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Ohio’s Vocational Rehabilitation Program Opportunities for Ohioans with Disabilities' (OOD) mission is to ensure individuals with disabilities achieve.

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Presentation on theme: "Ohio’s Vocational Rehabilitation Program Opportunities for Ohioans with Disabilities' (OOD) mission is to ensure individuals with disabilities achieve."— Presentation transcript:


2 Ohio’s Vocational Rehabilitation Program Opportunities for Ohioans with Disabilities' (OOD) mission is to ensure individuals with disabilities achieve quality employment, independence and disability determination outcomes through integrated services, partnerships and innovation. The two major programs operated by OOD are: The Vocational Rehabilitation program which provides services to eligible individuals with disabilities to help them obtain and maintain employment. The Disability Determination program which adjudicates disability claims for the Social Security Administration. 2


4 State Plan Requirements OOD is required to annually develop and submit for approval to the Rehabilitation Services Administration (RSA) a State Plan for the Vocational Rehabilitation Services Program and Supplement for the Supported Employment Services Program. The Vocational Rehabilitation program assists eligible individuals with disabilities to obtain and maintain employment. The Supported Employment Services Program provides resources to develop and implement collaborative programs with appropriate entities to provide programs of supported employment services for individuals with the most significant disabilities. The VR program operates on a Federal Fiscal Year (FFY) and the VR State Plan is developed accordingly. The FFY runs from October 1 through September 30. 4

5 State Plan Requirements The OOD Commissioners must approve Ohio’s VR State Plan before it is submitted to RSA. Approval of the State Plan is currently scheduled for the June 18, 2014 Commission meeting. OOD must submit the VR State Plan to RSA no later than July 1. Approval from RSA will generally be in early September. 5

6 Sections of the VR State Plan The first section of the VR State Plan provides a variety of State Certifications assuring OOD and the Federal Government that OOD will operate the VR program in accordance with the various federal requirements. Other Sections of the VR State Plan include: Statewideness and Waivers of Statewideness Collaboration with State and Local Agencies Personnel Development Comprehensive Statewide Needs Assessment Reports of Progress Order of Selection Cooperative Arrangements Minority Outreach Supported Employment 6


8 Waiver of Statewideness OOD must assure RSA in the VR State Plan that services provided under the VR State Plan are available in all political subdivisions of the state. If all services are not available in all political subdivisions of the state, OOD must request a Waiver of Statewideness. OOD will be requesting a Waiver of Statewideness for our contracts with local partners and other piloted agreements with other state agencies (for example Department of Aging and Mental Health). The 2014 VR State Plan included such a request which was approved. 8

9 Statewide Workforce System The VR State Plan must include how the VR program will be cooperating, collaborating and coordinating with the state’s workforce investment system. The 2015 VR State Plan will include details of these relationships in Ohio including: Memorandums of Understanding with local One Stops. Participation on local Workforce Investment Boards. Collaboration with Ohio Department of Job & Family Services on their Disability Employment Initiative Grant. Increased utilization of OhioMeansJobs resources. 9

10 Collaboration with other Agencies The VR State Plan must explain how the VR program will collaborate with other agencies and entities (in addition to state workforce and education agencies). The FFY 2015 State Plan will include the following: Partnership with the Ohio Department of Developmental Disabilities on the Employment First Initiative. Department of Mental Health and Addiction Services- project to prepare Certified Peer Support Specialists for employment. Collaboration with the Office of Workforce Transformation to provide training and data to OOD staff regarding Ohio’s available jobs and workforce projections. 10

11 Department of Education The VR State Plan must explain how the VR Program will coordinate with Education officials to support joint services to transition youth. The FFY 2015 VR State Plan will include: Interagency Agreement with ODE, Office of Exceptional Children. Implementation of Interagency Cash Transfer Agreements with the. Local Education Agencies (LEA) requiring a Waiver of Statewideness. Utilization of Project Search and other models for increased engagement with the business community. 11

12 Personnel Development The VR State plan must include information about the recruitment and training of qualified personnel to provide services to individuals served by the VR program. The FFY 2015 VR State Plan will include: Information about how OOD meets standards for “qualified personnel”. Information about training for VR counseling and other personnel regarding the provision of VR services. Plans regarding training in the area of rehabilitation technology. 12

13 Summary of Needs Assessment OOD has contracted with The Ohio State University to conduct a Capacity Assessment of our Community Rehabilitation Partners(To be completed by May, 2014). The assessment results will help OOD coordinate services in areas where the service capacity does not meet the demands. In FFY 2015, OOD plans on contracting for a Comprehensive Statewide Needs Assessment as well. These assessments are generally done every three years. 13

14 Summary of Needs Assessment The Comprehensive Statewide Needs Assessment not only provides data on a statewide level, but also on a county level in six different disability categories. This helps OOD to: Identify populations that we are not proportionally serving so that we can target outreach and education efforts. Identify areas in which we need to grow supported employment programs. 14

15 Annual Service Estimates The VR State Plan must make projections about the capacity of the program to serve individuals with disabilities. The FFY 2015 VR state plan will indicate that: OOD will continue to leverage available state and local funds to draw down the maximum federal funds for the VR program. OOD will continue to reduce administrative expenditures to maximize resources that can be devoted to direct service to individuals with disabilities. While service estimates will be adjusted over time based upon available resources leveraged, it will be our goal to increase slightly the number served in FFY 2015. 15

16 Order of Selection The VR State Plan must indicate whether or not Ohio will need to implement an Order of Selection. The FFY 2015 VR State Plan will indicate that: OOD will need to continue to operate under an Order of Selection in FFY 2015. It is expected that individuals with the Most Significant Disabilities will continue to be served without a wait. Given OOD’s GRF increase of 2.5 million, it is estimated that OOD will eliminate the waiting list for individuals with Significant Disabilities by May 2014 and will be able to serve individuals with Disabilities as resources allow. 16

17 Supported Employment Services The VR State Plan must describe the scope of extended supported employment services to be provided. The FFY 2015 VR State Plan will indicate that: Needs Assessment results will be analyzed to identify and prioritize areas of the state that supported employment programs are needed. 17


19 Public Comment Requirements Public comment is required for the VR State Plan if substantive changes to polices or procedures are planned. As an agency we are interested in hearing your comments for our overall planning purposes and would like for this process to be as transparent as possible to people with disabilities and to our partners. 19

20 Topics for Discussion & Comment RSA Monitoring Visit. RSA Technical Assistance Visit. Efficiencies to Increase Outcomes & Reduce Cost per Case. The goal is not to arbitrarily reduce costs, but to make sure investments in individuals with disabilities are appropriate, effective, and efficient and most importantly will lead to employment outcomes for the individuals we serve. 20

21 Possible Strategies Improved Effectiveness in Service Delivery Improved business engagement strategies Elimination of the waiting list for individuals with significant disabilities Employment First Project with Ohio Department of Developmental Disabilities Person centered planning Competency based supported employment model Provider training Individual Placement and Support supported employment model definitions and standards for individuals with serious mental illness 21

22 Possible Strategies Improved Efficiencies in Service Delivery OOD staff providing VR services in house Provider Scorecard & Monitoring Financial Needs Testing Fee Schedule Changes 22

23 OOD Staff Providing Services Explore options for staff providing services directly to individuals instead of purchasing from a 3 rd party. Benefits Analysis Job Seeking Skills Training Job Development 23

24 Provider Scorecard & Monitoring OOD is currently developing a Provider Scorecard & monitoring protocols that will be used in FFY 15. The scorecard data and monitoring will help OOD ensure that the individuals being served are receiving high quality services and help achieve positive outcomes. Will aid individuals with disabilities in choosing a provider. Provide standards on which all providers will be evaluated. Onsite visits by OOD. Increase quality & consistency of services. 24

25 Financial Needs Testing The Code of Federal Regulations (34 CFR 361.54(b) directs the designated state unit to maintain written policies explaining the method for establishing financial need, the services that will be based upon financial need, and implementing a standard that is reasonable. The Ohio Administrative Code 3304-2-52 -- Least Cost, Use of Comparable Benefits, Consumer Contribution and Fees for Services describes how financial needs testing is conducted, who is exempt from financial participation and what services are exempt from consumer contribution. 25

26 Financial Needs Testing FNT would not apply to the following VR services: Assessment to determine eligibility, priority for services & vocational rehabilitation needs. Vocational rehabilitation counseling and guidance. Referral and information services. Job-related services such as job placement assistance, job retention services & follow-up services. Personal Assistive Services. Any auxiliary aid or services that is required under 504 or ADA for an individual with a disability to participate in VR program (i.e. interpreting and reader services). 26

27 Financial Needs Testing 2015 Action Items Conduct a Return on Investment (ROI) analysis. Explore Administrative Rule development. 27

28 Fee Schedule Changes Explore moving from Medicare to Medicaid rates for services. Develop methodologies to implement outcome based & cost based rates for services. 28

29 Public Comment/Discussion What are the most important things OOD can do to improve the quality of service and employment outcomes for individuals served by the VR program? 29


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