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7 th Annual Summit on Performance Management in Vocational Rehabilitation September 9 th, 2014 Louisville, Kentucky Needs Assessment Revisited: new tools.

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Presentation on theme: "7 th Annual Summit on Performance Management in Vocational Rehabilitation September 9 th, 2014 Louisville, Kentucky Needs Assessment Revisited: new tools."— Presentation transcript:

1 7 th Annual Summit on Performance Management in Vocational Rehabilitation September 9 th, 2014 Louisville, Kentucky Needs Assessment Revisited: new tools for planning and action

2 Panel Susan Stoddard, RTAC; PI and co-author of the 2008 RSA CSNA Guide Stacey Cummings, Rehabilitation Program Administrator, Administrative Services, Utah State Office of Rehabilitation Michelle McCall, Specialist for Policy and Program Development, Texas Division for Rehabilitation Services, Consumer Support Services Program Susan Pugh, Deputy Director, Bureau of Vocational Rehabilitation, Opportunities for Ohioans with Disabilities Scott Sabella, Director Region 8 TACE Thank you to Suzanne Chan, California Department of Rehabilitation Janette Shell, Rehabilitation Services Administration

3 Five year anniversary at the Summit Five years (!) since the rollout of the RSA CSNA Guide At the 2 nd Summit in Colorado. State experience with CSNA since then (See: What have we learned…from our panel sharing their stories. A new Act WIOA, and regulations being readied right now. Later in the presentation, we will identify some of the CSNA implications of WIOA and how to prepare for the next five years.

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5 Develop a VR/SRC/Community partnership to carry out the CSNA. Build on the experience of previous State Plans and CSNAs. Involve the community. Use data to focus the study goals. Design a feasible and reasonable project. Use a multi-disciplinary needs assessment team. Rely on more than numeric data for the CSNA. Note some recommended actions can happen now, some may need more study CSNA Guide development followed these principles:

6 Think about dissemination early. Take advantage of existing knowledge in the agency. Use a wide range of methods and participants. View the CSNA is a balance of art and science. Combine quantitative and qualitative results. Use past successes and mistakes in developing options for state plan strategies. Develop a menu of alternatives. Build state plan goals and strategies on results of CSNA steps documented in state plan attachment 4.11(a). Principles, continued

7 CSNA Model: Six Steps

8 Seven information strategies are part of the design: use of existing disability population statistics including the American Community Survey (ACS); disability population estimates from available data; population projections and economic forecasts from federal and state data; existing VR agency data, studies and experience; state level statistics from other federal programs; state and local data and reports; and stakeholder input: Surveys, focus groups, interviews, and hearings Seven information strategies

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11 Topics our panel will address: Highlights of the CSNA process Description of CSNA impact on agency planning and action Best Practices Recommendations for any updates to the Guide and other resources

12 Utah’s Comprehensive Needs Assessment Contracted out to Center for Public Policy and Administration, part of the University of Utah Mainly consists of a survey and analysis of responses Summary report also contains limited general data about persons with disabilities in Utah and agency statistics Surveys are given to clients who have been found eligible but are not yet in plan Surveys are also given to employees within the agency, employees of other Workforce agencies and private agencies which serve individuals with disabilities (providers)

13 Utah Survey Questions Consumers are asked about their need for services (services are divided into categories, examples include locating appropriate jobs, obtaining training/schooling, writing a resume etc) Consumers are also asked an open-ended question about barriers to employment Employees and providers are asked about the service needs of those they serve Employees and providers are then asked about the availability of the services their consumers need Results are analyzed to identify gaps which show services with a high need ranking and low availability rating

14 How Utah Uses the Information Biggest gaps are identified Results are also studied to look for differences in responses among populations, disability types, agencies etc. Utah uses the information to develop targeted goals as part of a 3 year plan. Goals are related to increasing the availability of services. Each goal has related strategies and activities. Goals are divided over 3 years. This 3 year plan becomes part of the State Plan for the agency Goals might include strategies/activities to increase counselor knowledge, develop relationships with partner agencies, or increase provider availability and/or capacity Additional goals are developed based on other information (such as results to barrier question) and/or agency identified needs

15 Texas’ Statewide Comprehensive Needs Assessment FALL/WINTER

16 CSNA Partners Texas Division for Blind Services (DBS) Texas Division for Rehabilitation Services (DRS) Rehabilitation Council of Texas Child and Family Research Institute of the University Of Texas School Of Social Work

17 Assessment Approach*  Consumer satisfaction surveys  Staff surveys  Stakeholder surveys  Town Hall Meetings  Demographic Research  Consumer Data Analysis *Texas’ assessment approach was based on methodology outlines in the VR Needs Assessment Guide, provided by RSA.

18 Results Findings Underserved populations Housing & transportation Lack of appropriate jobs Lack of awareness of VR services Concern about loss of benefits Identified Areas for Improvement Customer service Availability of quality employment services providers Bureaucracy interferes with VR process and timelines

19 Strategies for Improvement Evaluate and revise policies and processes Increase staff knowledge, competency, and capacity Improve partnerships other agencies (education, workforce, health services) Expand availability of specialty services (i.e. transition, autism, benefits planning) Research and implement best practices for underserved populations Increase public awareness of VR services (website, PR, business partnerships, etc.)

20 Strategies for Improvement Continue development of benefits specialists within DARS Leverage funding resources Advocate for transportation resources, especially for rural areas Credentialing and continuing education requirements for employment services providers Reinforce the importance of staff on making eligibility decisions as quickly as possible

21 Ohio’s 2012 Comprehensive Statewide Needs Assessment Developed methodology for defining and describing the population of individuals with disabilities that could benefit from VR services Aligned with program data collection requirements to maximize utilization of the information in program development and field operations

22 Ohio’s 2014 Targeted CRP Needs Assessment Evaluated the adequacy of capacity of existing service providers as compared to anticipated service needs of individuals served by the VR program

23 Ohio’s Planned 2015 Comprehensive Statewide Needs Assessment Update information quantifying the need for VR services and describing the population of individuals with disabilities in Ohio Provide information specific to the needs of transition youth

24 California’s Process and Experience Conducts the triennial Comprehensive Statewide Needs Assessment (CSNA) internally. Conducts on-going analysis of information collected in years 1, 2, and 3, and summarizes their findings in year 3. Engages the State Rehabilitation Council and Department Executives throughout each year.

25 Experience with the CSNA Guide : Have benefited from the guide and described it as a “wonderful tool.” The guide helped identify best practices to consider in conducting the next needs assessment, and found the information on demographic data to be straightforward. The guide also helped identify new strategies to consider, including enhanced demographic and internal data collection, focus groups and subject matter expert interviews, and internal VR staff surveys.

26 California’s Recommendations for the Guide Make available a 1-2 page, high level document that lists the process steps and essence of conducting a needs assessment. Present the CSNA as a research study and provide annual webinar trainings. Upgrade the CSNA process to an automated system. Provide online CSNA technical support throughout the year. With the passing of WIOA, include a section on serving Youth with Disabilities. Expand the explanation of multivariate analysis and provide examples. Revise the word “goal” to distinguish and minimize confusion between Department and needs assessment goals.

27 Decision points/ Lessons learned Scott Sabella, Ph.D., TACE Region 8, University of Northern Colorado

28 Decision Point: What is the Scope of our CSNA? Who is on the CSNA team? What are your resources and timelines? What are your goals for the CSNA beyond what is in the law? e.g. “To get it done, attachment written, and approved so I can work on my real job” e.g. “To have an integrated process with full inclusion of the SRC, where we can, through consensus, identify 4-5 new goals and strategies to meet these goals” e.g. “To incorporate the department’s new emphasis on transition-age youth” What are your sources of information?

29 Decision Point: To What Extent is the SRC Involved? How are they educated about the CSNA purpose and process? What input do they have on guiding the process? Planning Decision-making Determination of final goals How are they represented in the CSNA process? On an executive committee How are the CSNA findings presented to them?

30 Decision Point: How do we Categorize and Weigh Information? How do you develop conclusions based on data from a variety of sources? How do you categorize information? How do you reduce data down to a manageable form. Do you have a method for data weighting and data reduction that can be explained (and possibly defended)?

31 Focus on Needs that are Directly Within VR Scope of Service

32 WIOA and the CSNA Section 412(a)(9) of WIOA amends section 101(a)(15) of the Act by adding 1) to sub-clause A(i) a number IV “youth with disabilities and students with disabilities including their need for pre-employment transition services” and 2) a new sub-clause A(ii) include an assessment of the needs of individual with disabilities for or other transition services and pre- employment transition services, and the extent to which such services provided under this Act are coordinated with transition services provide under the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act in order to meet the needs of individuals with disabilities”. We need to distinguish the differences between 1 and 2 and to further define and clarify “pre-employment transition services”.

33 Section 404 definitions : #30 “pre-employment transition services” (See new Section 113 for description) #37 “student with a disability” – eligible for and receiving special education or related services under IDEA part B or is an individual with a disability per section 504. Minimum and maximum ages as set by eligibility for transition services in the state. #42 “youth with a disability” is an individual with a disability not younger than 14, not older than 24. The new regulations are not yet available, but in process at RSA. But it is clear that more will be needed re. “students” and “youth” in CSNA!

34 412 (a)(1)(A) A “unified state plan” How will the State Plan and CSNA be produced in this “unified plan”? Will the plan cycle and/or the CSNA cycle be affected? Section 102(a) of WIOA indicates that the unified plan must outline a 4 year strategy for the core programs and Section 102(b)(2)(D)(iii) of WIOA indicates that the VR portion of the unified plan must provide the information in Section 101(a) of the Act. Section 102(c)(3)(A) of WIOA provides for modifications to the unified state plan at the 2 year point of the cycle. Section 101(a)(1)(C) of WIOA indicates that the VR portion of the unified or combined state plan shall remain in effect until the State submits and receives approval of a new state plan or modifications. Regulation will address how the CSNA cycle and required annual updates will apply under these timelines.

35 Ideas for updating the Guide New Act and regulations (forthcoming) make some changes in CSNA scope: “Students with disabilities” “pre-employment transition services” “Youth with disabilities” Need to update the instructions in the Guide Appendix for finding and using ACS data: Statistical sources (ACS): website addresses and navigation links have changed. Now more local data is available in the 5-year sample files (ACS)

36 Ideas for updating, continue

37 Contact:


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