,845
Number of people with disabilities (all disabilities, ages 18-64). 1,653,862 1,622,962 1,639,624
Number of people with disabilities who are employed (all disabilities, ages 18-64). 644,181 647,977 659,558
Number of people without disabilities who are employed (ages 18-64). 11,526,552 11,762,593 11,990,348
Percentage of working age people who are employed (all disabilities). 38.95% 39.93% 40.23%
Percentage of working age people who are employed (NO disabilities). 75.88% 75.94% 76.37%
State/National unemployment rate. 4.60% 4.30% 3.90%
Poverty Rate (all disabilities). 20.70% 20.30% 20.70%
Poverty Rate (NO disabilities). 15.00% 14.00% 14.20%
Number of males with disabilities (all ages). 1,572,569 1,561,091 1,585,669
Number of females with disabilities (all ages). 1,649,476 1,611,708 1,635,496
Number of Caucasians with disabilities (all ages). 2,471,177 2,423,447 2,463,899
Number of African Americans with disabilities (all ages). 426,381 431,831 436,029
Number of Hispanic/Latinos with disabilities (all ages). 1,023,202 1,038,033 1,055,473
Number of American Indians/Alaska Natives with disabilities (all ages). 22,545 23,445 24,413
Number of Asians with disabilities (all ages). 73,747 74,263 74,173
Number of Hawaiians/Pacific Islanders with disabilities (all ages). 2,502 2,304 3,784
Number of persons of two or more races with disabilities (all ages) 80,735 77,623 69,875
Number of persons of some other race alone with disabilities (all ages) 144,968 139,886 148,992

 

SSA OUTCOMES

2016 2017 2018
Number of SSI recipients with disabilities who work. 20,426 21,057 21,499
Percentage of SSI recipients with disabilities who work relative to total SSI recipients with disabilities. 3.70% 3.80% 3.90%
Old Age Survivor and Disability Insurance (OASDI) recipients/workers with disabilities. 564,733 562,264 553,435

 

MENTAL HEALTH OUTCOMES

2016 2017 2018
Number of mental health services consumers who are employed. 38,530 38,933 42,798
Number of mental health services consumers who are part of the labor force (employed or actively looking for employment). 73,413 74,153 80,752
Number of adults served who have a known employment status. 195,865 185,482 191,594
Percentage of all state mental health agency consumers served in the community who are employed. 19.70% 21.00% 22.30%
Percentage of supported employment services evidence based practices (EBP). 4.80% 3.70% 3.70%
Percentage of supported housing services evidence based practices (EBP). 4.60% 4.40% 4.20%
Percentage of assertive community treatment services evidence based practices (EBP). 1.80% 1.80% 2.20%
Percentage of medications management evidence based practices (EBP). 38.70% 44.00% 44.90%
Number of evidence based practices (EBP) supported employment services. 12,921 10,359 10,893
Number of evidence based practices (EBP) supported housing services. 12,379 12,359 12,215
Number of evidence based practices (EBP) assertive community treatment services. 7,986 5,228 6,515
Number of evidence based practices (EBP) medications management. 105,173 124,257 131,603

 

WAGNER PEYSER OUTCOMES

2013 2014 2015
Number of registered job seekers with a disability. 45,361 53,307 54,851
Proportion of registered job seekers with a disability. 0.04 0.04 0.04

 

WORKFORCE DEVELOPMENT OUTCOMES (ADULTS)

2013 2014 2015
Total number of people with a disability that is a substantial barrier to work served by Job Training and Partnership Act/Workforce Investment Act programs. 687 633 732
Total number of people with a disability that is a substantial barrier to work who entered unsubsidized employment. 346 365 447
Percentage of people with a disability that is a substantial barrier to work who entered unsubsidized employment relative to total the number of people with a disability that is a substantial barrier to work. 50.00% 58.00% 61.00%
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. 1.31 1.33 1.63

 

VR OUTCOMES

2016 2017 2018
Total Number of people served under VR.
22,122
N/A
N/A
Number of people with visual impairments served under VR. 31 N/A N/A
Number of people with communicative (hearing loss, deafness) impairments served under VR. 5,084 N/A N/A
Number of people with physical impairments served under VR. 6,939 N/A N/A
Number of people cognitive impairments served under VR. 5,452 N/A N/A
Number of people psychosocial impairments served under VR. 3,663 N/A N/A
Number of people with mental impairments served under VR. 953 N/A N/A
Percentage of overall closures into employment under VR. 39.20% 43.00% N/A
Number of employment network (EN) and vocational rehabilitation (VR) tickets assigned. 21,513 23,195 22,798
Number of eligible ticket to work beneficiaries. 920,058 918,939 911,883
Total number of ID closures using supported employment services with or without Title VI-B funds expended (VI-C prior to 2002). 567 390 N/A
Total number of ID competitive labor market closures. 782 639 N/A

 

IDD OUTCOMES

2015 2016 2017
Dollars spent on day/employment services for integrated employment funding. $6,715,000 $6,788,000 $4,839,117
Dollars spent on day/employment services for facility-based work funding. $0 $0 $0
Dollars spent on day/employment services for facility-based non-work funding. $110,894,000 $130,185,000 $148,302,612
Dollars spent on day/employment services for community based non-work funding. $0 $0 $0
Percentage of people served in integrated employment. 5.00% 5.00% 6.00%
Number of people served in community based non-work. 0 0 0
Number of people served in facility based work. 0 0 0
Number of people served in facility based non-work. 23,018 23,520 24,718
Number supported in integrated employment per 100,000 individuals in the general state population. 10.30 4.40 5.38

 

EDUCATION OUTCOMES

2015 2016 2017
Percent of children with IEPs aged 6 through 21 served inside the regular class 80% or more of the day (Indicator 5a). 68.13% 68.42% 68.75%
Percent of children with IEPs aged 6 through 21 served inside the regular class less than 40% of the day (Indicator 5b). 14.60% 14.79% 14.94%
Percent of children with IEPs aged 6 through 21 served in separate schools, residential facilities, or homebound/hospital placements (Indicator 5c). 1.12% 1.15% 1.11%
Percent of youth with IEPs aged 16 and above with an IEP that includes appropriate measurable postsecondary goals (Indicator 13). 99.58% 99.79% 99.52%
Percentage of youth who are no longer in secondary school, had IEPs in effect at the time they left school, and were enrolled in higher education within one year of leaving high school (Indicator 14a). 24.39% 21.41% 18.31%
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). 57.38% 53.69% 50.88%
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). 68.52% 66.67% 64.78%
Percentage of youth who are no longer in secondary school, had IEPs in effect at the time they left school, and were competitively employed within one year of leaving high school (Subset of Indicator 14). 32.99% 32.28% 32.57%

 

ABILITYONE/JWOD PROGRAM

2014
Number of overall agency blind and SD hours. 7,034,752
Number of overall total blind and SD workers. 6,822
Number of AbilityOne blind and SD hours (products). 1,436,521
Number of AbilityOne blind and SD hours (services). 4,235,134
Number of AbilityOne blind and SD hours (combined). 5,671,655
Number of AbilityOne blind and SD workers (products). 1,090
Number of AbilityOne blind and SD workers (services). 3,482
Number of AbilityOne blind and SD workers (combined). 4,572
AbilityOne wages (products). $12,142,783
AbilityOne wages (services). $54,025,955

 

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

2017 2018 2019
Number of 14(c) certificate-holding businesses. 0 1 1
Number of 14(c) certificate-holding school work experience programs (SWEPs). 0 0 0
Number of 14(c) certificate-holding community rehabilitation programs (CRPs). 81 66 60
Number of 14(c) certificate holding patient workers. 2 3 5
Total Number of 14(c) certificate holding entities. 83 70 66
Reported number of people with disabilities working under 14(c) certificate-holding businesses. 0 0 0
Reported number of people with disabilities working under 14 (c) certificate holding school work experience programs (SWEPs). 0 0 0
Reported number of people with disabilities working under 14(c) certificate holding community rehabilitation programs (CRPs). 6,425 5,317 4,331
Reported number of people with disabilities working under 14(c) certificate holding patient workers. 260 293 462
Total reported number of people with disabilities working under 14(c) certificate holding entities. 6,685 5,610 4,793

 

WIOA Profile

WIOA Profile

 

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

Employment First State Leadership Mentoring Program (EFSLMP)

~~At the federal, state, and local levels, Texas Workforce Commission (TWC) continues to make great strides toward a streamlined and coordinated one-stop delivery system serving adults and youth with disabilities and employers that employ these individuals. TWC’s executive director and the commissioner of assistive and rehabilitative services (transferred to TWC as of September 2016) participate as ex officio members of the Governor’s Committee on People with Disabilities. TWC also serves on state-level interagency councils and workgroups supporting gateways for individuals with disabilities, such as the Employment First Task Force and the Texas Department of Aging and Disability Services’ (DADS) Promoting Independence Advisory Council. Other memberships have included the Texas Department of Assistive and Rehabilitative Services’ (DARS) Medicaid Infrastructure Grant Advisory Council, and HHSC’s House Bill 1230 Workgroup on Transition Services for Youth with Disabilities. TWC will also continue to coordinate with the State Independent Living Council (SILC) and the Centers for Independent Living (CILs) to serve mutual consumers who need employment assistance as well as assistance with independent living resources. In this vein, TWC has collaborated with a number of agencies in developing guidance, such as a transition and employment guide for Texas students with disabilities.

On a local level, MOUs established between Boards and one-stop partners set forth the operation of the one-stop delivery system to seamlessly and meaningfully serve individuals with disabilities. The elements included in each MOU describe the referral processes between partners and funding of infrastructure costs for one-stop offices and the process for negotiation of the MOUs, as proposed under regulations §678.500 through §678.510 of WIOA. (Page 74) Title I

Evidence of Collaboration, Contracts, and Agreements To provide seamless service delivery to customers and ensure effective use of resources, TWC Vocational Rehabilitation Division (VRD) maintains the following collaborations with community partners and other state agencies:

• VRD Program Specialists provide information and technical assistance to the appropriate Texas Health and Human Services Commission (HHSC) Medical and Social Service Divisions when changes to VR employment services occur.

• VRD works with the appropriate HHSC Medical and Social Service Divisions to ensure that service definitions in the 1915(c) home- and community-based waivers accurately reflect Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services and Rehabilitation Services Administration regulations. This partnership allows services that result in competitive integrated employment to be delivered efficiently and timely through the payer of first resort.

• VRD offers free intensive training and technical assistance to HHSC’s Medical and Social Services Divisions’ Behavioral Health and Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities (IDD) Services Departments Special Projects Unit and community providers to become Benefits Subject Matter Resource staff.

• VRD partners with HHSC’s Medical and Social Services Divisions’ Behavioral Health and IDD Services Departments Special Projects Unit to provide cross training on the VR Long-Term Supports and Services System;

• VRD uses its current partnership with the Social Security Administration (SSA) to encourage CRP providers to become employment networks (ENs) under the SSA Ticket to Work Program. VRD offers incentive payments to CRP-ENs that provide:

• supported employment or job placement services during the provision of VR services; and

• extended support to Ticket to Work customers after VR case closure in order to advance employment or increase customer earnings. •

VRD partners with school districts that provide transition services to youth, and considers all aspects of the cooperative agreements in place to ensure continuity and timeliness of services for those school districts that initiate supported employment services before or after a student graduates.

VRD maintains membership and participation in the Association of People Supporting Employment First (APSE).

VRD has representation in the following: 

  • The Texas Council for Developmental Disabilities
  • The Council for Advising and Planning for the Prevention and Treatment of Mental and Substance Use Disorders
  • Texas Coordinating Council for Veteran Services
  • State Independent Living Council
  • Texas Technology Access Program Advisory Council
  • Texas Council on Consumer Direction
  • The Promoting Independence Advisory Council
  • HHSC Statewide Behavioral Health Coordinating Council
  • HHSC Office of Mental Health Coordination Cross Agency Liaison Committee
  • Governor’s Committee on People with Disabilities Contracts

VRD has bilateral service contracts with CRPs to provide specific employment services, which include supported employment services. VRD counselors may refer customers with all disabilities, including blindness and visual impairments, to CRPs with contracts for supported employment services. The terms and conditions of CRP service contracts are provided in the VRD Standards for Providers manual. (Page 247-248) Title IV

To improve employment rates, suggestions include flexibility in opportunities, increases in on-site work experiences, automated systems to assist providers in managing the reporting requirements of the services, and protections for the customer. All are under review for implementation. Continued data tracking will help identify effectiveness in technology or work experience training and may define service options that can be added for enhanced successes. Furthermore, the provision of SE services for customers will undergo an Rapid Process Improvement (RPI) process to identify opportunities for new or enhanced strategies for greater successes. The VR division has executed a memorandum of understanding with the Texas Education Agency (TEA) that includes prohibiting contracts between TEA or local education agencies (LEAs) and employers who pay subminimum wage. Customers already served in subminimum employment receive counseling consistent with Employment First principles and WIOA requirements to encourage meaningful employment in an integrated environment with or without supports. (Page 268) Title I

To improve employment rates, suggestions include flexibility in opportunities, increases in on-site work experiences, automated systems to assist providers in managing the reporting requirements of the services, and protections for the customer. All are under review for implementation. Continued data tracking will help identify effectiveness in technology or work experience training and may define service options that can be added for enhanced successes. Furthermore, the provision of SE services for customers will undergo an RPI process to identify opportunities for new or enhanced strategies for greater successes. The VR division has executed a memorandum of understanding with the Texas Education Agency (TEA) that includes prohibiting contracts between TEA or local education agencies (LEAs) and employers who pay subminimum wage. Customers already served in subminimum employment receive counseling consistent with Employment First principles and WIOA requirements to encourage meaningful employment in an integrated environment with or without supports. Finally, the VR division is also launching a capacity-building project for VR and LEA staff to develop skills for practical application through joint training. (Page 278) Title IV

VRCs work with Community Rehabilitation Program (CRP) SE specialists, HHSC providers, or service coordinators/case managers, and customers’ natural support networks to develop short- and long-term support strategies based on individual needs. This ensures the appropriate amount of support is available and provided so that employment can be maintained. Extended services, known in Texas as long-term support and services, can be publicly funded, “natural” or “in-kind,” or paid by the customer through SSI, Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI), or another Social Security Administration Title II work incentive program. Examples of extended services include, but are not limited to, consulting with a customer’s job supervisor regarding areas of concern or training needs; creating supports and strategies to improve work performance through job coaching; providing services such as medication management or hygiene; and identifying and training on transportation options. (Page 305) Title IV
 

Customized Employment

~~Plans for Improving Supported Employment Services TWC VRD will continue to strengthen the numerous supported employment service improvements implemented by legacy DARS in 2017, including the following:

  • Assisting CRPs in using the Supported Employment Assessment that focuses on discovery and person-centered techniques, vocational theme development, and providing worksite observations;
  • Working with VRCs on applying the supported employment planning and service provision to improve customer participation and informed choice by requiring review and signatures at each benchmark;
  • Providing ongoing training to TWC’s VRD subject matter experts, who provide technical assistance to VRCs on identifying and coordinating extended service/long-term support before beginning the benchmark process;
  • Ensuring that all criteria for determining job stability to ensure extended service/long-term support after VR case closure are being applied; and
  • Continuing to provide specific employment services to people with autism to improve their success in obtaining and maintaining employment. (Page 254) Title IV

All staff has access to training opportunities through the professional development plan created through the management chain’s professional development process. Training content for field staff is typically developed within the system of statewide training product modules disseminated through field management staff. Content learning includes topics that directly relate to the knowledge, skills, abilities, and attitudes necessary to perform jobs as expected by management and as detailed in job descriptions. Content training strategies include the following:

  • Continued focus on the foundations of the VR process for counselors and RAs, including accurate eligibility determination, inclusion of customers in planning for service delivery, thorough assessment and planning practices, models for VR counseling, informed customer choice, service to culturally diverse populations, purchasing practices, supported employment, customized employment, and other strategies for quality employment assistance, service delivery, and effective case note documentation;
  • Training in working with employers and customers to increase knowledge of the Americans with Disabilities Act, the Rehabilitation Act Amendments of 1998, the Olmstead decision, available independence initiatives, and WIOA to enhance employment options and employment knowledge;
  • Training in the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act, appropriate options and alternatives for effective transition services and Social Security work incentive programs, including programs under the Ticket to Work and Work Incentive Improvement Act of 1999;
  • Training in assessing appropriate rehabilitation technology interventions;
  • Extending opportunities to take advantage of training available from external sources for ongoing dissemination of timely trends related to disability and treatment modalities within the field of rehabilitation;
  • Coordinating with the Texas Administrators of Continuing Education and other entities as appropriate to develop localized training in targeted disability areas; and
  • Implementation of training for new counselors that focuses on critical thinking and sound decision making.(Page 263) Title IV

The division continues to work with the National Employment Team to facilitate employer relationships at the national level. Feedback and data gathered in the needs assessment for the 2017 CSNA encourage opportunities for additional and enhanced collaboration that have come about through some of the programmatic changes which moved other support programs HHSC. For example, HHSC outsourced the Independent Living program in Texas to the Centers for Independent Living. Meanwhile, the Independent Living Services for Older Individuals Who Are Blind (ILS-OIB) program has been retained in TWC with VR. As a result, formal referral processes and policies have been developed to expand the network of providers available for referral of those individuals needing independent living services and to increase the referral to VR of individuals who may benefit from ILS-OIB services. In one year, FFY’17, the VR division served 1,780 new customers in the ILS-OIB program following the program’s redesign. Similarly, the Comprehensive Rehabilitation Services program, which serves individuals with traumatic spinal cord or brain injury, and the Blind Children’s Vocational Discovery and Development program also remained in HHSC, which presents further opportunities to collaborate to provide referrals and receive referrals when those customers are ready for VR. Other collaboration with LEAs, higher education, and Boards has resulted in customer access to post—high school scenarios that provide training and employment in meaningful and higher-paying jobs. (Page 279) Title IV

Blending/ Braiding Resources

~~Over the past year, many of TWC’s analytic resources have been heavily focused on WOIA implementation activities, such as conducting an updated Comprehensive Statewide Needs Assessment and developing Participant Individual Record Layout (PIRL) and RSA-911 logic and testing. However, as that work begins to wind down over the next year, the Division of Operational Insight (DOI) has begun looking at several evaluation projects.

Regarding the Career and Training program, DOI is developing a new model to identify UI claimants who need additional assistance to have a timely return to work. This will be the seventh such model that TWC has developed and the sixth in the last 12 years. Additionally, TWC is interested in leveraging similar techniques to identify individuals who are not claimants but who might also benefit from additional assistance. (Page107) Title III

Texas has a proven history of supporting and encouraging regional planning and service delivery efforts. The benefits from regionalism include collaborative planning, pooling and leveraging of resources, capacity building, and ensuring that services can be delivered in the best possible way—regionalism is essential to the Boards’ mission. However, it is important that regionalism not be hampered by the designation of artificial boundaries. (Page 142) Title I

Barriers to serving unserved and underserved populations identified in the CSNA included:

  • lack of awareness of the impact of receiving services on Social Security benefits, highlighting the disincentive to work from the fear of losing benefits;
  • lack of awareness of VRD services among customers and/or parents;
  • lack of awareness of VRD services among doctors and other medical professionals;
  • growing need for services that will require partners to leverage available funding and may require increased funding; and
  • scarcity of available transportation that creates challenges for potential customers, especially in rural areas, to access VRD offices, providers, and jobs.

Strategies The following VRD strategies address the barrier created by not understanding the impact of service receipt on Social Security benefits:

  • Work closely with community partners such as the local Social Security Administration (SSA) offices and Work Incentives Planning and Assistance programs to dispel inaccurate perceptions regarding loss of benefits and attempt to work efforts.
  • Provide statewide training for all VRCs on basic benefits and work incentives support and services.
  • Expand training for additional VRD staff to be Benefits Subject Matter Resources (SMRs), including a train-the-trainer component for all SMRs, and provide ongoing statewide training in federal and state work incentive programs for all VRD staff.
  • Enhance current partnership with the SSA to encourage CRP providers to become ENs under the SSA Ticket to Work Program.

VRD offers incentive payments to CRP-ENs that provide: o supported employment or job placement services during the provision of VR services; and o extended support to Ticket to Work customers after VR case closure to advance employment or increase customer earnings.

The following VRD strategies address the barrier created by the lack of awareness of VRD services among customers, parents, and doctors and other medical professionals:

  • Increase collaboration with other organizations to improve customer access to services.
  • Increase outreach efforts in the business community.
  • Educate community leaders on the availability of VRD services to enhance outreach efforts to all ethnic groups.
  • Offer the 2-1-1 Texas statewide referral helpline, a service that assists customers with referrals to appropriate agencies for help.
  • Enhance community outreach activities. T

he following VRD strategies address the growing need for services by leveraging other partner and community resources, and seeking opportunities to increase efficiency in VRD structure and processes:

  • VRD will continue to work to educate state officials and oversight authorities about the value of VR services to Texans with disabilities and to the overall state economy.
  • VRD will leverage existing resources and make every effort to draw down the maximum federal funding match to provide needed services for Texans with disabilities.
  • VRD will fully use SSA programs and work to maximize SSA/VR reimbursements.
  • VRD will provide budget management training for staff. VRD strategy addressing the barrier created by scarcity of available transportation will be to continue to advocate for local improvement in public transportation at HHSC’s regional coordination forums. (Page 296-297) Title IV
     
DEI/Disability Resource Coordinators

~~No disability specific information found regarding this element.

Financial Literacy /Economic Advancement

~~2. Individualized career services. As consistent with program requirements and federal cost principles, individualized career services include the following:
• Comprehensive and specialized assessments of skill levels and service needs of adults and dislocated workers;
• Development of an individual employment plan;
• Group counseling;
• Individual counseling;
• Career planning;
• Short-term pre-vocational services;
• Internships and work experiences linked to careers;
• Workforce preparation activities;
• Financial literacy services;
• Out-of-area job search assistance and relocation assistance; and
• English language acquisition and integrated education and training programs. (Page 69) Title I

School to Work Transition

~~RCT recommends that VR ensure that the individual plan for employment (IPE) is completed as early as possible during the transition planning process and no later than the time the student with a disability who is determined to be eligible for VR services leaves the school setting. Response: Policy in VRSM C-1300 states that the VR counselor must complete the IPE before the eligible student leaves the school setting and no more than 90 days from the time of eligibility determination. VR is committed to ensuring that VR counselors comply with this policy, with an emphasis on monitoring through case reviews and readings. (Page 235) Title IV

The provision of quality VR services for Texas students with disabilities is a strategic priority for the Vocational Rehabilitation Division (VRD). VRD policies and procedures have been updated to align with the Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act (WIOA) §413(B)(F), which sets forth that the individualized plan for employment (IPE) must be developed as soon as possible, but not later than a deadline of 90 days after the date of the determination of eligibility, unless the counselor and the eligible individual agree to an extension to a specific date. Transition planning by VR counselors and school personnel facilitates the development and implementation of a student’s individualized education program (IEP) under the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act §614(d). The goals developed in the IEP are considered in the development of the IPE. The development and approval of an IPE is initiated by a VR counselor. Planning includes conversations about informed choice and program information so that students understand the available options for additional education, training, service providers, and employment. (Page 241) Title IV

The MOU will include the addition of pre-employment transition services (Pre-ETS) as defined in C.F.R. §361.48, and other Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act (WIOA) requirements, operationalizing a referral process for students with disabilities, and a process for inviting counselors to Admission, Review, and Dismissal (ARD) meetings. The MOU provides for consultation and technical assistance in planning for the transition of students with disabilities from school to post-school activities, including VR services; transition planning for students with disabilities that facilitates the development and completion of the IEP; clarification of the agencies’ respective roles and responsibilities, including financial responsibilities for providing transition planning services to students with disabilities; and a description of procedures for outreach to and identification of students with disabilities who are in need of transition services. (Page 242) Title IV

Pre-ETS are provided to students with disabilities. Required Pre-ETS activities are job exploration counseling, work-based learning experiences, counseling on opportunities for enrollment in postsecondary educational programs, workplace readiness training, and instruction in self-advocacy. In an effort to provide transitioning students with more effective and comprehensive preparation for work after high school, VRD is also increasing the number of summer work opportunities with community partners around the state. TWC is launching the Pathways to Careers Initiative (PCI), an initiative to expand Pre-ETS to Texas students with disabilities. The first strategy launched under PCI in summer 2017 was Summer Earn and Learn. (Page 243) Title IV

Consultation and technical assistance is provided at Admission, Review, and Dismissal meetings (ARDs), and attendance may be in person or through alternative means, including videoconferencing or conference calls (based on 34 C.F.R. §361.22(b)(1)). When necessary, VRD counselors and school personnel coordinate to satisfy documentation requirements for students and youth with disabilities who are seeking subminimum wage employment, as set forth in 34 CFR §397.4(c). VRD does not pursue subminimum wage employment for customers. When a customer chooses to pursue subminimum wage employment, counseling on other employment options is provided. When, after counseling, subminimum wage employment is still the customer’s choice, the VR case is closed. Those customers who choose subminimum wage employment receive counseling, guidance, and referral services within the first six months of employment and annually thereafter. TWC has regional and state office transition specialists who provide support to VR counselors and VRD field office managers in developing collaborative partnerships with and increasing cooperation between VRD, local school districts, and other community organizations as resources for students with disabilities. These transition specialists assist with the development of policy, training, and strategies that lead to effective provision of transition services. (Page 243) Title IV

TWC’s Pathways to Careers Initiative (PCI) is an initiative to expand Pre-ETS to students with disabilities during the summer months. It began in the summer of 2017. The first of five strategies, Summer Earn and Learn is a work-based learning program conducted in partnership with Boards and their employer partners. This statewide strategy includes employability skills training and paid work experience for students with disabilities. More than 1,500 students and more than 600 employers participated in Summer Earn and Learn in 2017. (Page 252) Title IV

As a result, these efforts improve the effectiveness of VR services for transition customers. Such collaborations take on many different forms in training VRD and educational staff, as well as in impacting families. VRD staff will continue to collaborate with ISDs in the provision of Pre-ETS as specified in WIOA. Additionally, counselors are often invited to education service centers to participate in educator training and to present training, particularly for more effective transition planning for students. VR staff works with schools in creating job fairs that allow students to meet with employers and gather information about the labor market. Family nights are hosted in some areas to invite interested members of the public to VRD offices to share resource information, discuss service delivery issues, and give input regarding best practices that would better support students and their families. In some areas, community partners such as churches, Workforce Solutions Offices, and community centers assist in providing training to school personnel on understanding cultural diversity in Texas. (Page 266-267) Title IV

As of October 1, 2017, the Vocational Rehabilitation Division (VRD) had 1,314 full-time employment (FTE) staff positions to provide direct services to VR customers, broken down as follows:
• Vocational Rehabilitation Counselors (VRCs)
• Transition Vocational Rehabilitation Counselors (TVRCs)
• Unit Support Coordinators (USCs)
• Vocational Rehabilitation Teachers (VRTs)
• Rehabilitation Assistants (RAs) (Page 256) Title IV

Typically, these are students who are on an IEP and in their last year of high school eligibility. The goal for these customers is competitive integrated employment within the business community or the business where the worksite rotations occur. Project SEARCH has expanded from one original program site established in 1996 at Cincinnati Children’s Hospital in Ohio, to over 400 sites internationally. Project SEARCH in Texas began in 2007 with Seton Healthcare Family in Austin. (Page 250) Title I

Typically, these are students who are on an IEP and in their last year of high school eligibility. The goal for these customers is competitive integrated employment within the business community or the business where the worksite rotations occur. Project SEARCH has expanded from one original program site established in 1996 at Cincinnati Children’s Hospital in Ohio, to over 400 sites internationally. Project SEARCH in Texas began in 2007 with Seton Healthcare Family in Austin. (Page 250) Title IV

The specialists assess staff skill levels, recommend and implement training approaches, and coordinate service delivery statewide. The Deafblind Unit serves customers who are deafblind. Specialists fluent in sign language consult with caseload-carrying staff, customers, and community resources to develop and implement plans and services. VRD also purchases state-certified interpreter services as needed. VRD works closely with the education system in transitioning students with disabilities from high school to postsecondary training or employment. TVRCs participate in training covering the Admission, Review, and Dismissal (ARD) process as well as the Individualized Education Program (IEP). When conducting seminars or workshops for the ARD and IEP process, trainers may also include parents and professionals from: • Texas Education Agency’s (TEA) Special Education Division • Regional education service centers and local education agencies (LEAs) • Disability Rights Texas • Partners Resource Network, Inc. • Texas School for the Blind and Visually Impaired Additionally, VR staff participates in cross-trainings with other entities involved in education for students with visual loss, such as the Texas Association for Education and Rehabilitation of the Blind and Visually Impaired, and sponsors and participates in workshops and seminars to help education staff members develop expertise in working with these students. (Page 262) Title IV

Table 1.

VR Needs Mentioned during 2017 Town Hall Meetings

  • SOURCE: DOI Town Hall Textual Analysis VR Program or Service Need Number of Mentions
  • Communication/Collaboration 89
  • Employer/Staff Training 39
  • Readiness/Work-Based Learning 34
  • Transportation/Housing 23
  • PAS & Supported Employment 18
  • Outreach & Marketing 15
  • Benefits & Work Incentives 10
  • Disability-Related Skills 10
  • Customer Choice 6
  • Academic/Vocational Training 2
  • Treatment of Impairments 2
  • Budgeting1
  • Medical/Vocational Assessment 1.

A few comments concerned the need for additional VR service providers, especially service providers that offer specialty skills training like orientation and mobility. Other comments expressed dissatisfaction with providers that did not meet expectations of quality and timeliness. These concerns will be addressed as the Texas VR program moves forward to implement the 2017 State Plan goal. Cultivating good working relationships between TWC’s VR division and external service providers is a top priority. (Page 274) Title IV

Partnerships Priority 1

Enhance collaboration and coordination with Boards, employers, and other stakeholders to increase competitive integrated employment outcomes and work-based learning experiences, which may include in-school or after-school opportunities such as internships, volunteer positions, and summer and year-round work experience programs. 

Discussion: Strengthening Relationships with Collaborators with VR’s merger into TWC, the agency has entered into data agreements with other federal and state agencies, including Veterans Affairs (VA). These agreements will help forge the way for programmatic collaboration and customer coordination for available services and resources. Working with the VA has resulted in an increased number of veterans who are served by the public VR program in collaboration with their VA counselors. To help anticipate and target Pre-ETS, TWC has also obtained per county counts of students with disabilities who are under a 504 Plan or receive IDEA services, current as of 2013—2014, from the US Department of Education’s Office of Civil Rights. (Page 279) Title IV

Expand and improve vocational rehabilitation services, including pre-employment transition services (Pre-ETS) for students with disabilities who are transitioning from high school to postsecondary education and/or employment, and improve coordination with state and local secondary and postsecondary educational entities.

Discussion: Meeting Pre-ETS Needs Over the past several years, the number of both eligible students and funds expended has increased. The number of students served increased by close to 10 percent, while funds, per transaction, increased by about 20 percent on average. The data from the 2017 CSNA shows several actions taken to address the needs of students and youth with disabilities. (Page 277) Title IV

Services to Students and Youth with Disabilities Priorities • Expand and improve vocational rehabilitation services, including Pre-ETS for students with disabilities who are transitioning from high school to postsecondary education and/or employment, and improve coordination with state and local secondary and postsecondary educational entities. • Provide supported employment services to youth and other individuals with the most significant disabilities who require extended support in order to achieve and maintain an employment outcome. 

Goal Area 3: Partnerships Priorities: • Enhance collaboration and coordination with Boards, employers, and other stakeholders to increase competitive integrated employment outcomes and work-based learning experiences, which may include in-school or after-school opportunities such as internships, volunteer positions, and summer and year-round work experience programs. (Page 282) Title IV

A customer’s extended services are identified and documented in the customer’s Individualized Plan for Employment. VRD providers do not provide services to customers during the 90-day period between “Job Stability” and “Service Closure.” If VRD providers do provide direct services to a customer during this period, job stability ends and is not reestablished until at least 30 days after the direct services or job change has occurred. A VRD-supported employment case is closed after a customer successfully maintains job stability for 90 days, with extended services being provided only by non—vocational rehabilitation resources. VRD identifies and makes arrangements, including entering into cooperative agreements, with other state agencies and other appropriate entities to assist in the provision of supported employment services. VRD coordinates with other public or non-profit agencies or organizations within the state, employers, natural supports, and other entities with respect to the provision of extended services. (Page 285) Title IV

The goal for Goal Area 3 is to enhance collaboration and coordination with local workforce development boards, employers, and other stakeholders to increase competitive integrated employment outcomes and work-based learning experiences, which may include in-school or after-school opportunities such as internships, volunteer positions, and summer and year-round work experience programs. In addition to the above goals, priorities for funds received under the Rehabilitation Act §603 are to increase the number of customers receiving supported employment services who achieve employment outcomes and the number of supported employment services providers statewide, and maintain the number of customers receiving supported employment services within their home communities. (Page 285) Title IV
 

Career Pathways

~~Texas aligned AEL and workforce development systems in 2013. The alignment required statewide deployment of models to develop the skills needed to transition to and complete postsecondary education programs and obtain and advance in employment. Successful models have included Integrated Education and Training (IET), career pathways, distance learning, and college and workforce preparation activities. Texas also aligned service-delivery options for individuals with disabilities and other special needs. AEL statewide service-delivery contracts are compliant with WIOA requirements under performance, workforce system, and rehabilitative services alignment and programmatic integration. (Page 115) Title IV

VRD has forged productive, proactive working relationships with Texas universities that train rehabilitation professionals. Involvement with Texas universities results in student requests for practicum and internship placements within VRD. Internships have been offered since 1999 for students completing master’s degrees in Rehabilitation Counseling or Rehabilitation. In FY’17, VRD hosted 20 internships. Evaluations of student interns come directly from certified, licensed, or Qualified Vocational Rehabilitation Counselor (QVRC) internship supervisors and department advisors from the intern’s university. Job vacancy notices are routinely posted on WorkInTexas.com, TWC’s statewide online jobsite. Hiring supervisors can also request a broader distribution of vacancy notices by having TWC Human Resources post them to additional sites such as Indeed.com, Monster.com, and others. Recruitment continues for bilingual Spanish- and English-speaking candidates to fill positions located in areas with high Spanish-speaking populations. Opportunities to promote employment to all community sectors are achieved by sharing job postings with universities. VRD encourages the hiring of qualified individuals with disabilities, and strives to ensure that staff represents ethnic diversity and thereby reflects the population of Texas and the customers we serve. Ethnic distribution of VRD employees and Texas residents is shown below. (Page 259) Title IV

VRD recognizes master’s or doctoral degrees in fields of specific study, such as VR counseling, clinical rehabilitation counseling, behavioral health, behavioral science, disability studies, human relations, human services, marriage and family therapy, occupational therapy, psychology, psychometrics, rehabilitation administration/services, social work, special education, vocational assessment/evaluation, or another field that reasonably provides competence in the employment sector in a disability field or rehabilitation-related fields. A counselor meets the CSPD standard by holding a master’s degree in VR counseling; master’s degree in “counseling or counseling-related field” with specific coursework; master’s, specialist, or doctoral degree in specific majors with specific coursework; current CRC certificate from CRCC; or current LPC licensure.

Therefore, a counselor with a master’s degree in counseling or a counseling-related field must, at a minimum, complete a graduate course in the Theories and Techniques of Counseling and successfully complete six graduate courses with a primary focus in the following areas:

  • one course on assessment;
  • one course on occupational information or job placement;
  • one course on case management and rehabilitation services;
  • one course on medical aspects of disabilities;
  • one course on psychosocial aspects of disabilities; and
  • one course on multicultural issues.

A counselor with a master’s or doctoral degree in one of the listed specific fields of study must complete a graduate course on the Theories and Techniques of Counseling, and successfully complete six graduate courses each with a primary focus in the areas listed, plus one course on Foundations of Rehabilitation Counseling. Although VR has taken steps to hire rehabilitation counselors with master’s degrees in VR counseling, a number of factors pose challenges to this undertaking. A significant barrier to hiring counselors with master’s degrees in rehabilitation counseling is the expanse of Texas that must be served. (Page 260) Title VI
 

Apprenticeship

Apprenticeship programs that are registered with the State or the U.S. Department of Labor (DOL), Office of Apprenticeship are automatically eligible to be included on the State Eligible Training Provider List (ETPL). Registered apprenticeship programs are given an opportunity to consent to inclusion on the ETPL before being placed on the list, and will remain on the ETPL for as long as the program is registered with DOL or until they request to be removed. Registered apprenticeship programs are not subject to the same application and performance information requirements or to the same initial or continued eligibility procedures as other eligible training providers. (Page 158) Title II

The Registered Apprenticeship Training Program for Veterans and/or Service members is a program that: • accelerates participants into or through a DOL Registered Apprenticeship Training Program in Texas (Apprenticeship Training Program); or • accelerates participants into or through a DOL Registered Pre-Apprenticeship Training Program that leads to enrollment of participants into an Apprenticeship Training Program during the grant period. (Page 151) Title I

As a division of TWC, VRD participates in the planning for and evaluation of the Texas workforce system conducted by the Texas Workforce Investment Council (TWIC), which serves as the state workforce investment board. These activities include:

  • participating in the development and implementation of the state-mandated strategic plan for the Texas workforce system;
  • participating in TWIC meetings and serving on the TWIC Apprenticeship and Training Advisory Committee; and
  • reporting quarterly and annually as requested by TWIC on the division’s activities to implement goals and objectives in the Texas workforce system strategic plan.

VRD works closely with other TWC staff to provide information, partner on community initiatives, and enhance customer referral processes. Across the state, VRD counselors have strong relationships with the 15 Disability Navigators located at Workforce Solutions Offices to provide consultation on disability issues to workforce system staff, and provide direct assistance to customers with disabilities as needed. Ongoing collaborative efforts between VRD and each of the 28 Boards have resulted in projects, initiatives, and processes such as joint community outreach and awareness events, summer youth initiatives, employer symposia and job fairs, customer referrals, coordination of services, and cross-training for staff. (Page 292) Title IV

Work Incentives & Benefits

~~Recommendation: RCT recommends that VR provide detailed training to VR counselors regarding the use of additional resources to assist customers, such as Medicaid waiver programs. Response: As part of a five-day intensive training, VR state office program specialists for benefits and work incentives provide training on Medicaid waivers to staff members who function as subject matter resources on Social Security Administration (SSA) benefits. Additionally, a two-part webinar series on waivers is held each year for relevant staff. To date, 121 VR counselors have been trained as subject matter resources for benefits and work incentives, and an additional 58 staff members in management, as well as state office program specialists, have completed the training.
 RCT acknowledges and commends VR for expanding the capacity of staff in assistive technology by training regional teams to become subject matter experts. Although it is possible that the Centers for Independent Living (CILs) around the state serve as resources to local VR staff, it is vital that VR staff have access to accurate and up-to-date information about assistive technology to overcome workplace barriers specific to disabilities. RCT recommends that VR clarify content in the Strategies and Use of Title I Funds for Innovation and Expansion Activities section to clarify which customers will be served by these teams. Response: The regional teams are composed of VR staff members who have been trained in all levels of assistive technology and who provide recommendations on assistive technology to customers with various disabilities. The loaning or purchasing of assistive technology is not limited to customers with specific disabilities; it is available to all customers as needed. (Page 235) Title IV

Recommendation: RCT recommends that VR indicate where and how the use of Social Security benefits can be used to pay for extended services after VR involvement. Response: Both VR and employment networks (ENs) participate in the Ticket to Work Partnership Plus Program for individuals between the ages of 18 and 64. When a VR case is closed successfully, the customer is informed that his or her Ticket to Work still has value and can be assigned to an EN to provide long-term job supports and services. Customers are informed of the ENs serving Texas. Additionally, subject matter resources on SSA disability benefits provide guidance to customers on using SSA work incentives, which can potentially assist with maintaining health insurance benefits and cash benefits after achieving employment. SSA benefits and the partnership between VR and ENs are fully explained on page 24, in the Social Security Administration section, and on page 58, in the Funding and Timing of Transition to Extended Services sections. (Page 236) Title IV

Recommendation: RCT recommends that VR indicate where and how the use of Social Security benefits can be used to pay for extended services after VR involvement. Response: Both VR and employment networks (ENs) participate in the Ticket to Work Partnership Plus Program for individuals between the ages of 18 and 64. When a VR case is closed successfully, the customer is informed that his or her Ticket to Work still has value and can be assigned to an EN to provide long-term job supports and services. Customers are informed of the ENs serving Texas. Additionally, subject matter resources on SSA disability benefits provide guidance to customers on using SSA work incentives, which can potentially assist with maintaining health insurance benefits and cash benefits after achieving employment. SSA benefits and the partnership between VR and ENs are fully explained on page 24, in the Social Security Administration section, and on page 58, in the Funding and Timing of Transition to Extended Services sections. (Page 238) Title IV

MOUs with education service centers, Texas Education Agency (TEA), and independent school districts (ISDs) to enhance coordination of services provided through programs like Project SEARCH and Project HIRE (Helping Individuals Reach Employment), and other community programs and support available to improve and expand services for transition-age students with disabilities • Coordination with the Texas School for the Blind and Visually Impaired to provide specialized programs that prepare students for the transition to postsecondary life and the workplace • A new MOU in 2016 with the Texas Department of Insurance’s Division of Workers’ Compensation to enhance referrals for return-to-work efforts • Coordination with the Social Security Administration (SSA) on employment incentives and support to maximize Social Security Administration/Vocational Rehabilitation (SSA/VR) reimbursement activity through the Ticket to Work Program • An MOU with the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs to maximize case service funds through better access to comparable benefits, and to enhance the case management process while avoiding duplication of services. • Coordination with the Texas Veterans Commission to help identify veterans who need additional support in securing benefits, gaining employment, and accessing advocacy services. (Page 239) Title IV

Social Security Administration TWC VRD coordinates with the Social Security Administration (SSA) to encourage CRP providers to become employment networks (ENs) under SSA’s Ticket to Work Program. TWC VRD offers incentive payments to CRP-ENs that provide: • supported employment or job placement services during the provision of VR services; and • extended supports to Ticket to Work customers after VR case closure in order to advance employment or increase customer earnings. TWC VRD and select CRPs participate in the Partnership Plus program. Additionally, VRD is participating in the Promoting Opportunity Demonstration (POD) pilot that will test a benefit offset in the Social Security Disability Insurance program to determine its effects on outcomes such as earnings, employment, and benefit payments. SSA and HHSC have a data exchange agreement that allows HHSC to access SSA data. Through a third-party agreement (State Verification and Exchange System), VRD is able to obtain SSA data regarding cost reimbursement from HHSC. (Page 254) Title IV

Changes to the VR program also promise to maximize counselors’ time with customers and allow for the creation of collaborative on-the-job training opportunities for counselors and other field staff. The future of the Texas VR program is customer-centered and needs-conscious, emphasizing access to resources and other employment-related programs at TWC. The implementation of Rapid Process Improvement (RPI) strategies will benefit the Texas VR program as well. RPI is a management tool based on the Theory of Constraints/Lean Management and provides a methodical approach to engaging staff to quickly identify, map, and improve the processes of an organization. RPI projects are designed to ensure that the division is making the most effective use of service delivery options available for both customers and employers.

Increase counselors’ knowledge of work incentives and the effect of earnings on SSI/SSDI. This will improve the quality of VR’s provision of counseling on decisions that impact employment. Discussion: Improving Knowledge Bases Interestingly, the data in the VR needs survey and Town Hall meetings for the 2017 CSNA indicate that staff, stakeholders, and customers have differing beliefs about work incentives and other benefits, their value, and application in the vocational counseling process. While respondents agree that a loss of benefits, along with lack of affordable child care, housing, and transportation are barriers to success, staff and stakeholders are more likely than customers to express concern for loss of benefits as a barrier. This could indicate several different beliefs. Applying a short-term problem-solving counseling methodology regarding child care, housing, and transportation may provide better information on a customer’s benefits and concerns while also addressing barriers to success. Continued tracking of financial beneficiary data, by type of beneficiary, as introduced in Table 3 below, will assist the VR division and the RCT in developing the specific extent of customer service needs among recipients of financial benefits. Financial benefits are defined as follows: • General assistance: cash assistance to dependent needy children and disabled adults who are not eligible for assistance under other cash assistance programs. (Page 275-276) Title IV

TWC’s Vocational Rehabilitation Division (VRD) provides supported employment services for customers with the most significant disabilities, including youth with the most significant disabilities. Funds received under Title VI, Part B §622 (also known as the supported employment program) of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973, as amended are used to serve these individuals. VR customers with the most significant disabilities may have multiple disabilities or functional limitations that result in the requirement for extended support services essential to retaining competitive integrated employment. Texas’ provision of supported employment services is integral to the state’s overall plan to provide services that result in competitive integrated employment outcomes for VRD customers.

Goal Area 1: Target Populations

The goals for Goal Area 1 are as follows:

  • Improve customer employment outcomes for individuals with significant disabilities, including but not limited to individuals who are blind or significantly visually impaired; individuals who are from minority backgrounds; individuals with neurodevelopmental disorders (including autism, intellectual disabilities and learning disabilities); individuals with mental health disorders; and veterans with disabilities.
  • Increase counselors’ knowledge of work incentives and the effect of earnings on Social Security Disability Insurance and Supplemental Security Income to improve counselors’ ability to provide vocational counseling on decisions impacting employment. (Page 284) Title IV

Potential funding sources include the Social Security Administration’s Ticket to Work Program, DSHS (the state mental health agency), CILs, Medicaid/CHIP—the administrative authority for all Medicaid waivers and state plan services. Additionally, HHSC, the intellectual and developmental disabilities state agency, is a potential funding source and is the operating authority for the following:

  • The majority of 1915(c) state Home and Community-based Services (HCS) Medicaid waivers;
  • 1915(k) Community First Choice; • Title XX community services; and
  • Employment services provided through state general revenue funds. (Page 286) Title IV

Expand training for additional VRD staff to be Benefits Subject Matter Resources (SMRs), including a train-the-trainer component for all SMRs, and provide ongoing statewide training in federal and state work incentive programs for all VRD staff. • Enhance current partnership with the SSA to encourage CRP providers to become ENs under the SSA Ticket to Work Program. VRD offers incentive payments to CRP-ENs that provide: • supported employment or job placement services during the provision of VR services; and • extended support to Ticket to Work customers after VR case closure to advance employment or increase customer earnings. The following VRD strategies address the barrier created by the lack of awareness of VRD services among customers, parents, and doctors and other medical professionals: (Page 296) Title IV
 

Employer/ Business

~~Starting January 1, 2016, all training providers must submit information and criteria as established under WIOA §122(d) through (g). Training providers use TWC’s Eligible Training Provider System (ETPS) to provide all required information for initial eligibility, which include Provider Assurances Statement, as well as applications for each program of study. ETPS doubles as TWC’s program certification system and the Statewide List of Eligible Training Providers, as required by WIOA §122 (a)(3). Boards then review and certify the provider and program if all minimum requirements are met, as established by the governor or higher standards as determined by Board policy. The ETPS automated system then informs TWC of the Board’s review and approval of programs of study, and validates all WIOA training provider requirements. Subsequent eligibility determinations take place on a biennial basis, where performance data is again evaluated against the standards. (Page157-158) Title II

Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act (WIOA) §231(a), pursuant to §222(a)(1), requires each eligible agency to award multiyear grants or contracts, on a competitive basis, to eligible training providers within the state for adult education and literacy (AEL) services. The Texas Workforce Commission (TWC) is seeking a waiver to grant the state flexibility to either award AEL grants directly to AEL providers or to allocate funds to Local Workforce Development Boards (Boards) to conduct a local competitive procurement for the delivery of AEL services. (Page 171) Title II
 

Data Collection

Congressional action to reauthorize and reform WIA—now WIOA—allows the Boards to continue to apply and improve upon an integrated strategy for serving the Texas labor market. Texas has implemented a majority of programmatic changes mandated by WIOA, such as providing Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF) participants with training and placement services by ES staff and using common performance measures across core programs for both adults and youth. WIOA clearly recognizes Texas’ integrated workforce system by the inclusion of the permissible alternate entity language. (Page 44) Title I

TWC envisions leveraging its experience in building an integrated reporting system to support Common Measures and the WISPR to build a similar system to perform integrated reporting for WIOA and for reports required by WIOA §116. Customer data from TWC’s case management systems, as well as other data such as UI wage records, will be extracted and combined to produce customer-centric, rather than program-centric, records to be used in reporting. The envisioned platform will allow integration of customer records across all six core programs as well as a variety of other partner programs to provide a holistic view of each customer, their services, and their outcomes. (Page 118) Title IV

Additional items required of the 2017 CSNA included:

i. an assessment of the needs of individuals with disabilities for transition services and pre-employment transition services, and the extent to which such services provided under RA73 are coordinated with transition services provided under the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA);

ii. an assessment of the need to establish, develop, or improve community rehabilitation programs (CRPs) within the state;

iii. a report submitted to the Texas Workforce Commission (TWC) containing information about updates to the aforementioned assessments, for any year in which updates are made; and

iv. the process that the state will use to demonstrate that required Pre-ETS are made available to potentially eligible students with disabilities before using any Pre-ETS funding on authorized activities.

Methodology the 2017 CSNA includes information from five main sources:

  1. An Internet-based needs assessment survey that was contracted with the Public Policy Research Institute at Texas A&M University to gather perspectives from customers, staff, and others
  2. Customer satisfaction surveys
  3. Data from ReHabWorks (the automated case management system used by the Texas VR program)
  4. Five town hall meetings held across Texas in Dallas, El Paso, Houston, McAllen, and San Antonio
  5. Ten key informant interviews of VR managers and counselors, including one VR manager from each integrated service area and one from each of the previously separate designated state units (DSUs) for blind and general VR services, one experienced counselor, and one novice counselor.

Data Collection and Organizational Challenges Data was gathered from January to October 2017. (Page 273) Title IV

511

~~When a customer chooses to pursue subminimum wage employment, counseling on other employment options is provided. When, after counseling, subminimum wage employment is still the customer’s choice, the VR case is closed. Those customers who choose subminimum wage employment receive counseling, guidance, and referral services within the first six months of employment and annually thereafter. TWC has regional and state office transition specialists who provide support to VR counselors and VRD field office managers in developing collaborative partnerships with and increasing cooperation between VRD, local school districts, and other community organizations as resources for students with disabilities. These transition specialists assist with the development of policy, training, and strategies that lead to effective provision of transition services. (Page 243) Title IV

Equal Opportunity and Nondiscrimination: Section 188

TWC additionally promotes partnerships with employers to overcome barriers to meeting workforce needs with the creative use of technology and innovation. TWC takes steps to ensure that the staff of public schools, vocational service programs, and community-based organizations are trained and supported to assist all individuals with disabilities in achieving competitive employment. TWC also promotes the availability and accessibility of individualized training designed to prepare an individual with a disability for the individual’s preferred employment. To this end, individuals with disabilities are given the opportunity to understand and explore options for education and training, including postsecondary, graduate and postgraduate education, vocational or technical training, or other training, as pathways to employment. (Page 46) Title I

Additionally, TWC employs an electronic and information resources (EIR) accessibility coordinator to serve as a contact for EIR accessibility concerns. The coordinator both monitors agency-wide compliance with accessibility policy and facilitates correction of noncompliant EIR. To these ends, the coordinator partners with accessibility-designated liaisons in each business area. An accessibility liaison functions as the primary contact for the business area’s compliance with EIR accessibility requirements. The liaison also assists in staff development, addressing the needs of individuals with disabilities, as well as in sharing TWC’s accessibility goals and requirements. (Page 130) Title I

Describe the State’s one-stop center certification policy, particularly the accessibility criteria. Achieving excellence in accessibility is based on three core principles:

  • ensuring that all customers can effectively use workforce products and services;
  • creating a workspace accessible for individuals with disabilities; and
  • complying with all federal and state legal requirements. (Page 130) Title I

The TWC Equal Opportunity (EO) Unit functions within the Sub recipient and Equal Opportunity Monitoring Department. The EO Unit monitors recipients of WIOA Title I financial assistance to determine compliance with the nondiscrimination and equal opportunity provisions of WIOA §188. Both programmatic and physical accessibility are addressed during an EO compliance review. As recipients of WIOA funding, Boards are monitored on-site based on a three-year rotation schedule, as referenced in the State Methods of Administration (MOA) maintained on file with DOL’s Civil Rights Center (DOL-CRC). All 28 Boards are scheduled for an EO review within a designated three-year period. Dates for EO monitoring reviews generally align with those of the TWC’s annual Board monitoring review. In determining which sites are selected for physical accessibility reviews, current Workforce Solutions Offices lists will be cross-referenced with the database of Workforce Solutions Offices previously reviewed by state-level staff. The EO manager will conduct a risk assessment in selecting locations for physical accessibility reviews based on the following criteria: • the location was not previously reviewed by TWC staff based on historical review data; • the location was not reviewed by TWC staff during the tenure of the current Board EO Officer; and/or • the location reflected numerous deficiencies in the previous EO review, thus warranting a follow-up review by TWC. (Page 131) Title I

TWC purchases services only from providers that are in compliance with the VR Standards. TWC-contracted service providers are subject to both ongoing and periodic programmatic and financial monitoring. Risk assessment tools are used at the state and the regional level to identify service providers to be monitored. On-site monitoring visits may be scheduled. Additionally, service providers not identified through the risk assessment tools may also be monitored. A monitoring team includes representatives from TWC VRD and VR Contract Oversight Monitoring. Contractors found in noncompliance with VR Standards may be placed on a corrective action plan. Sanctions vary and may include financial restitution where appropriate. All contractors are provided ongoing technical assistance. In addition to monitoring, VR Standards also require ongoing self-evaluation by each contracted service provider. (Page 246) Title IV

Approved providers also receive training in the field from VRCs, state office program specialists, employment assistance specialists, University of North Texas online courses, and Criss Cole Rehabilitation Center staff. Training may include:

  • disability awareness, including blindness, to give providers a better understanding of the challenges and limitations faced by customers;
  • education on Americans with Disabilities Act requirements to ensure that providers understand the guidelines and law governing provision of accommodations to customers;
  • education on other employment-related laws and recruitment, job matching, job customization, work accommodations, and retention;
  • Texas Confidence Builders training, which provides the philosophy TWC VRD has adopted to help customers gain personal independence, acceptance, and adjustment to blindness, and find meaningful work; and
  • accessible writing courses, which promote awareness and education related to the importance of accessibility in documents. (Page 247) Title II
Vets

Required one-stop partners: In addition to the core programs, the following partner programs are required to provide access through the one-stops: Career and Technical Education (Perkins), Community Services Block Grant, Indian and Native American programs, HUD Employment and Training programs, Job Corps, Local Veterans’ Employment Representatives and Disabled Veterans’ Outreach Program, National Farmworker Jobs program, Senior Community Service Employment program, Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF) (unless the Governor determines TANF will not be a required partner), Trade Adjustment Assistance programs, Unemployment Compensation programs, and YouthBuild. (Page 29)

CCH seeks to maximize college credits awarded to veterans and active duty service members for their military experience through streamlined degree paths and workforce certifications to expedite transition into the Texas workforce.

Since its initiation in 2011, CCH has undergone a phased-in expansion across the state. Fourteen Texas colleges and universities have established accelerated curricula for veterans and active duty service members in fields such as emergency medical services, surgical technology, respiratory therapy, nursing, information technology (IT), firefighting, advanced manufacturing, logistics, wind engineering, and oil field technology.

College Credit for Heroes (CCH) also created an online application and database where veterans and active duty service members can receive an official evaluation of credit to be used at colleges and universities. As of October 1, 2015, the website has received over 90,000 visits and more than 10,000 requests for evaluations. Texas veterans and active duty service members have earned an average of 25 credit hours each through the CCH website.

Additionally, the program aims to expand the network of partnering colleges and universities through memoranda of understanding partnerships. The award of academic credit is contingent on approval from a receiving Texas college or university; therefore, increasing awareness among these institutions is essential. Institutions that become partners commit to review CCH evaluations and to maximize the award of college credit to veterans and active duty service members for their military experience and training.

To date, the network of CCH partner schools has grown to more than 42 institutions of higher education, with more looking to join. (Page 76) Title I

Texas is home to 1.68 million veterans, the second largest veteran population in the nation. TWC is using the newest workforce development strategies and initiatives to expand services for veterans and spouses of veterans. (Page 127) Title I

Mental Health

~~Mental Health VRD promotes mental health evidence-based practices and other evidence-informed models of service that will improve competitive integrated employment outcome strategies for customers. Other examples of collaboration include: increasing coordination and developing new partnerships with other state and community organizations—mental health organizations, local authorities, DSHS (the state agency for mental health), and universities—that serve individuals with developmental or intellectual impairments and mental health disorders to develop resources, expand knowledge, and implement best practices; working with the HHSC Office of Mental Health to identify and implement best practices, engage potential community partners, and facilitate service coordination; and participating in the Mental Health First Aid training conducted by local mental health authorities, which teaches VRCs and other professionals how to assist someone experiencing a mental health crisis. Training is another area that emphasizes interagency cooperation. (Page 254-255) Title IV

Table 2: Vocational Rehabilitation Division Attrition Rate as of October 1, 2016 Job title Average Strength (average filled positions) Total Separations Volun Invol Retire Other (transfer to outside agency) Year-to-date (YTD) Rate Vol YTD Rate VRC 583.5 92 66 6 13 7 15.77% 11.31% TVRC 97.75 15 11 0 2 2 15.35% 11.28% Table notes: • YTD Rate calculated by dividing Total Separations by Average Strength • Vol YTD Rate calculated by dividing Volun by Average Strength • Attrition Rate information provided by TWC Human Resources Outreach activities will continue to be conducted to broaden the population of individuals with disabilities being served by VRD. Outreach, education, and awareness efforts will be targeted to underserved and unserved populations such as transition students, veterans, and individuals with neurodevelopmental disorders (including autism), and psychological disorders such as bipolar disorder or schizophrenia. (Page 257) Title IV

Return to Work/Stay at Work (RTW/SAW)

No disability specific information found regarding this element.

Past WIOA Profiles Year
Past WIOA Profile Year: 
2017
Past WIOA Profile Attachment : 

Policies and Initiatives

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Veterans On the Job Training - 05/16/2020

“On-the-Job training programs allow Veterans to learn a trade or skill through training on the job rather than by attending a formal program of classroom-based instruction yielding a degree or certificate.”

 

This page includes links to additional information and resources.

Systems
  • Other
Topics
  • Employer Engagement
  • Apprenticeship
  • Resource Leveraging
  • Veterans

2019 CMS Navigator Cooperative Agreement Recipient TEXAS Change Happens - 09/03/2019

~~“TEXAS Change Happens was awarded a statewide 2019 CMS Navigator Cooperative Agreement serving  “Left behind” consumers (i.e., hourly wage workers, variable income workers, persons without health insurance due to lack of affordability, persons with lack of knowledge about affordable health insurance options, victims of recent area storms and how to apply), rural residents, the uninsured and under insured.  There were no Sub-awardee/Subrecipient Contracted Organizations. They will partner with State Medicaid/CHIP agency; Enroll Gulf Coast Collaborative—made up of: schools; colleges/universities; businesses; government agencies; faith-based organizations; community-based organizations; civic organizations; elected and public officials; and various other organizations and institutions. For more information, please contact the designated project lead.Contact: Helen StaggPhone: (713) 374-1285Email: hstagg@changehappenstx.org  ” 

Systems
  • Other
Topics
  • Cross-Agency Collaboration / Partnerships

2019 CMS Navigator Cooperative Agreement Recipient MHP Salud - 09/03/2019

~~“MHP Salud was awarded a statewide 2019 CMS Navigator Cooperative Agreement serving The uninsured, low-income individuals with limited English proficiency from the “left behind” communities; and to the broader uninsured and currently insured population, including seasonal, self-employed individuals, and communities that may have been underserved during previous open enrollment periods, such as extremely rural populations. Sub-awardee/Subrecipient Contracted Organizations are. ARISE; LUPE;  South Texas Health Systems; Edinburg Regional Medical Center; McAllen Medical Center; Rio Grande State Center; Nuestra Clinica del Valle; Mid-Valley Half-Way House; and Colonia Unidas. They will partner with Community Resource Centers; Local Community Organizations; Public libraries; Federally-qualified Health Centers (FQHCs), clinics, and local hospital systems. For more information, please contact the designated project lead.Contact: Jennifer BishopPhone: (956) 968-3600 Ext. 2022Email: jbishop@mhpsalud.org  ” 

Systems
  • Other
Topics
  • Cross-Agency Collaboration / Partnerships

HUD Awards $4.8 Million To Help Low-Income Veterans Rehabiitate Their Homes - 07/18/2019

~~The U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) and the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) today announced $4.8 million in funding through the Veterans Housing Rehabilitation and Modification Pilot (VHRMP) Program to assist disabled veterans with modifying or rehabilitating their homes, making them more accessible.

Through the VHRMP program, grantees will make necessary physical modifications to address the adaptive housing needs of eligible veterans, including wheelchair ramps, widening exterior and interior doors, reconfiguring and reequipping bathrooms, or adding a bedroom or bathroom for the veteran’s caregiver.

“Our veterans gave everything in service to our country so it’s now our duty to ensure they have a safe and decent place to call home,” said HUD Secretary Ben Carson. “The grants awarded today ensure veterans living with disabilities can make the necessary adaptive modifications to their homes, allowing them to lead self-sufficient lives.”

“Our biggest hope for Veterans is that they fully participate in the country they fought to defend once they return from service,” said VA Secretary Robert Wilkie. “These grants further that goal by ensuring Veterans with service-related disabilities don’t just get housing, but live in a home that meets their specific needs. We’re proud to work with our nonprofit partners once again this year to help our Veterans.”

The purpose of this pilot program is to assist our nation’s low-income veterans living with disabilities who need adaptive housing to help them regain or maintain their independence. By partnering with the VA, HUD is addressing these challenges by awarding competitive grants to organizations that primarily serve veterans and low-income people.

Systems
  • Other
Topics
  • Cross-Agency Collaboration / Partnerships

Transition Services for Students and Youth with Disabilities - 07/01/2019

~~“Providing Pre-Employment Transition ServicesUnder the Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act (WIOA), vocational rehabilitation (VR) agencies are required to reserve and expend a minimum of 15 percent of their federal funding solely for pre-employment transition services (Pre-ETS).Pre-ETS activities are provided to individuals who:• meet the definition of a student with a disability; and are eligible or potentially eligible for VR services” 

Systems
  • Other
Topics
  • School-to-Work Transition
  • WIOA

VR-SFP Chapter 18: Supported Employment Services - 06/21/2019

~~“The VR Supported Employment Outcome-Based System uses the "Place, Then Train" model of employment placement to place customers in a job and then train them in order to help them find and keep long-term competitive integrated employment.

By being matched to a job first and then receiving ongoing supports and training, the customer develops job-readiness skills while on the job. An employer who hires a VR customer is expected to provide the same training to the VR customer as the employer would provide to other new employees, with help and support from the VR counselor and the SE specialist.

Customized employment practices develop the best job match for the customer, using flexible strategies to meet the individual's needs and the employer's unmet business needs. These practices address the unique skills, interests, abilities, capabilities, and support needs of an individual with a most significant disability. Many times, jobs must be created and/or designed with flexible strategies to allow for a suitable job match.”

Systems
  • Other
Topics
  • Customized Employment

Adult Mental Health Supported Employment - 06/18/2019

~~“Supported employment helps people 17 and older with mental illness, intellectual or developmental disabilities, and traumatic brain injury find jobs that pay competitive wages. These jobs are all in integrated settings in the community, meaning you will work with other people who don’t necessarily have disabilities. Unlike traditional vocational rehabilitation, which provides job readiness and other training, this program individualizes its services to align with your interests and preferences."

Systems
  • Other
Topics
  • Mental Health

Explanation of Services and Supports Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities - 06/04/2019

~~“This is a brief description of intellectual and developmental disability (IDD) services and supports provided by Texas Health and Human Services Commission (HHSC). Some services and supports have interest lists because they do not have immediate openings available. Persons who want particular services or supports should add their names to the appropriate interest list as soon as possible. Persons who are now receiving particular services or supports may add their names to the interest list for other services and supports. For more information about services and supports, including a list of providers in your area, please contact your local IDD authority (LIDDA). You can find your LIDDA’s contact information at https://apps.hhs.texas.gov/contact/search.cfm  .”

Systems
  • Other

5220 Money Follows the Person Demonstration Entitlement Tracking and Service Authorization System Data Entry - 06/03/2019

~~“Time spent in a nursing facility (NF) does not count toward the 365-day period; therefore, tracking is required to ensure Money Follows the Person Demonstration (MFPD) individuals receive the full 365-day entitlement period. The entitlement period begins the date the individual who agrees to participate in the demonstration is enrolled in the STAR+PLUS Home and Community Based Services (HCBS) program. The managed care organization (MCO) uploads Form H2067, Managed Care Programs Communication, to TxMedCentral in the MCO folder, indicating the total number of days the member spent in the NF. This information is sent after the 365th day.”

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

S.B. No. 753 AN ACT relating to wage requirements for community rehabilitation programs - 05/14/2019

~~“ AN ACT relating to wage requirements for community rehabilitation programs participating in the purchasing from people with disabilities program…

Sec.122.0075. MINIMUM WAGE PLAN.   (a) This  section applies to a community rehabilitation program that:(1)  is participating in the program administered under this chapter; and(2) pays workers with disabilities employed by the program wages that are less than the federal minimum wage under Section 6, Fair Labor Standards Act of 1938 (29 U.S.C. Section 206)”

Systems
  • Other
Topics
  • Segregated Day & Employment Services
Displaying 1 - 10 of 13

S.B. No. 753 AN ACT relating to wage requirements for community rehabilitation programs - 05/14/2019

~~“ AN ACT relating to wage requirements for community rehabilitation programs participating in the purchasing from people with disabilities program…

Sec.122.0075. MINIMUM WAGE PLAN.   (a) This  section applies to a community rehabilitation program that:(1)  is participating in the program administered under this chapter; and(2) pays workers with disabilities employed by the program wages that are less than the federal minimum wage under Section 6, Fair Labor Standards Act of 1938 (29 U.S.C. Section 206)”

Systems
  • Other
Topics
  • Segregated Day & Employment Services

Workforce Innovation & Opportunity Act (WIOA) - Program Overview - 04/21/2019

~~“The Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act (WIOA) is designed to help job seekers access employment, education, training and support services to succeed in the labor market, and to match employers with the skilled workers they need to compete in the global economy.”

Systems
  • Other
Topics
  • Cross-Agency Collaboration / Partnerships
  • WIOA

Texas SB 2027: Evaluation of Regional Employment and Training Opportunities for People with Disabilities - 09/01/2017

“(A) The Health and Human Services Commission in conjunction with the Texas Workforce Commission shall conduct a study regarding occupational training programs available in this state for individuals with an intellectual disability.

(B)The study must:

determine regions in this state where the training programs should be improved or expanded; and determine strategies for placing trained individuals with intellectual disabilities into fulfilling jobs using existing or improved training programs.”
Systems
  • Department of Workforce Development
  • Other
Topics
  • Cross-Agency Collaboration / Partnerships

S.B. No. 748 AN ACT relating to transition planning for a public school student enrolled in a special education program. - 06/09/2017

~~“SECTION 1. Section29.011, Education Code, is amended to read as follows:Sec. 29.011. TRANSITION PLANNING.   (a) The commissioner shall  by  rule  adopt  procedures  for  compliance  with  federal requirements relating to transition services for students who are enrolled in special education programs under this subchapter.” 

Systems
  • Other
Topics
  • School-to-Work Transition

TX Health and Human Services Commission: General Provisions - 09/01/2015

“It is the policy of the state that earning a living wage through competitive employment in the general workforce is the priority and preferred outcome for working-age individuals with disabilities who receive public benefits.”

Systems
  • Department of Rehabilitation Services
  • Other
Topics
  • Employer Engagement
  • 14(c)/Income Security
  • Provider Transformation
  • Cross-Agency Collaboration / Partnerships

Texas SB 1664 (ABLE Act) - 06/19/2015

"An act relating to the establishment of the Texas Achieving a Better Life Experience (ABLE) Program…(1) to encourage and assist individuals and families in saving funds for the purpose of supporting individuals with disabilities to maintain health, independence, and quality of life, and (2) to provide secure funding for qualified disability expenses on behalf of designated beneficiaries with disabilities that will supplement, but not supplant, benefits provided through private insurance, the Medicaid program under title XIX of the Social Security Act, the Supplemental Security Income program under title XVI of the Social Security Act, the beneficiary's employment, and other sources."

Systems
  • Department of Education
  • Other
Topics
  • Asset Development / Financial Capability
Citations

Texas SB 1664 - 06/19/2015

"An act relating to the establishment of the Texas Achieving a Better Life Experience (ABLE) Program…(1) to encourage and assist individuals and families in saving funds for the purpose of supporting individuals with disabilities to maintain health, independence, and quality of life, and (2) to provide secure funding for qualified disability expenses on behalf of designated beneficiaries with disabilities that will supplement, but not supplant, benefits provided through private insurance, the Medicaid program under title XIX of the Social Security Act, the Supplemental Security Income program under title XVI of the Social Security Act, the beneficiary's employment, and other sources."

 

Systems
  • Other
Topics
  • Asset Development / Financial Capability
Citations

Texas SB 7: Enacting Community First Choice - 06/14/2013

“AN ACT relating to improving the delivery and quality of certain health and human services, including the delivery and quality of Medicaid acute care services and long-term services and supports.”

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

2013 Employment Assistance and Supported Employment Bill - 06/14/2013

This acts relates to the provision of employment assistance and supported employment to certain Medicaid waiver program participants. Assistance includes providing assistance to an individual that helps them locate paid employment in the community.

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

Texas 2013 Employment First Bill (S.B 1226) - 06/14/2013

The act establishes an employment-first policy and task force to promote integrated competitive employment opportunities that provide a living wage for individuals with disabilities. The Texas Education Agency and the Texas Workforce Commission will jointly adopt and implement the policy.

Systems
  • Department of Workforce Development
  • Department of Education
Topics
  • School-to-Work Transition
  • Home and Community Based Services (HCBS)
  • Employer Engagement
  • Cross-Agency Collaboration / Partnerships

No Executive Orders have been entered for this state.

Displaying 1 - 10 of 35

Veterans On the Job Training - 05/16/2020

“On-the-Job training programs allow Veterans to learn a trade or skill through training on the job rather than by attending a formal program of classroom-based instruction yielding a degree or certificate.”

 

This page includes links to additional information and resources.

Systems
  • Other
Topics
  • Employer Engagement
  • Apprenticeship
  • Resource Leveraging
  • Veterans

Transition Services for Students and Youth with Disabilities - 07/01/2019

~~“Providing Pre-Employment Transition ServicesUnder the Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act (WIOA), vocational rehabilitation (VR) agencies are required to reserve and expend a minimum of 15 percent of their federal funding solely for pre-employment transition services (Pre-ETS).Pre-ETS activities are provided to individuals who:• meet the definition of a student with a disability; and are eligible or potentially eligible for VR services” 

Systems
  • Other
Topics
  • School-to-Work Transition
  • WIOA

VR-SFP Chapter 18: Supported Employment Services - 06/21/2019

~~“The VR Supported Employment Outcome-Based System uses the "Place, Then Train" model of employment placement to place customers in a job and then train them in order to help them find and keep long-term competitive integrated employment.

By being matched to a job first and then receiving ongoing supports and training, the customer develops job-readiness skills while on the job. An employer who hires a VR customer is expected to provide the same training to the VR customer as the employer would provide to other new employees, with help and support from the VR counselor and the SE specialist.

Customized employment practices develop the best job match for the customer, using flexible strategies to meet the individual's needs and the employer's unmet business needs. These practices address the unique skills, interests, abilities, capabilities, and support needs of an individual with a most significant disability. Many times, jobs must be created and/or designed with flexible strategies to allow for a suitable job match.”

Systems
  • Other
Topics
  • Customized Employment

Adult Mental Health Supported Employment - 06/18/2019

~~“Supported employment helps people 17 and older with mental illness, intellectual or developmental disabilities, and traumatic brain injury find jobs that pay competitive wages. These jobs are all in integrated settings in the community, meaning you will work with other people who don’t necessarily have disabilities. Unlike traditional vocational rehabilitation, which provides job readiness and other training, this program individualizes its services to align with your interests and preferences."

Systems
  • Other
Topics
  • Mental Health

Explanation of Services and Supports Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities - 06/04/2019

~~“This is a brief description of intellectual and developmental disability (IDD) services and supports provided by Texas Health and Human Services Commission (HHSC). Some services and supports have interest lists because they do not have immediate openings available. Persons who want particular services or supports should add their names to the appropriate interest list as soon as possible. Persons who are now receiving particular services or supports may add their names to the interest list for other services and supports. For more information about services and supports, including a list of providers in your area, please contact your local IDD authority (LIDDA). You can find your LIDDA’s contact information at https://apps.hhs.texas.gov/contact/search.cfm  .”

Systems
  • Other

Michael E. DeBakey VA Medical Center - Houston, Texas Vocational Rehabilitation - 04/23/2019

~~“Program MissionVocational Rehabilitation is committed to assisting Veterans with psychiatric or physical disabilities reach their highest level of vocational productivity.Program Goals• Provide structured vocational evaluations• Improve pre-vocational skills including:   - Adhering to a work schedule   - Working cooperatively with others   - Accepting supervision and doing quality work• Reduce psychiatric and physical symptoms• Increase relapse prevention skills• Improve self-esteem and enhance quality of life• Return Veterans to competitive employment ” 

Systems
  • Other

S.B. 748: Modernizing Transition Planning - 02/28/2019

~~This is a presentation on the current state of Transition in the Texas Education Agency.  Topics include: Senate Bill 748 (85th Texas Legislature) Current Statutes Amended Responsibilities What is “Appropriate?” Supported Decision-Making TEA Model Form and Resources Takeaways for LEAs 

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

Texas Statewide Behavioral Health Fiscal Years 2017 – 2021Strategic Plan Update and the Foundation for the IDD Strategic Plan - 02/05/2019

~~“The 2018-19General Appropriations Act, S.B. 1, 85thLegislature, Regular Session, 2017(Article IX, Section 10.04) added three agencies to the Council: Texas Department of Housing and Community Affairs, Texas Workforce Commission, and Texas Education Agency. It also required community collaboratives that receive funding under the provisions of the bill to report twice annually to the Statewide Behavioral Health Coordinating Council(“the Council”).While this strategic plan was originally intended to help legislators understand the scope of programs and outcomes related to behavioral health-related appropriated funds, this plan does reference programs and initiatives implemented using multiple or other funding sources”

Systems
  • Other
Topics
  • Mental Health
  • Cross-Agency Collaboration / Partnerships

Employment First Fact Sheet - 02/01/2019

~~“It is policy and law in the State of Texas that earning a living wage through competitive integrated employment is the first and preferred outcome for adults with disabilities who receive public benefits. Employment First promotes the expectation that Texans with disabilities are valued members of the workforce and able to meet the same employment standards, responsibilities, and expectations as other working-age adults. The Council supports Employment First policies and will work with the legislature, state agency staff, stakeholders (self-advocates, family members, and employers), and interested parties to pro-mote Employment First policies and positions.”

Systems
  • Other
Topics
  • Cross-Agency Collaboration / Partnerships

Governor’s Small Business Handbook - 01/12/2019

~~“There are several important steps to consider when starting a business in Texas. The Small Business Handbook provides a comprehensive overview of business planning, registration, requirements and financing. The Handbook also identifies programs and organizations supporting entrepreneurs and small business owners throughout the state..”

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

HUD Awards $4.8 Million To Help Low-Income Veterans Rehabiitate Their Homes - 07/18/2019

~~The U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) and the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) today announced $4.8 million in funding through the Veterans Housing Rehabilitation and Modification Pilot (VHRMP) Program to assist disabled veterans with modifying or rehabilitating their homes, making them more accessible.

Through the VHRMP program, grantees will make necessary physical modifications to address the adaptive housing needs of eligible veterans, including wheelchair ramps, widening exterior and interior doors, reconfiguring and reequipping bathrooms, or adding a bedroom or bathroom for the veteran’s caregiver.

“Our veterans gave everything in service to our country so it’s now our duty to ensure they have a safe and decent place to call home,” said HUD Secretary Ben Carson. “The grants awarded today ensure veterans living with disabilities can make the necessary adaptive modifications to their homes, allowing them to lead self-sufficient lives.”

“Our biggest hope for Veterans is that they fully participate in the country they fought to defend once they return from service,” said VA Secretary Robert Wilkie. “These grants further that goal by ensuring Veterans with service-related disabilities don’t just get housing, but live in a home that meets their specific needs. We’re proud to work with our nonprofit partners once again this year to help our Veterans.”

The purpose of this pilot program is to assist our nation’s low-income veterans living with disabilities who need adaptive housing to help them regain or maintain their independence. By partnering with the VA, HUD is addressing these challenges by awarding competitive grants to organizations that primarily serve veterans and low-income people.

Systems
  • Other
Topics
  • Cross-Agency Collaboration / Partnerships

Employment First Training - 07/02/2018

~~HHSC works with employers to match them with job applicants with disabilities who can add value to a business as they live the life they want.

HHSC will provide a series of free, one-day workshops on our Employment First Training program:

Who Should Attend

Staff who support individuals who have set employment as a goal, providers of waiver services, service coordinators, case managers, LIDDAs, professional and direct care staff.

Advocates, service recipients, families, guardians and anyone interested in employment services for people with Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities are welcome to attend.

What's Covered•Texas Employment First Policy.•Employment services in Medicaid waivers, including billable services and billing information.•How Medicaid waiver employment services and Texas Workforce Solutions-Vocational Rehabilitation Services works.•Overview of Social Security Administration disability benefits.•HCBS settings rule changes.•HHS Employment Recruitment Coordinator Project and Employment Initiatives.”

Systems
  • Other
Topics
  • Cross-Agency Collaboration / Partnerships

Texas State Plans for VR Services and Supported Employment Services Programs - 09/30/2014

“The Division for Rehabilitation Services (DRS) recognizes that collaboration with community organizations and other state agencies is essential to achieving successful employment outcomes for consumers with the most significant disabilities. DRS seeks opportunities to identify, develop, and implement cooperative agreements with other state agencies and appropriate entities, particularly when these agreements establish a framework to assist with the provision of supported employment services and extended services for consumers with the most significant disabilities.”

Systems
  • Department of Rehabilitation Services
  • Department of Education
Topics
  • School-to-Work Transition
  • Mental Health
  • Home and Community Based Services (HCBS)
  • Employer Engagement
  • Cross-Agency Collaboration / Partnerships

Employment First Task Force Home Page

The Employment First Task Force, authorized by Senate Bill 1226 (83rd Legislature, Regular Session, 2013), was established by the Texas Health and Human Services Commission executive commissioner to promote competitive employment of people with disabilities and the expectation that individuals with disabilities are able to meet the same employment standards, responsibilities, and expectations as any other working-age adult.”

 

Systems
  • Department of Rehabilitation Services
  • Department of Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities
  • Department of Workforce Development
  • Department of Education
Topics
  • School-to-Work Transition
  • Home and Community Based Services (HCBS)
  • Employer Engagement
  • Cross-Agency Collaboration / Partnerships

Texas Dept of Assistive and Rehabilitative Services and Dept of Aging and Disability Services MOA

Recognizing the need to coordinate the provision of services to individuals receiving services from the Texas Department of Aging and Disability Services (DADS) who may be eligible for or are receiving Vocational Rehabilitation (VR) or Independent Living (IL) services from the Texas Department of Assistive and Rehabilitative Services (DARS), DARS and DADS enter into this Memorandum of Agreement (MOA) in accordance with the provisions of CFR §361.53(d) and 111.0525(b) of the Texas Human Resources Code. 

Systems
  • Department of Rehabilitation Services
  • Department of Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities
Topics
  • Home and Community Based Services (HCBS)
  • Cross-Agency Collaboration / Partnerships
Displaying 1 - 4 of 4

Texas Money Follows The Person - 06/30/2016

~~“Texas was among the first 30 states chosen to participate in the Money Follows the Person Demonstration (MFPD) in 2007. As of June 2016, 43 states participate in this federal demonstration designed to help older adults or persons who have disabilities move from institutional settings back into their communities.MFPD provides federal grant funding as well as funding from Medicaid matching cost savings [1], as defined at the bottom of this document.> to assist states in moving individuals from institutions to the community. In fiscal year 2016, HHSC has budgeted over $16 million in federal funding to help individuals transition out of nursing facilities, State Supported Living Centers, Intermediate Care Facilities for Individuals with Intellectual Disabilities and other institutions. Funds are also used to provide behavioral health supports that help individuals remain living in the community, enhance opportunities for integrated employment for greater self-sufficiency, and increase the availability of affordable, accessible housing.MFPD has helped Texas rebalance its long-term services and supports system by increasing the use of community-based services rather than institutional services. Early in calendar year 2008, Texas reported 51 percent of its long term services and support expenditures were used to support institution-based services. By the end of calendar year 2014, institution-based services accounted for 41.2 percent of long-term services and supports spending. Community-based services now comprise the majority of Texas long-term services and supports system.” 

Systems
  • Department of Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities
  • Medicaid Agencies
  • Other
Topics
  • Home and Community Based Services (HCBS)
  • Cross-Agency Collaboration / Partnerships

Texas 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.”

In FY2012, Texas was awarded an EDI grant for an expansion of supported employment through Consumer Operated Services Programs.

Systems
  • Department of Mental Health
Topics
  • Mental Health

Texas Ticket to Work - 06/25/2008

“Under the Ticket to Work Program and Title II and Title XVI of the Act, SSA issues “tickets” to SSDI and SSI blind or disabled beneficiaries. In this voluntary program, each beneficiary who receives a ticket can use it to obtain services from a provider, known as an employment network (EN), or from a state vocational rehabilitation (VR) agency. The VR agency in Texas is the Texas Department of Assistive and Rehabilitative Services (DARS)…

The intent of the Ticket to Work Program is to…establish a system in which qualified ENs provide employment and other support services (e.g., case management, benefits counseling, and job training); provide individualized tickets to beneficiaries for the “purchase” of services from approved ENs; and give beneficiaries a real choice in obtaining the services, education, and technology needed to find, enter, and maintain employment within an expanding universe of service providers.”

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

Texas Medicaid Buy-In Program

The program “offers low-cost Medicaid health care services — including community-based services and supports to working people with a disability. Some people might have to pay a monthly fee” to receive services which include but not limited to:  • Doctor / clinic visits  • Mental health care  • Occupational therapy (help learning how to do everyday tasks)  • X-rays  • Physical therapy (help learning how to move around better or become stronger)

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

2019 CMS Navigator Cooperative Agreement Recipient TEXAS Change Happens - 09/03/2019

~~“TEXAS Change Happens was awarded a statewide 2019 CMS Navigator Cooperative Agreement serving  “Left behind” consumers (i.e., hourly wage workers, variable income workers, persons without health insurance due to lack of affordability, persons with lack of knowledge about affordable health insurance options, victims of recent area storms and how to apply), rural residents, the uninsured and under insured.  There were no Sub-awardee/Subrecipient Contracted Organizations. They will partner with State Medicaid/CHIP agency; Enroll Gulf Coast Collaborative—made up of: schools; colleges/universities; businesses; government agencies; faith-based organizations; community-based organizations; civic organizations; elected and public officials; and various other organizations and institutions. For more information, please contact the designated project lead.Contact: Helen StaggPhone: (713) 374-1285Email: hstagg@changehappenstx.org  ” 

Systems
  • Other
Topics
  • Cross-Agency Collaboration / Partnerships

2019 CMS Navigator Cooperative Agreement Recipient MHP Salud - 09/03/2019

~~“MHP Salud was awarded a statewide 2019 CMS Navigator Cooperative Agreement serving The uninsured, low-income individuals with limited English proficiency from the “left behind” communities; and to the broader uninsured and currently insured population, including seasonal, self-employed individuals, and communities that may have been underserved during previous open enrollment periods, such as extremely rural populations. Sub-awardee/Subrecipient Contracted Organizations are. ARISE; LUPE;  South Texas Health Systems; Edinburg Regional Medical Center; McAllen Medical Center; Rio Grande State Center; Nuestra Clinica del Valle; Mid-Valley Half-Way House; and Colonia Unidas. They will partner with Community Resource Centers; Local Community Organizations; Public libraries; Federally-qualified Health Centers (FQHCs), clinics, and local hospital systems. For more information, please contact the designated project lead.Contact: Jennifer BishopPhone: (956) 968-3600 Ext. 2022Email: jbishop@mhpsalud.org  ” 

Systems
  • Other
Topics
  • Cross-Agency Collaboration / Partnerships

Texas Department of Health and Human Services Training Initiatives - 07/01/2017

“To provide educational opportunities to enhance services provided across the state, Texas Health and Human Services develops and provides free training. Training initiatives are based on identified needs of services providers, individuals receiving services and supports, and emerging and best practices.”

Topics include employment, SSI/SSDI benefits, Employment First, Positive Behavior Management and Support, and mental health and trauma-informed care for people with intellectual and developmental disabilities.

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

Texas Medicaid Person-Centered Planning Training - 02/16/2017

This page lists the Person-Centered Planning Training Requirements for various providers, caseworkers, state employees, etc. if they are part of a planning team. It also includes a link to sign up for trainings.

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

The Texas Customized Self-Employment Project: The Customized Employment Plan Design

This presentation describes Customized Employment as “a flexible process designed to personalize the employment relationship between a job candidate and an employer in a way that meets the needs of both.”  It focuses heavily on the processes and value of Discovery in the employment process.

Systems
  • Department of Rehabilitation Services
  • Department of Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities
  • Other
Topics
  • Customized Employment
  • Self-Employment
  • Employer Engagement
  • Provider Transformation

The Texas Customized Self-Employment Project

This presentation presents Self-Employment as a viable employment option for people with disabilities.

Systems
  • Department of Rehabilitation Services
  • Department of Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities
Topics
  • Customized Employment
  • Self-Employment

Texas Transition and Employment Guide

This transition and employment guide is for you, the student in Texas public school, who may have received special education services due to a disability. It also provides helpful information for your parents. This guide has steps you and your parents can take to make sure you are able to find the right work or educational choices for you after high school. It also tells you where to get the services you will need after high school.    The guide is divided into sections on Self Advocacy, Transition Services, Employment and Supported Employment, Social Security Programs, Community and Long Term Services and Supports, Postsecondary Educational Programs and Services, Information Sharing, and Guardianship and Alternatives. Each section has phone numbers, emails, and websites to help you find what you need. At the end of each section and at the end of the guide, you will find a timeline of steps that you and your parents can take as you make the transition from student to adult.”  
Systems
  • Department of Education
  • Other
Topics
  • Self-Employment
  • School-to-Work Transition
  • Mental Health
Displaying 1 - 3 of 3

Wal-Mart to Pay $150,000 to Settle EEOC Age and Disability Discrimination Suit - 02/19/2015

“Under the terms of the two-year consent decree settling the case, Wal-Mart will pay $150,000 in relief to Moorman. In addition, Wal-Mart agreed to provide training for employees on the ADA and the ADEA. The training will include an instruction on the kind of conduct that may constitute unlawful discrimination or harassment, as well as an instruction on Wal-Mart's procedures for handling requests for reasonable accommodations under the ADA. Wal-Mart will also report to the EEOC regarding its compliance with the consent decree and post a notice to employees about the settlement.”

Systems
  • Other
Topics
  • Employer Engagement

Texas Wendy’s Consent Decree - 10/10/2012

“Under the terms of the two-year consent decree settling the case, Wendy's will pay $41,500 in relief to a person who applied to a job with the company, but was denied despite his qualifications. “In addition, Wendy's has agreed to provide training for all managers and supervisory employees, including its company president, on the ADA. The training will include a discussion related to hiring individuals with disabilities. In addition, the training will include a specific instruction on communication devices, such as the use of the Texas Relay System or video relay service regarding communication between Wendy's employees and applicants with hearing impairments.’“

Systems
  • Other
Topics
  • Employer Engagement

Steward et. al. v. Abbott et. al. – 5:10-CV-1025 – (W.D. Tex. 2010)

~On September 20, 2012, the Court granted the United States' request to intervene in a pending lawsuit against the State of Texas. The suit claims that Texas unnecessarily segregates individuals with intellectual and developmental disabilities in nursing facilities, and that this violates the law under Title II of the Americans with Disabilities Act and Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act.

In August 2013, the Parties entered a two-year Interim Settlement that required the State to begin expanding community alternatives to nursing facilities. During this time, the Parties negotiated extensively to reach a comprehensive settlement of all remaining issues. Litigation resumed in October 2015, after settlement negotiations failed and the Interim Agreement expired. In May 2016, the Court denied the State’s motions to dismiss the lawsuit and granted the private Plaintiffs’ renewed motion for class certification. The United States had filed a brief in support of the Plaintiffs’ motion, which asked the Court to resolve the common claims of over 4,000 people with intellectual and developmental disabilities “who currently or will in the future reside in nursing facilities, or who are being, will be, or should be screened for admission . . .”. The Parties are now in the early stages of discovery.

Systems
  • Other
Topics
  • Mental Health
  • Home and Community Based Services (HCBS)
Displaying 1 - 10 of 18

5220 Money Follows the Person Demonstration Entitlement Tracking and Service Authorization System Data Entry - 06/03/2019

~~“Time spent in a nursing facility (NF) does not count toward the 365-day period; therefore, tracking is required to ensure Money Follows the Person Demonstration (MFPD) individuals receive the full 365-day entitlement period. The entitlement period begins the date the individual who agrees to participate in the demonstration is enrolled in the STAR+PLUS Home and Community Based Services (HCBS) program. The managed care organization (MCO) uploads Form H2067, Managed Care Programs Communication, to TxMedCentral in the MCO folder, indicating the total number of days the member spent in the NF. This information is sent after the 365th day.”

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

What is Community First Choice? - 01/01/2019

~~“Community First Choice (CFC) provides certain services and supports to individuals living in the community who are enrolled in the Medicaid program and meet CFC eligibility requirements. Services and supports may include:• activities of daily living (eating, toileting, and grooming), activities related to living independently in the community, and health-related tasks (personal assistance services);• acquisition, maintenance, and enhancement of skills necessary for the individuals to care for themselves and to live independently in the community (habilitation);• providing a backup system or ways to ensure continuity of services and supports (emergency response services); and• training people how to select, manage and dismiss their own attendants (support management).In Texas, CFC may be available to people enrolled in Medicaid, including those served by:• 1915 (c) waiver programs;• Medicaid managed care; andpersonal care services for children.” 

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

Texas Medicaid and CHIP Reference Guide - 12/31/2018

~~“Medicaid Buy-In (MBI) for Workers with DisabilitiesThe Medicaid Buy-In (MBI) program enables working persons with disabilities to buy in to Medicaid. Individuals with income below 250 percent of the federal poverty level (FPL) and resources at or below $5,000 may qualify and may pay a monthly premium in order to receive Medicaid benefits.” 

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

2018 Revised Texas Promoting Independence Plan - 12/07/2018

~~“Funding for Reduction in Community-based Services Interest Lists  Texas has five 1915(c) Medicaid waiver programs and one Home and Community-Based Services (HCBS) program in the 1115 waiver, which serve people who have a physical, IDD or a related condition.20 Community-based services and supports delivered via Medicaid waiver programs are in high demand and interest consistently outweighs available resources. Interest list numbers reflect individuals who have demonstrated interest in a waiver, but have not yet been assessed for financial or functional eligibility. Individuals may not be found eligible for the program after being assessed. Some service needs may be met through other programs, such as CFC or GR or Title XX funded services, until the individual’s name reaches the top of the interest list.”

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

Medicaid buy-in program for employees with disabilities - 09/18/2018

~~The Medicaid buy-in program allows working Texans with disabilities to get Medicaid, even if they earn more than the Medicaid income limits. To take part in the program, you can't earn more than $2,453 per month. People in the buy-in program pay monthly premiums based on their income and other factors. 

Systems
  • Medicaid Agencies
  • Other
Topics
  • Resource Leveraging

Texas Youth Empowerment Services (YES) Waiver Program Payment Rates - 07/01/2017

~~“4900 Supported Employment and Employment AssistanceRevision 17-1; Effective June 1, 2017Senate Bill 45, 83rd Legislature, Regular Session, 2013, required all Medicaid waivers offer employment assistance (EA) and supported employment (SE). Employment services are intended to assist members to find employment and maintain employment. Employment services available for members in the Medically Dependent Children Program are EA and SE. STAR Kids managed care organizations may not require SE or EA providers to obtain a denial or explanation of benefits from a member's primary insurance before seeking reimbursement for SE or EA services. “ 

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

Texas Home Living Program (TxHmL) - Amended Rules Effective 3/2016 - 03/20/2016

~~Amended HCS, TxHmL Rules Effective March 20, 2016“TxHmL provides selected essential services and supports to people with intellectual and developmental disabilities who live  in their family homes or their own homes.” 

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

Texas Community First Choice - 06/01/2015

“Senate Bill 7 from the 2013 Texas Legislature requires the Health and Human Services Commission (HHSC) to put in place a cost-effective option for attendant and habilitation services for people with disabilities who have STAR+PLUS Medicaid coverage.

A federal option, called Community First Choice, allows states to provide home and community-based attendant services and supports to Medicaid recipients with disabilities. This option provides states with a 6 percent increase in federal matching funds for Medicaid for these services.”

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

Medicaid Balancing Incentives Program - 09/04/2012

~~“Federal law established the Balancing Incentive Program (BIP) which increases the Federal Medical Assistance Percentage to participating states through September 2015 in exchange for states making certain structural reforms to increase access to Medicaid community based long-term services and supports (LTSS).These required structural reforms include• implementing a "no wrong door" eligibility and enrollment system;• developing core standardized assessment instruments; and• ensuring case management activities are conflict free.The Texas Health and Human Services Commission (HHSC) and the Texas Department of Aging and Disability Services (DADS) submitted an application to the federal Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) to participate in the BIP (PDF format). On September 4, 2012, CMS approved the state's BIP application.” 

Systems
  • Department of Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities
  • Medicaid Agencies
  • Other
Topics
  • Home and Community Based Services (HCBS)
  • Cross-Agency Collaboration / Partnerships

Balancing Incentives Program - 09/04/2012

~~“Federal law established the Balancing Incentive Program (BIP) which increases the Federal Medical Assistance Percentage to participating states through September 2015 in exchange for states making certain structural reforms to increase access to Medicaid community based long-term services and supports (LTSS).These required structural reforms include• implementing a "no wrong door" eligibility and enrollment system;• developing core standardized assessment instruments; and• ensuring case management activities are conflict free.The Texas Health and Human Services Commission (HHSC) and the Texas Department of Aging and Disability Services (DADS) submitted an application to the federal Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) to participate in the BIP (PDF format). On September 4, 2012, CMS approved the state's BIP application.”
Systems
  • Department of Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities
  • Medicaid Agencies
  • Other
Topics
  • Home and Community Based Services (HCBS)
  • Cross-Agency Collaboration / Partnerships

States - Phablet

Snapshot

Everything's Bigger in Texas, including the number of job options in integrated settings at competitive wages for individuals with disabilities. The Lone Star state is a place where anyone, including those with disabilities, can live the American Dream… Deep in the Heart of Texas! 

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 Texas' VR Rates and Services

2018 State Population.
1.38%
Change from
2017 to 2018
28,701,845
2018 Number of people with disabilities (all disabilities, ages 18-64).
1.02%
Change from
2017 to 2018
1,639,624
2018 Number of people with disabilities who are employed (all disabilities, ages 18-64).
1.76%
Change from
2017 to 2018
659,558
2018 Percentage of working age people who are employed (all disabilities).
0.75%
Change from
2017 to 2018
40.23%
2018 Percentage of working age people who are employed (NO disabilities).
0.56%
Change from
2017 to 2018
76.37%

State Data

General

2018
Population. 28,701,845
Number of people with disabilities (all disabilities, ages 18-64). 1,639,624
Number of people with disabilities who are employed (all disabilities, ages 18-64). 659,558
Number of people without disabilities who are employed (ages 18-64). 11,990,348
Percentage of working age people who are employed (all disabilities). 40.23%
Percentage of working age people who are employed (NO disabilities). 76.37%
State/National unemployment rate. 3.90%
Poverty Rate (all disabilities). 20.70%
Poverty Rate (NO disabilities). 14.20%
Number of males with disabilities (all ages). 1,585,669
Number of females with disabilities (all ages). 1,635,496
Number of Caucasians with disabilities (all ages). 2,463,899
Number of African Americans with disabilities (all ages). 436,029
Number of Hispanic/Latinos with disabilities (all ages). 1,055,473
Number of American Indians/Alaska Natives with disabilities (all ages). 24,413
Number of Asians with disabilities (all ages). 74,173
Number of Hawaiians/Pacific Islanders with disabilities (all ages). 3,784
Number of persons of two or more races with disabilities (all ages) 69,875
Number of persons of some other race alone with disabilities (all ages) 148,992

 

SSA OUTCOMES

2018
Number of SSI recipients with disabilities who work. 21,499
Percentage of SSI recipients with disabilities who work relative to total SSI recipients with disabilities. 3.90%
Old Age Survivor and Disability Insurance (OASDI) recipients/workers with disabilities. 553,435

 

MENTAL HEALTH OUTCOMES

2018
Number of mental health services consumers who are employed. 42,798
Number of mental health services consumers who are part of the labor force (employed or actively looking for employment). 80,752
Number of adults served who have a known employment status. 191,594
Percentage of all state mental health agency consumers served in the community who are employed. 22.30%
Percentage of supported employment services evidence based practices (EBP). 3.70%
Percentage of supported housing services evidence based practices (EBP). 4.20%
Percentage of assertive community treatment services evidence based practices (EBP). 2.20%
Percentage of medications management evidence based practices (EBP). 44.90%
Number of evidence based practices (EBP) supported employment services. 10,893
Number of evidence based practices (EBP) supported housing services. 12,215
Number of evidence based practices (EBP) assertive community treatment services. 6,515
Number of evidence based practices (EBP) medications management. 131,603

 

WAGNER PEYSER OUTCOMES

2015
Number of registered job seekers with a disability. 54,851
Proportion of registered job seekers with a disability. 0.04

 

WORKFORCE DEVELOPMENT OUTCOMES (ADULTS)

2015
Total number of people with a disability that is a substantial barrier to work served by Job Training and Partnership Act/Workforce Investment Act programs. 732
Total number of people with a disability that is a substantial barrier to work who entered unsubsidized employment. 447
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. 61.00%
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. 1.63

 

VR OUTCOMES

2018
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. 22,798
Number of eligible ticket to work beneficiaries. 911,883
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

2017
Dollars spent on day/employment services for integrated employment funding. $4,839,117
Dollars spent on day/employment services for facility-based work funding. $0
Dollars spent on day/employment services for facility-based non-work funding. $148,302,612
Dollars spent on day/employment services for community based non-work funding. $0
Percentage of people served in integrated employment. 6.00%
Number of people served in community based non-work. 0
Number of people served in facility based work. 0
Number of people served in facility based non-work. 24,718
Number supported in integrated employment per 100,000 individuals in the general state population. 5.38

 

EDUCATION OUTCOMES

2017
Percent of children with IEPs aged 6 through 21 served inside the regular class 80% or more of the day (Indicator 5a). 68.75%
Percent of children with IEPs aged 6 through 21 served inside the regular class less than 40% of the day (Indicator 5b). 14.94%
Percent of children with IEPs aged 6 through 21 served in separate schools, residential facilities, or homebound/hospital placements (Indicator 5c). 1.11%
Percent of youth with IEPs aged 16 and above with an IEP that includes appropriate measurable postsecondary goals (Indicator 13). 99.52%
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). 18.31%
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). 50.88%
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). 64.78%
Percentage of youth who are no longer in secondary school, had IEPs in effect at the time they left school, and were competitively employed within one year of leaving high school (Subset of Indicator 14). 32.57%

 

ABILITYONE/JWOD PROGRAM

2014
Number of overall agency blind and SD hours. 7,034,752
Number of overall total blind and SD workers. 6,822
Number of AbilityOne blind and SD hours (products). 1,436,521
Number of AbilityOne blind and SD hours (services). 4,235,134
Number of AbilityOne blind and SD hours (combined). 5,671,655
Number of AbilityOne blind and SD workers (products). 1,090
Number of AbilityOne blind and SD workers (services). 3,482
Number of AbilityOne blind and SD workers (combined). 4,572
AbilityOne wages (products). $12,142,783
AbilityOne wages (services). $54,025,955

 

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

2019
Number of 14(c) certificate-holding businesses. 1
Number of 14(c) certificate-holding school work experience programs (SWEPs). 0
Number of 14(c) certificate-holding community rehabilitation programs (CRPs). 60
Number of 14(c) certificate holding patient workers. 5
Total Number of 14(c) certificate holding entities. 66
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). 4,331
Reported number of people with disabilities working under 14(c) certificate holding patient workers. 462
Total reported number of people with disabilities working under 14(c) certificate holding entities. 4,793

 

WIOA Profile

WIOA Profile

 

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

Employment First State Leadership Mentoring Program (EFSLMP)

~~At the federal, state, and local levels, Texas Workforce Commission (TWC) continues to make great strides toward a streamlined and coordinated one-stop delivery system serving adults and youth with disabilities and employers that employ these individuals. TWC’s executive director and the commissioner of assistive and rehabilitative services (transferred to TWC as of September 2016) participate as ex officio members of the Governor’s Committee on People with Disabilities. TWC also serves on state-level interagency councils and workgroups supporting gateways for individuals with disabilities, such as the Employment First Task Force and the Texas Department of Aging and Disability Services’ (DADS) Promoting Independence Advisory Council. Other memberships have included the Texas Department of Assistive and Rehabilitative Services’ (DARS) Medicaid Infrastructure Grant Advisory Council, and HHSC’s House Bill 1230 Workgroup on Transition Services for Youth with Disabilities. TWC will also continue to coordinate with the State Independent Living Council (SILC) and the Centers for Independent Living (CILs) to serve mutual consumers who need employment assistance as well as assistance with independent living resources. In this vein, TWC has collaborated with a number of agencies in developing guidance, such as a transition and employment guide for Texas students with disabilities.

On a local level, MOUs established between Boards and one-stop partners set forth the operation of the one-stop delivery system to seamlessly and meaningfully serve individuals with disabilities. The elements included in each MOU describe the referral processes between partners and funding of infrastructure costs for one-stop offices and the process for negotiation of the MOUs, as proposed under regulations §678.500 through §678.510 of WIOA. (Page 74) Title I

Evidence of Collaboration, Contracts, and Agreements To provide seamless service delivery to customers and ensure effective use of resources, TWC Vocational Rehabilitation Division (VRD) maintains the following collaborations with community partners and other state agencies:

• VRD Program Specialists provide information and technical assistance to the appropriate Texas Health and Human Services Commission (HHSC) Medical and Social Service Divisions when changes to VR employment services occur.

• VRD works with the appropriate HHSC Medical and Social Service Divisions to ensure that service definitions in the 1915(c) home- and community-based waivers accurately reflect Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services and Rehabilitation Services Administration regulations. This partnership allows services that result in competitive integrated employment to be delivered efficiently and timely through the payer of first resort.

• VRD offers free intensive training and technical assistance to HHSC’s Medical and Social Services Divisions’ Behavioral Health and Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities (IDD) Services Departments Special Projects Unit and community providers to become Benefits Subject Matter Resource staff.

• VRD partners with HHSC’s Medical and Social Services Divisions’ Behavioral Health and IDD Services Departments Special Projects Unit to provide cross training on the VR Long-Term Supports and Services System;

• VRD uses its current partnership with the Social Security Administration (SSA) to encourage CRP providers to become employment networks (ENs) under the SSA Ticket to Work Program. VRD offers incentive payments to CRP-ENs that provide:

• supported employment or job placement services during the provision of VR services; and

• extended support to Ticket to Work customers after VR case closure in order to advance employment or increase customer earnings. •

VRD partners with school districts that provide transition services to youth, and considers all aspects of the cooperative agreements in place to ensure continuity and timeliness of services for those school districts that initiate supported employment services before or after a student graduates.

VRD maintains membership and participation in the Association of People Supporting Employment First (APSE).

VRD has representation in the following: 

  • The Texas Council for Developmental Disabilities
  • The Council for Advising and Planning for the Prevention and Treatment of Mental and Substance Use Disorders
  • Texas Coordinating Council for Veteran Services
  • State Independent Living Council
  • Texas Technology Access Program Advisory Council
  • Texas Council on Consumer Direction
  • The Promoting Independence Advisory Council
  • HHSC Statewide Behavioral Health Coordinating Council
  • HHSC Office of Mental Health Coordination Cross Agency Liaison Committee
  • Governor’s Committee on People with Disabilities Contracts

VRD has bilateral service contracts with CRPs to provide specific employment services, which include supported employment services. VRD counselors may refer customers with all disabilities, including blindness and visual impairments, to CRPs with contracts for supported employment services. The terms and conditions of CRP service contracts are provided in the VRD Standards for Providers manual. (Page 247-248) Title IV

To improve employment rates, suggestions include flexibility in opportunities, increases in on-site work experiences, automated systems to assist providers in managing the reporting requirements of the services, and protections for the customer. All are under review for implementation. Continued data tracking will help identify effectiveness in technology or work experience training and may define service options that can be added for enhanced successes. Furthermore, the provision of SE services for customers will undergo an Rapid Process Improvement (RPI) process to identify opportunities for new or enhanced strategies for greater successes. The VR division has executed a memorandum of understanding with the Texas Education Agency (TEA) that includes prohibiting contracts between TEA or local education agencies (LEAs) and employers who pay subminimum wage. Customers already served in subminimum employment receive counseling consistent with Employment First principles and WIOA requirements to encourage meaningful employment in an integrated environment with or without supports. (Page 268) Title I

To improve employment rates, suggestions include flexibility in opportunities, increases in on-site work experiences, automated systems to assist providers in managing the reporting requirements of the services, and protections for the customer. All are under review for implementation. Continued data tracking will help identify effectiveness in technology or work experience training and may define service options that can be added for enhanced successes. Furthermore, the provision of SE services for customers will undergo an RPI process to identify opportunities for new or enhanced strategies for greater successes. The VR division has executed a memorandum of understanding with the Texas Education Agency (TEA) that includes prohibiting contracts between TEA or local education agencies (LEAs) and employers who pay subminimum wage. Customers already served in subminimum employment receive counseling consistent with Employment First principles and WIOA requirements to encourage meaningful employment in an integrated environment with or without supports. Finally, the VR division is also launching a capacity-building project for VR and LEA staff to develop skills for practical application through joint training. (Page 278) Title IV

VRCs work with Community Rehabilitation Program (CRP) SE specialists, HHSC providers, or service coordinators/case managers, and customers’ natural support networks to develop short- and long-term support strategies based on individual needs. This ensures the appropriate amount of support is available and provided so that employment can be maintained. Extended services, known in Texas as long-term support and services, can be publicly funded, “natural” or “in-kind,” or paid by the customer through SSI, Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI), or another Social Security Administration Title II work incentive program. Examples of extended services include, but are not limited to, consulting with a customer’s job supervisor regarding areas of concern or training needs; creating supports and strategies to improve work performance through job coaching; providing services such as medication management or hygiene; and identifying and training on transportation options. (Page 305) Title IV
 

Customized Employment

~~Plans for Improving Supported Employment Services TWC VRD will continue to strengthen the numerous supported employment service improvements implemented by legacy DARS in 2017, including the following:

  • Assisting CRPs in using the Supported Employment Assessment that focuses on discovery and person-centered techniques, vocational theme development, and providing worksite observations;
  • Working with VRCs on applying the supported employment planning and service provision to improve customer participation and informed choice by requiring review and signatures at each benchmark;
  • Providing ongoing training to TWC’s VRD subject matter experts, who provide technical assistance to VRCs on identifying and coordinating extended service/long-term support before beginning the benchmark process;
  • Ensuring that all criteria for determining job stability to ensure extended service/long-term support after VR case closure are being applied; and
  • Continuing to provide specific employment services to people with autism to improve their success in obtaining and maintaining employment. (Page 254) Title IV

All staff has access to training opportunities through the professional development plan created through the management chain’s professional development process. Training content for field staff is typically developed within the system of statewide training product modules disseminated through field management staff. Content learning includes topics that directly relate to the knowledge, skills, abilities, and attitudes necessary to perform jobs as expected by management and as detailed in job descriptions. Content training strategies include the following:

  • Continued focus on the foundations of the VR process for counselors and RAs, including accurate eligibility determination, inclusion of customers in planning for service delivery, thorough assessment and planning practices, models for VR counseling, informed customer choice, service to culturally diverse populations, purchasing practices, supported employment, customized employment, and other strategies for quality employment assistance, service delivery, and effective case note documentation;
  • Training in working with employers and customers to increase knowledge of the Americans with Disabilities Act, the Rehabilitation Act Amendments of 1998, the Olmstead decision, available independence initiatives, and WIOA to enhance employment options and employment knowledge;
  • Training in the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act, appropriate options and alternatives for effective transition services and Social Security work incentive programs, including programs under the Ticket to Work and Work Incentive Improvement Act of 1999;
  • Training in assessing appropriate rehabilitation technology interventions;
  • Extending opportunities to take advantage of training available from external sources for ongoing dissemination of timely trends related to disability and treatment modalities within the field of rehabilitation;
  • Coordinating with the Texas Administrators of Continuing Education and other entities as appropriate to develop localized training in targeted disability areas; and
  • Implementation of training for new counselors that focuses on critical thinking and sound decision making.(Page 263) Title IV

The division continues to work with the National Employment Team to facilitate employer relationships at the national level. Feedback and data gathered in the needs assessment for the 2017 CSNA encourage opportunities for additional and enhanced collaboration that have come about through some of the programmatic changes which moved other support programs HHSC. For example, HHSC outsourced the Independent Living program in Texas to the Centers for Independent Living. Meanwhile, the Independent Living Services for Older Individuals Who Are Blind (ILS-OIB) program has been retained in TWC with VR. As a result, formal referral processes and policies have been developed to expand the network of providers available for referral of those individuals needing independent living services and to increase the referral to VR of individuals who may benefit from ILS-OIB services. In one year, FFY’17, the VR division served 1,780 new customers in the ILS-OIB program following the program’s redesign. Similarly, the Comprehensive Rehabilitation Services program, which serves individuals with traumatic spinal cord or brain injury, and the Blind Children’s Vocational Discovery and Development program also remained in HHSC, which presents further opportunities to collaborate to provide referrals and receive referrals when those customers are ready for VR. Other collaboration with LEAs, higher education, and Boards has resulted in customer access to post—high school scenarios that provide training and employment in meaningful and higher-paying jobs. (Page 279) Title IV

Blending/ Braiding Resources

~~Over the past year, many of TWC’s analytic resources have been heavily focused on WOIA implementation activities, such as conducting an updated Comprehensive Statewide Needs Assessment and developing Participant Individual Record Layout (PIRL) and RSA-911 logic and testing. However, as that work begins to wind down over the next year, the Division of Operational Insight (DOI) has begun looking at several evaluation projects.

Regarding the Career and Training program, DOI is developing a new model to identify UI claimants who need additional assistance to have a timely return to work. This will be the seventh such model that TWC has developed and the sixth in the last 12 years. Additionally, TWC is interested in leveraging similar techniques to identify individuals who are not claimants but who might also benefit from additional assistance. (Page107) Title III

Texas has a proven history of supporting and encouraging regional planning and service delivery efforts. The benefits from regionalism include collaborative planning, pooling and leveraging of resources, capacity building, and ensuring that services can be delivered in the best possible way—regionalism is essential to the Boards’ mission. However, it is important that regionalism not be hampered by the designation of artificial boundaries. (Page 142) Title I

Barriers to serving unserved and underserved populations identified in the CSNA included:

  • lack of awareness of the impact of receiving services on Social Security benefits, highlighting the disincentive to work from the fear of losing benefits;
  • lack of awareness of VRD services among customers and/or parents;
  • lack of awareness of VRD services among doctors and other medical professionals;
  • growing need for services that will require partners to leverage available funding and may require increased funding; and
  • scarcity of available transportation that creates challenges for potential customers, especially in rural areas, to access VRD offices, providers, and jobs.

Strategies The following VRD strategies address the barrier created by not understanding the impact of service receipt on Social Security benefits:

  • Work closely with community partners such as the local Social Security Administration (SSA) offices and Work Incentives Planning and Assistance programs to dispel inaccurate perceptions regarding loss of benefits and attempt to work efforts.
  • Provide statewide training for all VRCs on basic benefits and work incentives support and services.
  • Expand training for additional VRD staff to be Benefits Subject Matter Resources (SMRs), including a train-the-trainer component for all SMRs, and provide ongoing statewide training in federal and state work incentive programs for all VRD staff.
  • Enhance current partnership with the SSA to encourage CRP providers to become ENs under the SSA Ticket to Work Program.

VRD offers incentive payments to CRP-ENs that provide: o supported employment or job placement services during the provision of VR services; and o extended support to Ticket to Work customers after VR case closure to advance employment or increase customer earnings.

The following VRD strategies address the barrier created by the lack of awareness of VRD services among customers, parents, and doctors and other medical professionals:

  • Increase collaboration with other organizations to improve customer access to services.
  • Increase outreach efforts in the business community.
  • Educate community leaders on the availability of VRD services to enhance outreach efforts to all ethnic groups.
  • Offer the 2-1-1 Texas statewide referral helpline, a service that assists customers with referrals to appropriate agencies for help.
  • Enhance community outreach activities. T

he following VRD strategies address the growing need for services by leveraging other partner and community resources, and seeking opportunities to increase efficiency in VRD structure and processes:

  • VRD will continue to work to educate state officials and oversight authorities about the value of VR services to Texans with disabilities and to the overall state economy.
  • VRD will leverage existing resources and make every effort to draw down the maximum federal funding match to provide needed services for Texans with disabilities.
  • VRD will fully use SSA programs and work to maximize SSA/VR reimbursements.
  • VRD will provide budget management training for staff. VRD strategy addressing the barrier created by scarcity of available transportation will be to continue to advocate for local improvement in public transportation at HHSC’s regional coordination forums. (Page 296-297) Title IV
     
DEI/Disability Resource Coordinators

~~No disability specific information found regarding this element.

Financial Literacy /Economic Advancement

~~2. Individualized career services. As consistent with program requirements and federal cost principles, individualized career services include the following:
• Comprehensive and specialized assessments of skill levels and service needs of adults and dislocated workers;
• Development of an individual employment plan;
• Group counseling;
• Individual counseling;
• Career planning;
• Short-term pre-vocational services;
• Internships and work experiences linked to careers;
• Workforce preparation activities;
• Financial literacy services;
• Out-of-area job search assistance and relocation assistance; and
• English language acquisition and integrated education and training programs. (Page 69) Title I

School to Work Transition

~~RCT recommends that VR ensure that the individual plan for employment (IPE) is completed as early as possible during the transition planning process and no later than the time the student with a disability who is determined to be eligible for VR services leaves the school setting. Response: Policy in VRSM C-1300 states that the VR counselor must complete the IPE before the eligible student leaves the school setting and no more than 90 days from the time of eligibility determination. VR is committed to ensuring that VR counselors comply with this policy, with an emphasis on monitoring through case reviews and readings. (Page 235) Title IV

The provision of quality VR services for Texas students with disabilities is a strategic priority for the Vocational Rehabilitation Division (VRD). VRD policies and procedures have been updated to align with the Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act (WIOA) §413(B)(F), which sets forth that the individualized plan for employment (IPE) must be developed as soon as possible, but not later than a deadline of 90 days after the date of the determination of eligibility, unless the counselor and the eligible individual agree to an extension to a specific date. Transition planning by VR counselors and school personnel facilitates the development and implementation of a student’s individualized education program (IEP) under the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act §614(d). The goals developed in the IEP are considered in the development of the IPE. The development and approval of an IPE is initiated by a VR counselor. Planning includes conversations about informed choice and program information so that students understand the available options for additional education, training, service providers, and employment. (Page 241) Title IV

The MOU will include the addition of pre-employment transition services (Pre-ETS) as defined in C.F.R. §361.48, and other Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act (WIOA) requirements, operationalizing a referral process for students with disabilities, and a process for inviting counselors to Admission, Review, and Dismissal (ARD) meetings. The MOU provides for consultation and technical assistance in planning for the transition of students with disabilities from school to post-school activities, including VR services; transition planning for students with disabilities that facilitates the development and completion of the IEP; clarification of the agencies’ respective roles and responsibilities, including financial responsibilities for providing transition planning services to students with disabilities; and a description of procedures for outreach to and identification of students with disabilities who are in need of transition services. (Page 242) Title IV

Pre-ETS are provided to students with disabilities. Required Pre-ETS activities are job exploration counseling, work-based learning experiences, counseling on opportunities for enrollment in postsecondary educational programs, workplace readiness training, and instruction in self-advocacy. In an effort to provide transitioning students with more effective and comprehensive preparation for work after high school, VRD is also increasing the number of summer work opportunities with community partners around the state. TWC is launching the Pathways to Careers Initiative (PCI), an initiative to expand Pre-ETS to Texas students with disabilities. The first strategy launched under PCI in summer 2017 was Summer Earn and Learn. (Page 243) Title IV

Consultation and technical assistance is provided at Admission, Review, and Dismissal meetings (ARDs), and attendance may be in person or through alternative means, including videoconferencing or conference calls (based on 34 C.F.R. §361.22(b)(1)). When necessary, VRD counselors and school personnel coordinate to satisfy documentation requirements for students and youth with disabilities who are seeking subminimum wage employment, as set forth in 34 CFR §397.4(c). VRD does not pursue subminimum wage employment for customers. When a customer chooses to pursue subminimum wage employment, counseling on other employment options is provided. When, after counseling, subminimum wage employment is still the customer’s choice, the VR case is closed. Those customers who choose subminimum wage employment receive counseling, guidance, and referral services within the first six months of employment and annually thereafter. TWC has regional and state office transition specialists who provide support to VR counselors and VRD field office managers in developing collaborative partnerships with and increasing cooperation between VRD, local school districts, and other community organizations as resources for students with disabilities. These transition specialists assist with the development of policy, training, and strategies that lead to effective provision of transition services. (Page 243) Title IV

TWC’s Pathways to Careers Initiative (PCI) is an initiative to expand Pre-ETS to students with disabilities during the summer months. It began in the summer of 2017. The first of five strategies, Summer Earn and Learn is a work-based learning program conducted in partnership with Boards and their employer partners. This statewide strategy includes employability skills training and paid work experience for students with disabilities. More than 1,500 students and more than 600 employers participated in Summer Earn and Learn in 2017. (Page 252) Title IV

As a result, these efforts improve the effectiveness of VR services for transition customers. Such collaborations take on many different forms in training VRD and educational staff, as well as in impacting families. VRD staff will continue to collaborate with ISDs in the provision of Pre-ETS as specified in WIOA. Additionally, counselors are often invited to education service centers to participate in educator training and to present training, particularly for more effective transition planning for students. VR staff works with schools in creating job fairs that allow students to meet with employers and gather information about the labor market. Family nights are hosted in some areas to invite interested members of the public to VRD offices to share resource information, discuss service delivery issues, and give input regarding best practices that would better support students and their families. In some areas, community partners such as churches, Workforce Solutions Offices, and community centers assist in providing training to school personnel on understanding cultural diversity in Texas. (Page 266-267) Title IV

As of October 1, 2017, the Vocational Rehabilitation Division (VRD) had 1,314 full-time employment (FTE) staff positions to provide direct services to VR customers, broken down as follows:
• Vocational Rehabilitation Counselors (VRCs)
• Transition Vocational Rehabilitation Counselors (TVRCs)
• Unit Support Coordinators (USCs)
• Vocational Rehabilitation Teachers (VRTs)
• Rehabilitation Assistants (RAs) (Page 256) Title IV

Typically, these are students who are on an IEP and in their last year of high school eligibility. The goal for these customers is competitive integrated employment within the business community or the business where the worksite rotations occur. Project SEARCH has expanded from one original program site established in 1996 at Cincinnati Children’s Hospital in Ohio, to over 400 sites internationally. Project SEARCH in Texas began in 2007 with Seton Healthcare Family in Austin. (Page 250) Title I

Typically, these are students who are on an IEP and in their last year of high school eligibility. The goal for these customers is competitive integrated employment within the business community or the business where the worksite rotations occur. Project SEARCH has expanded from one original program site established in 1996 at Cincinnati Children’s Hospital in Ohio, to over 400 sites internationally. Project SEARCH in Texas began in 2007 with Seton Healthcare Family in Austin. (Page 250) Title IV

The specialists assess staff skill levels, recommend and implement training approaches, and coordinate service delivery statewide. The Deafblind Unit serves customers who are deafblind. Specialists fluent in sign language consult with caseload-carrying staff, customers, and community resources to develop and implement plans and services. VRD also purchases state-certified interpreter services as needed. VRD works closely with the education system in transitioning students with disabilities from high school to postsecondary training or employment. TVRCs participate in training covering the Admission, Review, and Dismissal (ARD) process as well as the Individualized Education Program (IEP). When conducting seminars or workshops for the ARD and IEP process, trainers may also include parents and professionals from: • Texas Education Agency’s (TEA) Special Education Division • Regional education service centers and local education agencies (LEAs) • Disability Rights Texas • Partners Resource Network, Inc. • Texas School for the Blind and Visually Impaired Additionally, VR staff participates in cross-trainings with other entities involved in education for students with visual loss, such as the Texas Association for Education and Rehabilitation of the Blind and Visually Impaired, and sponsors and participates in workshops and seminars to help education staff members develop expertise in working with these students. (Page 262) Title IV

Table 1.

VR Needs Mentioned during 2017 Town Hall Meetings

  • SOURCE: DOI Town Hall Textual Analysis VR Program or Service Need Number of Mentions
  • Communication/Collaboration 89
  • Employer/Staff Training 39
  • Readiness/Work-Based Learning 34
  • Transportation/Housing 23
  • PAS & Supported Employment 18
  • Outreach & Marketing 15
  • Benefits & Work Incentives 10
  • Disability-Related Skills 10
  • Customer Choice 6
  • Academic/Vocational Training 2
  • Treatment of Impairments 2
  • Budgeting1
  • Medical/Vocational Assessment 1.

A few comments concerned the need for additional VR service providers, especially service providers that offer specialty skills training like orientation and mobility. Other comments expressed dissatisfaction with providers that did not meet expectations of quality and timeliness. These concerns will be addressed as the Texas VR program moves forward to implement the 2017 State Plan goal. Cultivating good working relationships between TWC’s VR division and external service providers is a top priority. (Page 274) Title IV

Partnerships Priority 1

Enhance collaboration and coordination with Boards, employers, and other stakeholders to increase competitive integrated employment outcomes and work-based learning experiences, which may include in-school or after-school opportunities such as internships, volunteer positions, and summer and year-round work experience programs. 

Discussion: Strengthening Relationships with Collaborators with VR’s merger into TWC, the agency has entered into data agreements with other federal and state agencies, including Veterans Affairs (VA). These agreements will help forge the way for programmatic collaboration and customer coordination for available services and resources. Working with the VA has resulted in an increased number of veterans who are served by the public VR program in collaboration with their VA counselors. To help anticipate and target Pre-ETS, TWC has also obtained per county counts of students with disabilities who are under a 504 Plan or receive IDEA services, current as of 2013—2014, from the US Department of Education’s Office of Civil Rights. (Page 279) Title IV

Expand and improve vocational rehabilitation services, including pre-employment transition services (Pre-ETS) for students with disabilities who are transitioning from high school to postsecondary education and/or employment, and improve coordination with state and local secondary and postsecondary educational entities.

Discussion: Meeting Pre-ETS Needs Over the past several years, the number of both eligible students and funds expended has increased. The number of students served increased by close to 10 percent, while funds, per transaction, increased by about 20 percent on average. The data from the 2017 CSNA shows several actions taken to address the needs of students and youth with disabilities. (Page 277) Title IV

Services to Students and Youth with Disabilities Priorities • Expand and improve vocational rehabilitation services, including Pre-ETS for students with disabilities who are transitioning from high school to postsecondary education and/or employment, and improve coordination with state and local secondary and postsecondary educational entities. • Provide supported employment services to youth and other individuals with the most significant disabilities who require extended support in order to achieve and maintain an employment outcome. 

Goal Area 3: Partnerships Priorities: • Enhance collaboration and coordination with Boards, employers, and other stakeholders to increase competitive integrated employment outcomes and work-based learning experiences, which may include in-school or after-school opportunities such as internships, volunteer positions, and summer and year-round work experience programs. (Page 282) Title IV

A customer’s extended services are identified and documented in the customer’s Individualized Plan for Employment. VRD providers do not provide services to customers during the 90-day period between “Job Stability” and “Service Closure.” If VRD providers do provide direct services to a customer during this period, job stability ends and is not reestablished until at least 30 days after the direct services or job change has occurred. A VRD-supported employment case is closed after a customer successfully maintains job stability for 90 days, with extended services being provided only by non—vocational rehabilitation resources. VRD identifies and makes arrangements, including entering into cooperative agreements, with other state agencies and other appropriate entities to assist in the provision of supported employment services. VRD coordinates with other public or non-profit agencies or organizations within the state, employers, natural supports, and other entities with respect to the provision of extended services. (Page 285) Title IV

The goal for Goal Area 3 is to enhance collaboration and coordination with local workforce development boards, employers, and other stakeholders to increase competitive integrated employment outcomes and work-based learning experiences, which may include in-school or after-school opportunities such as internships, volunteer positions, and summer and year-round work experience programs. In addition to the above goals, priorities for funds received under the Rehabilitation Act §603 are to increase the number of customers receiving supported employment services who achieve employment outcomes and the number of supported employment services providers statewide, and maintain the number of customers receiving supported employment services within their home communities. (Page 285) Title IV
 

Career Pathways

~~Texas aligned AEL and workforce development systems in 2013. The alignment required statewide deployment of models to develop the skills needed to transition to and complete postsecondary education programs and obtain and advance in employment. Successful models have included Integrated Education and Training (IET), career pathways, distance learning, and college and workforce preparation activities. Texas also aligned service-delivery options for individuals with disabilities and other special needs. AEL statewide service-delivery contracts are compliant with WIOA requirements under performance, workforce system, and rehabilitative services alignment and programmatic integration. (Page 115) Title IV

VRD has forged productive, proactive working relationships with Texas universities that train rehabilitation professionals. Involvement with Texas universities results in student requests for practicum and internship placements within VRD. Internships have been offered since 1999 for students completing master’s degrees in Rehabilitation Counseling or Rehabilitation. In FY’17, VRD hosted 20 internships. Evaluations of student interns come directly from certified, licensed, or Qualified Vocational Rehabilitation Counselor (QVRC) internship supervisors and department advisors from the intern’s university. Job vacancy notices are routinely posted on WorkInTexas.com, TWC’s statewide online jobsite. Hiring supervisors can also request a broader distribution of vacancy notices by having TWC Human Resources post them to additional sites such as Indeed.com, Monster.com, and others. Recruitment continues for bilingual Spanish- and English-speaking candidates to fill positions located in areas with high Spanish-speaking populations. Opportunities to promote employment to all community sectors are achieved by sharing job postings with universities. VRD encourages the hiring of qualified individuals with disabilities, and strives to ensure that staff represents ethnic diversity and thereby reflects the population of Texas and the customers we serve. Ethnic distribution of VRD employees and Texas residents is shown below. (Page 259) Title IV

VRD recognizes master’s or doctoral degrees in fields of specific study, such as VR counseling, clinical rehabilitation counseling, behavioral health, behavioral science, disability studies, human relations, human services, marriage and family therapy, occupational therapy, psychology, psychometrics, rehabilitation administration/services, social work, special education, vocational assessment/evaluation, or another field that reasonably provides competence in the employment sector in a disability field or rehabilitation-related fields. A counselor meets the CSPD standard by holding a master’s degree in VR counseling; master’s degree in “counseling or counseling-related field” with specific coursework; master’s, specialist, or doctoral degree in specific majors with specific coursework; current CRC certificate from CRCC; or current LPC licensure.

Therefore, a counselor with a master’s degree in counseling or a counseling-related field must, at a minimum, complete a graduate course in the Theories and Techniques of Counseling and successfully complete six graduate courses with a primary focus in the following areas:

  • one course on assessment;
  • one course on occupational information or job placement;
  • one course on case management and rehabilitation services;
  • one course on medical aspects of disabilities;
  • one course on psychosocial aspects of disabilities; and
  • one course on multicultural issues.

A counselor with a master’s or doctoral degree in one of the listed specific fields of study must complete a graduate course on the Theories and Techniques of Counseling, and successfully complete six graduate courses each with a primary focus in the areas listed, plus one course on Foundations of Rehabilitation Counseling. Although VR has taken steps to hire rehabilitation counselors with master’s degrees in VR counseling, a number of factors pose challenges to this undertaking. A significant barrier to hiring counselors with master’s degrees in rehabilitation counseling is the expanse of Texas that must be served. (Page 260) Title VI
 

Apprenticeship

Apprenticeship programs that are registered with the State or the U.S. Department of Labor (DOL), Office of Apprenticeship are automatically eligible to be included on the State Eligible Training Provider List (ETPL). Registered apprenticeship programs are given an opportunity to consent to inclusion on the ETPL before being placed on the list, and will remain on the ETPL for as long as the program is registered with DOL or until they request to be removed. Registered apprenticeship programs are not subject to the same application and performance information requirements or to the same initial or continued eligibility procedures as other eligible training providers. (Page 158) Title II

The Registered Apprenticeship Training Program for Veterans and/or Service members is a program that: • accelerates participants into or through a DOL Registered Apprenticeship Training Program in Texas (Apprenticeship Training Program); or • accelerates participants into or through a DOL Registered Pre-Apprenticeship Training Program that leads to enrollment of participants into an Apprenticeship Training Program during the grant period. (Page 151) Title I

As a division of TWC, VRD participates in the planning for and evaluation of the Texas workforce system conducted by the Texas Workforce Investment Council (TWIC), which serves as the state workforce investment board. These activities include:

  • participating in the development and implementation of the state-mandated strategic plan for the Texas workforce system;
  • participating in TWIC meetings and serving on the TWIC Apprenticeship and Training Advisory Committee; and
  • reporting quarterly and annually as requested by TWIC on the division’s activities to implement goals and objectives in the Texas workforce system strategic plan.

VRD works closely with other TWC staff to provide information, partner on community initiatives, and enhance customer referral processes. Across the state, VRD counselors have strong relationships with the 15 Disability Navigators located at Workforce Solutions Offices to provide consultation on disability issues to workforce system staff, and provide direct assistance to customers with disabilities as needed. Ongoing collaborative efforts between VRD and each of the 28 Boards have resulted in projects, initiatives, and processes such as joint community outreach and awareness events, summer youth initiatives, employer symposia and job fairs, customer referrals, coordination of services, and cross-training for staff. (Page 292) Title IV

Work Incentives & Benefits

~~Recommendation: RCT recommends that VR provide detailed training to VR counselors regarding the use of additional resources to assist customers, such as Medicaid waiver programs. Response: As part of a five-day intensive training, VR state office program specialists for benefits and work incentives provide training on Medicaid waivers to staff members who function as subject matter resources on Social Security Administration (SSA) benefits. Additionally, a two-part webinar series on waivers is held each year for relevant staff. To date, 121 VR counselors have been trained as subject matter resources for benefits and work incentives, and an additional 58 staff members in management, as well as state office program specialists, have completed the training.
 RCT acknowledges and commends VR for expanding the capacity of staff in assistive technology by training regional teams to become subject matter experts. Although it is possible that the Centers for Independent Living (CILs) around the state serve as resources to local VR staff, it is vital that VR staff have access to accurate and up-to-date information about assistive technology to overcome workplace barriers specific to disabilities. RCT recommends that VR clarify content in the Strategies and Use of Title I Funds for Innovation and Expansion Activities section to clarify which customers will be served by these teams. Response: The regional teams are composed of VR staff members who have been trained in all levels of assistive technology and who provide recommendations on assistive technology to customers with various disabilities. The loaning or purchasing of assistive technology is not limited to customers with specific disabilities; it is available to all customers as needed. (Page 235) Title IV

Recommendation: RCT recommends that VR indicate where and how the use of Social Security benefits can be used to pay for extended services after VR involvement. Response: Both VR and employment networks (ENs) participate in the Ticket to Work Partnership Plus Program for individuals between the ages of 18 and 64. When a VR case is closed successfully, the customer is informed that his or her Ticket to Work still has value and can be assigned to an EN to provide long-term job supports and services. Customers are informed of the ENs serving Texas. Additionally, subject matter resources on SSA disability benefits provide guidance to customers on using SSA work incentives, which can potentially assist with maintaining health insurance benefits and cash benefits after achieving employment. SSA benefits and the partnership between VR and ENs are fully explained on page 24, in the Social Security Administration section, and on page 58, in the Funding and Timing of Transition to Extended Services sections. (Page 236) Title IV

Recommendation: RCT recommends that VR indicate where and how the use of Social Security benefits can be used to pay for extended services after VR involvement. Response: Both VR and employment networks (ENs) participate in the Ticket to Work Partnership Plus Program for individuals between the ages of 18 and 64. When a VR case is closed successfully, the customer is informed that his or her Ticket to Work still has value and can be assigned to an EN to provide long-term job supports and services. Customers are informed of the ENs serving Texas. Additionally, subject matter resources on SSA disability benefits provide guidance to customers on using SSA work incentives, which can potentially assist with maintaining health insurance benefits and cash benefits after achieving employment. SSA benefits and the partnership between VR and ENs are fully explained on page 24, in the Social Security Administration section, and on page 58, in the Funding and Timing of Transition to Extended Services sections. (Page 238) Title IV

MOUs with education service centers, Texas Education Agency (TEA), and independent school districts (ISDs) to enhance coordination of services provided through programs like Project SEARCH and Project HIRE (Helping Individuals Reach Employment), and other community programs and support available to improve and expand services for transition-age students with disabilities • Coordination with the Texas School for the Blind and Visually Impaired to provide specialized programs that prepare students for the transition to postsecondary life and the workplace • A new MOU in 2016 with the Texas Department of Insurance’s Division of Workers’ Compensation to enhance referrals for return-to-work efforts • Coordination with the Social Security Administration (SSA) on employment incentives and support to maximize Social Security Administration/Vocational Rehabilitation (SSA/VR) reimbursement activity through the Ticket to Work Program • An MOU with the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs to maximize case service funds through better access to comparable benefits, and to enhance the case management process while avoiding duplication of services. • Coordination with the Texas Veterans Commission to help identify veterans who need additional support in securing benefits, gaining employment, and accessing advocacy services. (Page 239) Title IV

Social Security Administration TWC VRD coordinates with the Social Security Administration (SSA) to encourage CRP providers to become employment networks (ENs) under SSA’s Ticket to Work Program. TWC VRD offers incentive payments to CRP-ENs that provide: • supported employment or job placement services during the provision of VR services; and • extended supports to Ticket to Work customers after VR case closure in order to advance employment or increase customer earnings. TWC VRD and select CRPs participate in the Partnership Plus program. Additionally, VRD is participating in the Promoting Opportunity Demonstration (POD) pilot that will test a benefit offset in the Social Security Disability Insurance program to determine its effects on outcomes such as earnings, employment, and benefit payments. SSA and HHSC have a data exchange agreement that allows HHSC to access SSA data. Through a third-party agreement (State Verification and Exchange System), VRD is able to obtain SSA data regarding cost reimbursement from HHSC. (Page 254) Title IV

Changes to the VR program also promise to maximize counselors’ time with customers and allow for the creation of collaborative on-the-job training opportunities for counselors and other field staff. The future of the Texas VR program is customer-centered and needs-conscious, emphasizing access to resources and other employment-related programs at TWC. The implementation of Rapid Process Improvement (RPI) strategies will benefit the Texas VR program as well. RPI is a management tool based on the Theory of Constraints/Lean Management and provides a methodical approach to engaging staff to quickly identify, map, and improve the processes of an organization. RPI projects are designed to ensure that the division is making the most effective use of service delivery options available for both customers and employers.

Increase counselors’ knowledge of work incentives and the effect of earnings on SSI/SSDI. This will improve the quality of VR’s provision of counseling on decisions that impact employment. Discussion: Improving Knowledge Bases Interestingly, the data in the VR needs survey and Town Hall meetings for the 2017 CSNA indicate that staff, stakeholders, and customers have differing beliefs about work incentives and other benefits, their value, and application in the vocational counseling process. While respondents agree that a loss of benefits, along with lack of affordable child care, housing, and transportation are barriers to success, staff and stakeholders are more likely than customers to express concern for loss of benefits as a barrier. This could indicate several different beliefs. Applying a short-term problem-solving counseling methodology regarding child care, housing, and transportation may provide better information on a customer’s benefits and concerns while also addressing barriers to success. Continued tracking of financial beneficiary data, by type of beneficiary, as introduced in Table 3 below, will assist the VR division and the RCT in developing the specific extent of customer service needs among recipients of financial benefits. Financial benefits are defined as follows: • General assistance: cash assistance to dependent needy children and disabled adults who are not eligible for assistance under other cash assistance programs. (Page 275-276) Title IV

TWC’s Vocational Rehabilitation Division (VRD) provides supported employment services for customers with the most significant disabilities, including youth with the most significant disabilities. Funds received under Title VI, Part B §622 (also known as the supported employment program) of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973, as amended are used to serve these individuals. VR customers with the most significant disabilities may have multiple disabilities or functional limitations that result in the requirement for extended support services essential to retaining competitive integrated employment. Texas’ provision of supported employment services is integral to the state’s overall plan to provide services that result in competitive integrated employment outcomes for VRD customers.

Goal Area 1: Target Populations

The goals for Goal Area 1 are as follows:

  • Improve customer employment outcomes for individuals with significant disabilities, including but not limited to individuals who are blind or significantly visually impaired; individuals who are from minority backgrounds; individuals with neurodevelopmental disorders (including autism, intellectual disabilities and learning disabilities); individuals with mental health disorders; and veterans with disabilities.
  • Increase counselors’ knowledge of work incentives and the effect of earnings on Social Security Disability Insurance and Supplemental Security Income to improve counselors’ ability to provide vocational counseling on decisions impacting employment. (Page 284) Title IV

Potential funding sources include the Social Security Administration’s Ticket to Work Program, DSHS (the state mental health agency), CILs, Medicaid/CHIP—the administrative authority for all Medicaid waivers and state plan services. Additionally, HHSC, the intellectual and developmental disabilities state agency, is a potential funding source and is the operating authority for the following:

  • The majority of 1915(c) state Home and Community-based Services (HCS) Medicaid waivers;
  • 1915(k) Community First Choice; • Title XX community services; and
  • Employment services provided through state general revenue funds. (Page 286) Title IV

Expand training for additional VRD staff to be Benefits Subject Matter Resources (SMRs), including a train-the-trainer component for all SMRs, and provide ongoing statewide training in federal and state work incentive programs for all VRD staff. • Enhance current partnership with the SSA to encourage CRP providers to become ENs under the SSA Ticket to Work Program. VRD offers incentive payments to CRP-ENs that provide: • supported employment or job placement services during the provision of VR services; and • extended support to Ticket to Work customers after VR case closure to advance employment or increase customer earnings. The following VRD strategies address the barrier created by the lack of awareness of VRD services among customers, parents, and doctors and other medical professionals: (Page 296) Title IV
 

Employer/ Business

~~Starting January 1, 2016, all training providers must submit information and criteria as established under WIOA §122(d) through (g). Training providers use TWC’s Eligible Training Provider System (ETPS) to provide all required information for initial eligibility, which include Provider Assurances Statement, as well as applications for each program of study. ETPS doubles as TWC’s program certification system and the Statewide List of Eligible Training Providers, as required by WIOA §122 (a)(3). Boards then review and certify the provider and program if all minimum requirements are met, as established by the governor or higher standards as determined by Board policy. The ETPS automated system then informs TWC of the Board’s review and approval of programs of study, and validates all WIOA training provider requirements. Subsequent eligibility determinations take place on a biennial basis, where performance data is again evaluated against the standards. (Page157-158) Title II

Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act (WIOA) §231(a), pursuant to §222(a)(1), requires each eligible agency to award multiyear grants or contracts, on a competitive basis, to eligible training providers within the state for adult education and literacy (AEL) services. The Texas Workforce Commission (TWC) is seeking a waiver to grant the state flexibility to either award AEL grants directly to AEL providers or to allocate funds to Local Workforce Development Boards (Boards) to conduct a local competitive procurement for the delivery of AEL services. (Page 171) Title II
 

Data Collection

Congressional action to reauthorize and reform WIA—now WIOA—allows the Boards to continue to apply and improve upon an integrated strategy for serving the Texas labor market. Texas has implemented a majority of programmatic changes mandated by WIOA, such as providing Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF) participants with training and placement services by ES staff and using common performance measures across core programs for both adults and youth. WIOA clearly recognizes Texas’ integrated workforce system by the inclusion of the permissible alternate entity language. (Page 44) Title I

TWC envisions leveraging its experience in building an integrated reporting system to support Common Measures and the WISPR to build a similar system to perform integrated reporting for WIOA and for reports required by WIOA §116. Customer data from TWC’s case management systems, as well as other data such as UI wage records, will be extracted and combined to produce customer-centric, rather than program-centric, records to be used in reporting. The envisioned platform will allow integration of customer records across all six core programs as well as a variety of other partner programs to provide a holistic view of each customer, their services, and their outcomes. (Page 118) Title IV

Additional items required of the 2017 CSNA included:

i. an assessment of the needs of individuals with disabilities for transition services and pre-employment transition services, and the extent to which such services provided under RA73 are coordinated with transition services provided under the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA);

ii. an assessment of the need to establish, develop, or improve community rehabilitation programs (CRPs) within the state;

iii. a report submitted to the Texas Workforce Commission (TWC) containing information about updates to the aforementioned assessments, for any year in which updates are made; and

iv. the process that the state will use to demonstrate that required Pre-ETS are made available to potentially eligible students with disabilities before using any Pre-ETS funding on authorized activities.

Methodology the 2017 CSNA includes information from five main sources:

  1. An Internet-based needs assessment survey that was contracted with the Public Policy Research Institute at Texas A&M University to gather perspectives from customers, staff, and others
  2. Customer satisfaction surveys
  3. Data from ReHabWorks (the automated case management system used by the Texas VR program)
  4. Five town hall meetings held across Texas in Dallas, El Paso, Houston, McAllen, and San Antonio
  5. Ten key informant interviews of VR managers and counselors, including one VR manager from each integrated service area and one from each of the previously separate designated state units (DSUs) for blind and general VR services, one experienced counselor, and one novice counselor.

Data Collection and Organizational Challenges Data was gathered from January to October 2017. (Page 273) Title IV

511

~~When a customer chooses to pursue subminimum wage employment, counseling on other employment options is provided. When, after counseling, subminimum wage employment is still the customer’s choice, the VR case is closed. Those customers who choose subminimum wage employment receive counseling, guidance, and referral services within the first six months of employment and annually thereafter. TWC has regional and state office transition specialists who provide support to VR counselors and VRD field office managers in developing collaborative partnerships with and increasing cooperation between VRD, local school districts, and other community organizations as resources for students with disabilities. These transition sp