Alabama

States - Big Screen

The state motto of Alabama is "We Dare Defend Our Rights," including the rights of individuals with disabilities to have real employment opportunities at competitive wages. 

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 Alabama's VR Rates and Services

2019 State Population.
0.31%
Change from
2018 to 2019
4,903,185
2019 Number of people with disabilities (all disabilities, ages 18-64).
-3.99%
Change from
2018 to 2019
401,368
2019 Number of people with disabilities who are employed (all disabilities, ages 18-64).
8.35%
Change from
2018 to 2019
132,656
2019 Percentage of working age people who are employed (all disabilities).
11.86%
Change from
2018 to 2019
33.05%
2019 Percentage of working age people who are employed (NO disabilities).
12.25%
Change from
2018 to 2019
74.62%

General

2017 2018 2019
Population. 4,874,747 4,887,871 4,903,185
Number of people with disabilities (all disabilities, ages 18-64). 418,429 417,381 401,368
Number of people with disabilities who are employed (all disabilities, ages 18-64). 112,030 121,576 132,656
Number of people without disabilities who are employed (ages 18-64). 1,815,887 1,826,230 1,867,058
Percentage of working age people who are employed (all disabilities). 26.77% 29.13% 33.05%
Percentage of working age people who are employed (NO disabilities). 64.71% 65.48% 74.62%
State/National unemployment rate. 4.40% 3.90% 3.00%
Poverty Rate (all disabilities). 23.10% 23.00% 21.60%
Poverty Rate (NO disabilities). 15.70% 15.60% 14.30%
Number of males with disabilities (all ages). 380,392 372,948 363,930
Number of females with disabilities (all ages). 408,923 412,952 401,088
Number of Caucasians with disabilities (all ages). 540,995 543,393 535,010
Number of African Americans with disabilities (all ages). 215,372 210,848 200,257
Number of Hispanic/Latinos with disabilities (all ages). 15,668 16,505 15,428
Number of American Indians/Alaska Natives with disabilities (all ages). 7,270 4,791 5,974
Number of Asians with disabilities (all ages). 4,692 4,785 5,816
Number of Hawaiians/Pacific Islanders with disabilities (all ages). N/A N/A N/A
Number of persons of two or more races with disabilities (all ages) 15,896 16,110 14,164
Number of persons of some other race alone with disabilities (all ages) 4,826 5,814 3,587

 

SSA OUTCOMES

2017 2018 2019
Number of SSI recipients with disabilities who work. 3,910 4,051 4,176
Percentage of SSI recipients with disabilities who work relative to total SSI recipients with disabilities. 2.50% 2.60% 2.70%
Old Age Survivor and Disability Insurance (OASDI) recipients/workers with disabilities. 226,922 222,986 219,981

 

MENTAL HEALTH OUTCOMES

2017 2018 2019
Number of mental health services consumers who are employed. 7,033 7,183 7,218
Number of mental health services consumers who are part of the labor force (employed or actively looking for employment). 17,945 18,181 18,345
Number of adults served who have a known employment status. 43,176 43,467 40,979
Percentage of all state mental health agency consumers served in the community who are employed. 16.30% 16.50% 17.60%
Percentage of supported employment services evidence based practices (EBP). N/A 0.40% 0.40%
Percentage of supported housing services evidence based practices (EBP). 0.50% 0.50% 0.50%
Percentage of assertive community treatment services evidence based practices (EBP). 1.50% 1.50% 1.50%
Percentage of medications management evidence based practices (EBP). N/A N/A N/A
Number of evidence based practices (EBP) supported employment services. N/A 280 283
Number of evidence based practices (EBP) supported housing services. 354 341 329
Number of evidence based practices (EBP) assertive community treatment services. 988 974 916
Number of evidence based practices (EBP) medications management. N/A N/A N/A

 

WAGNER PEYSER OUTCOMES

2014 2015 2016
Number of registered job seekers with a disability. 8,415 7,703 3,087
Proportion of registered job seekers with a disability. 0.02 0.03 N/A

 

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. 55 42 52
Total number of people with a disability that is a substantial barrier to work who entered unsubsidized employment. 22 16 22
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. 40.00% 38.00% 42.00%
Incidence rate of people with a disability that is a substantial barrier to work who entered unsubsidized employment per 100,000 individuals in the general state population. 0.46 0.33 0.45

 

VR OUTCOMES

2017 2018 2019
Total Number of people served under VR.
N/A
N/A
N/A
Number of people with visual impairments served under VR. N/A N/A N/A
Number of people with communicative (hearing loss, deafness) impairments served under VR. N/A N/A N/A
Number of people with physical impairments served under VR. N/A N/A N/A
Number of people cognitive impairments served under VR. N/A N/A N/A
Number of people psychosocial impairments served under VR. N/A N/A N/A
Number of people with mental impairments served under VR. N/A N/A N/A
Percentage of overall closures into employment under VR. 25.00% 49.00% 40.00%
Number of employment network (EN) and vocational rehabilitation (VR) tickets assigned. 5,023 5,422 5,983
Number of eligible ticket to work beneficiaries. 336,758 332,907 330,493
Total number of ID closures using supported employment services with or without Title VI-B funds expended (VI-C prior to 2002). 622 274 405
Total number of ID competitive labor market closures. 375 411 485

 

IDD OUTCOMES

2016 2017 2018
Dollars spent on day/employment services for integrated employment funding. $675,600 $927,418 $1,228,277
Dollars spent on day/employment services for facility-based work funding. $5,063,281 $4,957,488 $4,373,956
Dollars spent on day/employment services for facility-based non-work funding. $64,375,801 $57,786,518 $56,498,502
Dollars spent on day/employment services for community based non-work funding. $1,039,339 $218,498 $354,651
Percentage of people served in integrated employment. 5.00% 12.00% 17.00%
Number of people served in community based non-work. 455 75 135
Number of people served in facility based work. 438 454 407
Number of people served in facility based non-work. 4,562 4,123 4,215
Number supported in integrated employment per 100,000 individuals in the general state population. 6.37 12.68 16.86

 

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). 83.56% 83.52% 83.65%
Percent of children with IEPs aged 6 through 21 served inside the regular class less than 40% of the day (Indicator 5b). 7.19% 7.16% 7.23%
Percent of children with IEPs aged 6 through 21 served in separate schools, residential facilities, or homebound/hospital placements (Indicator 5c). 2.49% 2.45% 2.51%
Percent of youth with IEPs aged 16 and above with an IEP that includes appropriate measurable postsecondary goals (Indicator 13). 99.99% 99.91% 99.77%
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). 27.33% 27.81% 26.37%
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). 70.20% 60.20% 60.02%
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). 78.49% 68.85% 70.50%
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). 42.87% 32.39% 33.65%

 

ABILITYONE/JWOD PROGRAM

2014
Number of overall agency blind and SD hours. 1,613,485
Number of overall total blind and SD workers. 1,408
Number of AbilityOne blind and SD hours (products). 297,988
Number of AbilityOne blind and SD hours (services). 882,262
Number of AbilityOne blind and SD hours (combined). 1,180,250
Number of AbilityOne blind and SD workers (products). 196
Number of AbilityOne blind and SD workers (services). 610
Number of AbilityOne blind and SD workers (combined). 806
AbilityOne wages (products). $2,732,728
AbilityOne wages (services). $11,470,273

 

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

2018 2019 2020
Number of 14(c) certificate-holding businesses. 0 0 0
Number of 14(c) certificate-holding school work experience programs (SWEPs). 0 0 0
Number of 14(c) certificate-holding community rehabilitation programs (CRPs). 4 7 2
Number of 14(c) certificate holding patient workers. 0 0 0
Total Number of 14(c) certificate holding entities. 4 7 2
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). 283 350 92
Reported number of people with disabilities working under 14(c) certificate holding patient workers. 0 0 0
Total reported number of people with disabilities working under 14(c) certificate holding entities. 283 350 92

 

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

~~ADRS does not currently have a written agreement regarding services to American Indians. • Department of Youth Services (DYS): Alabama has a Department of Youth Services. This Department is established to work with delinquent youth. The expectation is that the services of DYS will prevent delinquent youth from eventually advancing to the adult correctional system. ADRS has a specialist who is very actively involved with DYS. This individual receives referrals on a regular basis from DYS and forwards those referrals to the appropriate field staff. ADRS has a written agreement with the ADYS • Department of Mental Health (DMH): The Agency maintains an ongoing relationship with DMH. ADRS serves numerous consumers with mental illness. ADRS works on cooperative initiatives to ensure services are provided to eligible consumers. ADRS maintains a relationship with the DMH Division of Substance Abuse and a network of residential aftercare service providers. ADRS is working extensively with the DMH to expand and improve the ADRS supported employment program. This includes efforts in the areas of Employment First, extended supports, and collaborating on grants. ADRS has a cooperative agreement with ADMH. (Page 176) Title II

The Alabama Department of Rehabilitation Services continues to stay abreast of national issues regarding community rehabilitation facilities through its attendance and participation in conferences of state and national significance including Alabama Association of Rehabilitation Facilities (AARF), Alabama Association of People Supporting Employment First (AL—APSE), Council of State Administrators of Vocational Rehabilitation (CSAVR), and National Rehabilitation Association (NRA). Collaborative efforts between ADRS Computer Services and the CRP section have recently developed computer- generated reports that assist the CRP section in tracking targeted CRP goals and outcomes such as numbers of individuals successfully employed, cost per successful closure, and average wage. (Page 186) Title II

The Alabama Department of Education, the Social Security Administration, and the Department of the Department of Veterans Affairs. This training is currently being offered twice a year in a collaborative effort between the Alabama Department of Rehabilitation Services and the Alabama Department of Mental Health. APSE (Association for People Supporting Employment First) is sponsoring, and our state Chapter of APSE are also participating in CESP National Certification (National Certification for Employment Support Professionals). Project SEARCH, a statewide initiative to improve transition services for students with most significant disabilities began in Alabama in FY 2012 with two pilot sites. Alabama now has 11 Project SEARCH sites and we will continue to work to expand this transition program in our state. All sites have a state team member assigned to them to help with implementation and fidelity. Trainings take place throughout the year and the teacher and job coach both attend national SEARCH training as well. Cooperative Agreements between the Local School Systems (LEA’s) or Post-Secondary education (for youth programs) Alabama Department of Rehabilitation Services, the Alabama Council for Developmental Disabilities, the Alabama Department of Mental Health, the Supported Employment Community Rehabilitation Program and the local employer supporting the program are in place for all 11 sites. (Page 187) Title II

Alabama Department of Mental Health, Alabama State Department of Education, Alabama Medicaid, Alabama Department of Economic and Community Affairs and the Alabama Department of Post—Secondary Education continue to work towards Employment First legislation. Individualized Placement and Support (IPS) Supported Employment is an evidence- based approach to supported employment for individuals with serious mental illness. IPS, based on zero exclusion, competitive employment in the community, mental health treatment and employment services being integrated, benefits planning is included, job search occurs rapidly, employment specialist develop relationships with employers in their communities, job supports are continuous, and consumer preferences are honored. In 2014, Alabama applied for and was among 7 states that received a grant from the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) to implement IPS Supported Employment at 2 sites in the state. The grant is for 5 years during which time we will be looking at sustainability and expansion. Currently IPS is being implemented at Chilton Shelby in West Alabama (rural site) and Alapointe in Mobile County (urban site). (Page 187) Title II

Certificate Based Job Coach Training is collaboration between our agency, the Alabama Department of Mental Health, the Department of Education, the Council for Developmental Disabilities, and Alabama APSE (Association of Persons Supporting Employment First). This training ensures consistency of service delivery for supported employment providers and provides access to the latest marketing and training techniques. Training is provided by Virginia Commonwealth University’s Rehabilitation Research and Training Center on Workplace Supports. We offer this training twice a year to SE Job Coaches, School Job Coaches, Job Coaches employed by the Department of Mental Health and other community job developers and job coaches. This year, job coaches specializing in sensory impairments also participated in this training as we work to collaborate more closely with the Alabama Institute for the Deaf and Blind (AIDB) and their AIDB regional center staff located throughout the state. • Alabama Department of Rehabilitation Services, Alabama Council for Developmental Disabilities, Alabama Department of Mental Health, Alabama State Department of Education, Alabama Medicaid, Alabama Department of Economic and Community Affairs and the Alabama Department of Post—Secondary Education have been working to secure Employment First legislation and continue to participate in the Employment First Leadership Mentoring Program Community of Practice through Office of Disability Employment Policy (ODEP). These partners will continue to collaborate with human service agencies that work with people with disabilities and the workforce investment/development agencies to support the concept of Employment First. Additionally, several partners are participating in the Vision Quest training, offered through ODEP, to assist Alabama with options to infuse integrated employment into the Medicaid waiver, State Plan Options and increased collaboration to better serve consumers as they move towards integrated, community- based employment options. ADRS will collaborate with local school systems to improve transition services; ensuring students who are appropriate for SE services have access to community based Supported Employment providers while still in high school. SE providers will be active in the local high schools to present information regarding their programs to parents, students and staff. Students will also have the opportunity to participate in community- based assessments or begin the Discovery Profile before they exit school, to facilitate a seamless transit ion to Supported Employment Services. 2. •The GATE program (Gaining Access to Employment) is a training program that takes consumers from sheltered work or day habilitation and fully immerses them in industry training. This collaboration between the Alabama Department of Rehabilitation Services and Alabama Department of Mental Health began in North Alabama and now has 5 sites. The GATE program braids funding utilizing from both ADRS and ADMH (Medicaid waiver). Adults, who are long term consumers of day programs are trained in competitive integrated employment settings using job coaches for support during their internships. Consumers are paid wages while they intern, primarily in manufacturing settings. (Page 220) Title II

The agency has a state specialist overseeing the expansion and effectiveness of the agency’s supported employment efforts. Two additional specialists have been hired to assist with the growth and expansion of supported employment in Alabama in the last 2 years. This growth includes eleven 11 project SEARCH sites, the continuation of the GATE Project, IPS SE for individuals with serious mental illness and co-occurring substance abuse, and expansion of the Connections program for individuals with Autism. We are currently collaborating with the LEAs and training rehabilitation transition counselors on provision of services to students at an earlier age while in the secondary setting. This should increase participation of students with more significant disabilities and provide those services earlier. We currently have jointly funded pre-ets specialists contracts with secondary education for students with most significant disabilities. ADRS will collaborate with local school systems to develop and implement a transition initiative; ensuring students who are appropriate for SE services have access to providers prior to their exit from high school. SE providers will be active in the local high schools to present information regarding their programs to parents, students and staff. Students will also have the opportunity to participate in community— based assessments before they exit school, to facilitate a seamless transition. Many students with most significant disabilities are participating in our summer JET program which includes work -based learning emphasizing social skills acquisition, career exploration and paid work experience.

Training on Certificate Based Job Coach Training in collaboration with the Alabama Department of Mental Health, the Department of Education, and the Council for Developmental Disabilities, and Alabama APSE (Association of Persons Supporting Employment First), The Network on Employment continues. This training ensures consistency of service delivery for supported employment providers and provides access to the latest marketing and training techniques. Training is provided by Virginia Commonwealth University’s Rehabilitation Research and Training Center on Workplace Supports. (Page 226) Title II

ADRS continues to seek methods to increase participation of individuals with all types of disabilities in supported employment programs. Initiatives for improving transition services for students with more significant disabilities are being implemented. Since WIOA students with more significant disabilities are being referred and receiving services at a much earlier age. SE providers are providing Pre-Employment Transition Services to these students with an emphasis on work- based learning. We are procuring additional pre-employment transition specialist (jointly funded) to increase the likelihood of competitive integrated employment for students with more significant disabilities and expansion of innovative opportunities and collaborations including student led enterprises, participation in work- based learning at a younger age, and successful programs like Project SEARCH. We will continue to work with career and technical education to develop innovative programs that address internship and apprentice opportunities as well as certifications in employment areas, especially in high demand areas for our state. We will continue to work with Workforce development to identify and provide services to youth in the area, especially underserved youth and those with more significant disabilities. All these identified entities are a part of our Employment First efforts in Alabama. We are currently submitting 3 RFP’s for collaborations with Workforce Boards, Post-Secondary Education, and Alabama One-Stop Centers for internships and services to youth through expansion of Project SEARCH to youth in their areas. (Page 241-242) Title II.

Efforts continued to collaborate closely with Alabama APSE (Association of Persons Supporting Employment First)—The Network on Employment, Alabama Department of Mental Health, and the Alabama Council for Developmental Disabilities (DD Council), to provide training to staff, pre-employment transition specialist, skills training instructors, SE providers, IPS staff and other employment staff in Alabama that serve individuals with disabilities. Customized employment and Discovery are included in this training. ADRS continues to expand services within the state to increase opportunities for individuals to access to supported employment services. All counties in Alabama all have trained supported employment providers to serve consumers in their area. Many of our community rehabilitation programs provided paid summer work experiences that include job exploration, work place readiness, instruction in self-advocacy, in demand jobs in their areas, and paid work place paid work experience with employers in their local areas. Two additional staff members were hired as Rehabilitation Specialists for Supported Employment to assist the counselors and providers with quality supported employment and to provide training as needed to both groups. Additionally another state office specialist was hired to assist the statewide transition specialist. The addition of these specialists will help to assure that we are providing quality services to students, youth, and adults with more significant disabilities that require supported employment. We continue to include Discovery and customized employment in our bi-annual training with staff to assure better job matches, and more opportunities for internships and training to consumers requiring SE. The following initiatives have been implemented:

Continual training and consultation by state office staff on Supported Employment, Milestones, Discovery, Person Centered Profile Development, WIOA, IPS Supported Employment, Self-Employment, Pre-Employment Transition Services and Project SEARCH for transition students.
(Page 242) Title II
 
 Collaboration continues with Alabama Association of Persons Supporting Employment First (AL—APSE) and Alabama Department of Mental Health to offer bi-annual job coach training to new job coaches, job developers, pre-employment transition specialists, skills training instructors, IPS staff, mental health staff and case managers. This training is conducted by Virginia Commonwealth University and provides instruction on best practices, innovative strategies and customized employment. For the last two years Alabama Institute for the Deaf and Blind sent local and regional staff personnel who serve those with sensory impairments.

We continue to provide the GATE Project for provider agencies who have consumers in sheltered work who are seeking employment in their communities. GATE was recognized by ICI (Institute for Community Inclusion) as an innovative strategy to move consumers from segregated employment to competitive integrated employment. It is a partnership with our agency, the Department of Mental Health and local employers. This program is embedded in the workplace and gives the opportunity for those who will require extra time and additional supports and training to learn a job. This unique program braids funds from the two agencies to secure the supports and training needed. (Page 243) Title I

Customized Employment

~~Supported Employment (SE) is available in Alabama for individuals with the most significant disabilities who require intensive support services, and extended support services for an appropriate and successful employment outcome. These services are provided in all regions of the state by 38 approved community—based organizations. Supported Employment services are available to individuals regardless of their disability. Currently, the primary disabilities served include persons with significant intellectual disabilities, severe mental illness, cerebral palsy, autism spectrum disorders, visual and hearing impairments, severe orthopedic impairments, traumatic brain injury, and other most significant disabilities. The Alabama Department of Rehabilitation Services currently utilizes a Milestones service and payment process. Milestones, a service and outcome- based payment system, has significantly improved the quality of supported employment throughout the state, while proving to be more cost effective for the Agency. Providers of supported employment are paid for successful outcomes achieved by individuals participating in supported employment. The Milestones program segments the rehabilitation process into four distinct areas: (1) Determination of Needs/Person Centered Profiles (including Assessments) and the Discovery Process, (2) Hire, (3) Job Retention/Coaching and (4) Closure. Extended supports including natural supports are available at the job site, and are provided for the duration of the employment. Providers of long- term supports are required to document twice monthly contact with each consumer successfully working in the community, and to maintain this documentation in case files for the duration of that consumer’s job. ADRS can fund extended supports to youth for up to 4 years or until they reach the age of 25 and are no longer considered a youth. If VR is funding extended services the case must remain open until the individual is receiving these supports funded through another source. To ensure the highest quality of services, training is provided throughout the year to address issues related to supported employment, including the provision of extended services, customized employment and supported self-employment. In this cooperative arrangement with the Alabama Department of Mental Health and the Alabama Department of Rehabilitation Services, in collaboration with AL—APSE/ the Alabama Council on Developmental Disabilities and the Department of Education training and educational activities continue to be offered twice a year to improve the consistency of service delivery by job coaches, pre-employment transition specialist, skills training instructors, AIDB staff, IPS staff and others in the community that offer employment services to individuals with most significant disabilities. Customized employment training is also provided. This training is coordinated by ADRS and the ADMH and offered by Virginia Commonwealth University’s Rehabilitation Research and Training Center on Workplace Supports. We currently have a cooperative agreement with the Alabama Department of Mental Health that includes both the DD Division of the Department and the MI/SA Division. This agreement gives and Overview of both Departments including their purpose, changes reflected in WIOA, the Legal basis for the agreement, Overview of the Departments and the Responsibilities of the Partners, Eligibility, Plan Development, Referral Process for the Departments, State level shared objectives, Responsibilities and Implementation including extended services to individuals with most significant disabilities.  (Page 186) Title II

Yet another perspective on the needs of individuals with the most significant disabilities was available by examining the services most often anticipated for MSD individuals by counselors during the eligibility determination process. From 2014 to 2016, 24,122 individuals were determined eligible and assigned an eligibility category using the agency’s Functional Limitations Priority Assessment (FLPA). 5,681 of these individuals were determined to the Most Significant Disability group. More often than those in other eligible categories, persons deemed MSD were anticipated to require Supported Employment Services, Customized Employment Services, Job Readiness Training, and Rehabilitation Technology and/or Devices. Supported Employment was anticipated for 3,181 of the 5,681 individuals in the MSD category, 56%. (Page 204) Title IV

The Alabama Department of Rehabilitation Services (ADRS) remains committed to the provision of quality services to individuals with the most significant disabilities through the provision of supported employment services. ADRS provides supported employment services through a collaborative/partnership effort with 38 service providers statewide in FY 2017. These providers cover all counties in the state. These providers offer services to individuals with a variety of significant disabilities without restrictions regarding disability type. The SE providers are distributed throughout the state in order to ensure maximum availability to those in need of supported employment to obtain or maintain competitive integrated employment or advancement in employment. Service providers receive funds for the provision of supported employment through an outcome based payment system. Providers must submit evidence that each milestone has been achieved. Some milestones include consumer and employer satisfaction surveys. Consumer satisfaction is designed to reflect satisfaction with the job or identify any consumer concerns or issues. The employer satisfaction survey is designed to reflect the consumer’s job performance, stability and training needs. Supported employment funds are distributed to each provider agency based on the milestone achieved by each individual served. Job skills training is provided to individuals on site at the work setting. Supported employment services include placement in competitive integrated employment settings for the maximum number of hours possible and is based on the strengths, resources, priorities, concerns, abilities, interests and informed choice of the individual. In FY 2017, the SE program: had 1019 consumers’ complete situational assessments and/or the Discovery process. We closed 541 consumers in competitive integrated employment. These consumers worked an average of 23 hours a week and made an average of $8.30 an hour. This represents an increase of 15% from the previous year in consumers served. (Page 241) Title II

Each supported employment provider operates under a milestone/outcome—based program to ensure quality outcomes and appropriate employment options based on individual choice. Consumers are offered the opportunity to participate in community—based assessments to facilitate an informed decision regarding their employment goal. Job development is provided on an individual basis to locate employment based on the consumer’s interests, skills, limitations and community living needs. Job coaching is also provided at the work site to ensure that the individual has the necessary training, skills and supports to work. Once the consumer is stable in the workplace, extended services are planned and implemented to protect the long—term success of the job. Consumer and employer satisfaction regarding the services provided are measured at the time of employment and again before case closure. Extended services are a continuation of ongoing support services provided to individuals with the most significant disabilities. These extended supports are provided at the completion of stabilization, during the successful rehabilitation Milestone and beyond ADRS case closure. The option for Discovery and Customized Employment, or for Person Centered Profiles along with assessments are available to consumers to maximize success for individuals in supported employment. Supported Self-employment is also available for individuals wanting to start their own business. (Page 244) Title II

Blending/ Braiding Resources

~~No disability specific information found regarding this element.

Disability Employment Initiative (DEI)

~~Extended service provision is provided to youth with the most significant disabilities in a variety of ways. This includes the Medicaid waiver, state dollars set aside to support youth in Project SEARCH, contract service provision to SE vendors, grant dollars for IPS and DEI, fund raising, and private pay. Extended services not to exceed four years.

Financial Literacy /Economic Advancement

~~The Alabama Department of Rehabilitation Services entered into this agreement to mutually serve students with disabilities in the Pike County and Troy City Boards of Education through cooperatively funding the professional services of one full-time nine- month instructor, housed at Charles Henderson High School and Troy/Pike Center for Technology. Instruction will be provided in an integrated classroom setting with peers who are not identified as students with disabilities, and will focus on the area of pre-employment transition services. These pre-employment transition services, which are not typically or customarily provided by the LEA, will be provided in a group setting in a classroom or the community. The instruction of pre-employment transition services provided will be in the areas of: job exploration counseling, work-based learning experiences, counseling on opportunities for enrollment in comprehensive transition or postsecondary educational programs, workplace readiness training and instruction in self-advocacy. This instruction is designed to prepare students with disabilities to enter long terms competitive integrated employment in high demand careers by identifying and exploring career interests, as well as, increasing individual independence, self-sufficiency and inclusion of students with disabilities in their communities. Students served by this program include any student with a disability enrolled at Charles Henderson High School and Troy/Pike Center for Technology, who is in the 11th or 12th grades, is eligible for or potentially eligible for Vocational Rehabilitation Services, and has received a referral from the VR Transition Counselor, Special Education Teacher and/or school administrator. Course curriculum will consist of instruction in the following areas Basic Computer Skills, Financial Literacy, Problem Solving, Manufacturing, Job Acquisition. Course curriculum will also include discussion of local high demand careers, labor market information and activities that may include community- based experiences. (Page 173-174) Title II

School to Work Transition

~~The yet to be determined workforce development areas provide career services, client assessment, case management, referral to Individual Training Accounts, on-the-job training (OJT), customized training, and work- based learning. They also provide specialized employment and training activities for youth, including basic education, GED programs, occupational skills training, and work- based learning activities.
The Alabama Workforce System (AWS) includes the following programs and entities operated through the following agents. (Page 50) Title I

• PROJECT SEARCH: Project SEARCH is a one—year internship program for students with disabilities in the last year of high school or with out of school youth. It is targeted for students and youth whose goal is competitive employment. The program takes place in a healthcare, government, or business setting where total immersion in the workplace facilitates the teaching and learning process as well as the acquisition of employability and marketable work skills. Students participate in up to three (3) internships to explore a variety of career paths. The students work with a team that includes their family, special education teacher and skills training instructor to create an employment goal, and to support the student during this important transition from school to work. The program is a cooperative arrangement between the employer, the Alabama Department of Rehabilitation Services, the Alabama State Department of Education, the Alabama Council for Development Disabilities the Alabama Department of Mental Health, the local school systems (or post-secondary education for youth) and most importantly the employers. The program is currently available in the following counties: Montgomery, Birmingham, Huntsville, Tuscaloosa, Shelby, Etowah, Marshall, Baldwin, Calhoun and two (2) programs in Mobile. When participating in Project SEARCH, the student actually goes to the employment site each day as opposed to going to the school. The LEA provides a classroom teacher(s) to provide employment instruction in the morning, and the students go to assigned internships the remainder of the day. Internships include patient escort, food service, central sterilization, pharmacy, maintenance, grounds keeping, and other settings at the business. No funds from other participating agencies are used to match federal money drawn down by ADRS. State Unit approval is obtained before services are initiated. All services are provided in accordance with the agency’s approved State Plan.  (Page 174) Title II

Referrals for transition services and pre-employment transition services are carried out in a number of ways. Students can be referred by the LEA’s, special education teachers, 504 coordinators, doctors, mental health professionals, parents, teachers, transition counselors assigned to the schools, or can be self-referred. Once referred to the VR counselors assigned to the school, the counselors work with educational officials to obtain pertinent documentation necessary for pre-employment transition services or transition services. Students may receive pre-employment transition services beginning in the 9th grade or age 16-21 (or younger if decided in the IEP). Students can be served as eligible or potentially eligible consumers. Students who require intensive services will require an application, be determined eligible within the required 60- day period (unless for specific, documented reason an extension is necessary) and a plan for transition services will be written within 90 days. It is expected that all students requiring VR services to be successful in competitive integrated employment will have a plan before they exit high school. We anticipate that many of our students served under potentially eligible will apply for services and become VR consumers in their 11th grade year. All pre-ets services for students ages 16-21 or in the 9th grade (younger if stipulated in their IEP) that are not served under potentially eligible, will have pre-ets services included in their IPEs. (Page 179) Title II

Smart Work Ethics Training (SWE) — SWE is a social skills curriculum that addresses communication skills and work place behaviors (attitude, work ethic, image and appearance, interpersonal skills, teamwork, time management, accountability) needed to obtain and maintain successful competitive employment. This curriculum is provided to the student in the LEA by a certified trainer from a Community Rehabilitation Program. • Jointly—Funded Pre-Employment Transition Specialist — ADRS is committed to providing jointly funded Pre-ETS specialist in local education agencies to assist with the provision of pre—employment transition services. This is accomplished through cooperative agreements with local education agencies (ADRS pays 75% LEA pays 25%). The jointly funded pre-employment transition specialist provide pre—employment transition services that are not typically or customarily provided by the LEA. These pre—employment transition services are designed to increase the likelihood of independence and inclusion of students with disabilities, including those with significant disabilities, in communities, as well as, maximize opportunities for these students for long term competitive integrated employment. (Page 180) Title II

Team (SITT). SITT is a multidisciplinary group of 37 representatives from 22 state agencies (ADRS, ALSDE, Alabama Department of Mental Health and Alabama Department of Postsecondary Education) and organizations providing services for students and young adults with disabilities. The purpose of this group is to develop a better understanding of each agency’s role and responsibilities in service delivery for Alabama’s students and young adults with disabilities, and to seek and implement new and better ways of providing secondary special education and transition services. At the local level, the ADRS has procedures in place to ensure the agency is actively involved in the transition of students with disabilities from school to work. The agency has a counselor assigned to each high school to act as transition counselor. The counselor visits the school on a regularly scheduled basis to meet with teachers and guidance counselors in order to provide vocational rehabilitation information and to receive referrals of students with disabilities in need of rehabilitation services. The VR counselor meets with the student and parents in order to explain rehabilitation services to enable a student’s informed choice regarding these services. School records and other information needed to serve a student as a potentially eligible consumer or needed for eligibility determination is obtained. Once eligibility is determined efforts are made to begin determining rehabilitation needs and a vocational goal. (Page 181) Title II

The new MOU between ALSDE and ADRS addresses transition planning and development of the IEP under scope of services for both ALSDE and ADRs collaboratively and individually. A revised agreement has been sent to SDE and is awaiting the new superintendent’s signature. This replaces the agreement on file dated 5/6/2016.

ADRS emphasizes best practices in providing services to students in order to provide a seamless transition from school to post school activities. As stated earlier, ADRS has transition counselors designated to each LEA who work closely with the special education and career and technical education teachers in the development of the IEP for those students/consumers with whom the ADRS is involved and attend IEP Team meetings and/or provide input that will assist in making decisions about services that will be provided by the ADRS, such as assistive technology, career exploration or work experience opportunities. ADRS emphasizes best practices in providing services to students in order to provide a seamless transition from school to post school activities. (Page 182)

The MOA clarifies that nothing under the Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act reduces the obligation of the LEA to pay for, or provide transition services that are considered special education services, or related services necessary for assuring a free and appropriate education for students. The agreement also states that all expenditures identified by the LEA and VR for provision of pre-employment transition services that are new, having a VR focus of preparing students with disabilities to access careers that will lead to long term competitive integrated employment, and are not duplicative of services provided by the LEA, be the responsibility of ADRS. It also clarifies in the memorandum of agreement, that expenditures approved by the VR Counselor for transition services that are provided to VR students with disabilities, eligible for VR services, that are vocational in nature and support and lead to the achievement of the employment goal in the IEP, will be the financial responsibility of the DSU. (Page 183) Title II

Individuals with Intellectual Disabilities: The top vocational rehabilitation needs identified among individuals with intellectual disabilities were: Community Inclusion, Fair Wages, Employment Supports and Benefits. Agency outcomes in FY 2014 through 2016 for persons with intellectual disabilities for both rehabilitation rate and weekly wage were significantly lower than the agency norm. VR program data examined over a six- year span indicate that the majority of VR consumers with an intellectual disability were in need of supported employment services. Many publications acknowledge the importance of school to work transition outcomes, that early exposure to a wide range of work-based learning experiences plays a large part in later outcomes for individuals with intellectual disabilities. Regarding those who have already made the transition from secondary education, it will be important for VR to monitor and address the need to offer VR services to those individuals who are currently being served within day programs. (Page 207) Title II

Findings from the 2017 CSNA indicate that Alabama’s Youth with Disabilities are affected by disproportionately high dropout rates, markedly lower rates of enrollment and completion of postsecondary education, and significantly higher rates of unemployment or underemployment. These observations are borne out by data from the Alabama Department of Education, the Census Bureau, as well as ADRS’s own program statistics and survey research. Recently published findings from the National Longitudinal Transition Study demonstrated that Youth with an Individualized Education Plan are more likely than their peers to be socioeconomically disadvantaged, experience difficulty completing typical tasks independently, and find themselves the object of bullying. Youth with an IEP were found to be suspended at higher rates and to lag their peers in planning and taking steps to obtain postsecondary education and jobs (Lipscomb et al., 2017). Furthermore, Youth with autism, deaf-blindness, intellectual disability, multiple disabilities, and orthopedic impairments appear to be at highest risk for challenges making a successful transition from high school. (Page 209) Title II

It is fortunate that prior to new WIOA requirements for students with disabilities, ADRS had enjoyed a long and productive relationship with the Alabama State Department of Education (ALSDE). ADRS maintains a formal Interagency Agreement with the ALSDE for the provision of transition services. At the state level, ADRS participates as an equal partner in the Alabama State Interagency Transition Team. At the local level, the ADRS has a counselor assigned to each high school to act as transition counselor. Furthermore, ADRS has for years been committed to the financial support of jointly funded positions, i.e. Pre-Employment Transition Specialists, in local education agencies to assist with the provision of transition services. Shortly after the final WIOA regulations were released in August of 2016, however, ADRS recognized the need for a comprehensive effort to build upon existing capacity and foster greater connections between ADRS staff and their Department of Education counterparts at the local level.  (Page 211) Title II

Additionally, we are continuing to collaborate with all our state entities to improve services for students and youth with most significant disabilities. We are working with the State Department of Education on improving Assistive Technology access in order to improve the transition from school to work, and entry to Post Secondary settings. We are working with Career and Technical Education to increase participation for students with more significant disabilities. (Page 218) Title II

Extended services for youth are included in policy and in the counselor resource manual however this has not been necessary. State office has been contacted in regard to several cases of youth needed extended services, but in these cases, we were able to access waiver services for extended supports. We do anticipate that extended services for youth will be necessary for individuals who do not receive waiver services, but to date we have not had to use this provision and have been able to access the waiver. ADRS’s allotment for FY 2018 for supported employment services for youth will include post-employment services and extended services for youth. VR currently spends about 3 million on supported employment and almost 1 million additional dollars through contracts for all individuals with most significant disabilities so easily expends its allotment requirements for youth. Additionally, this year we will be adding 3 new youth programs through Project SEARCH for out of school youth with more significant disabilities. (Page 220) Title II

Engage Alabama is a collaborative effort of the ADRS, Alabama State Department of Education, Alabama Council on Developmental Disabilities and Alabama Disabilities Advocacy Program to develop and provide an app for students with disabilities to improve the student’s knowledge of transition services; assist the student in identifying and utilizing strategies to improve transition services and increase the student’s capability to better advocate for transition service through the student led IEP process. Students may access Engage Alabama via the internet at engageal.com, or by going to the Apple Store or Google Play store where students can download the app at no charge. Once all questions in the app are answered a transition plan will be generated that the student may print and share with his/her family and IEP case manager prior to the IEP meeting. This plan will serve as a self-advocacy tool to assist the student in successfully leading his/her IEP meeting, in discussing transition goals and what is needed for the students to reach those goals. Students may access this app as often as need during the school year to make any necessary changes, but it is recommended that students access the app on an annual basis prior to his/her IEP meeting. It is important to note that while the Engage Alabama application was designed for use by students who are receiving services under an IEP, any student with a disability (including those that would meet the requirements for 504 services) may access the app to assist with identification of needed pre-employment transition services and to develop transition goals. (Page 230) Title II

The agency maintains an excellent service delivery system to consumers who are blind or have low vision. This service delivery system includes a network of Rehabilitation Counselors specializing in blindness, Vision Rehabilitation Therapists, Orientation and Mobility Specialists, Assistive Technology Specialists, Pre-Employment Transition Specialists, and Vision Rehabilitation Assistants who provide a wide range of services to individuals who are blind or have low vision. Additionally, there is a State Coordinator of Blind Services who oversees these services. (Page 223) Title II

ADRS, in Partnership with the Alabama Institute for Deaf and Blind, offers a Summer Work Experience Program. During the summer, students who are in high school or college have the opportunity to participate in this program. Vocational Rehabilitation Counselors, Business Relations Consultants, Job Coaches, and Pre-Employment Transition Specialists partner with local businesses to provide students with a paid work experience. Students who participate in the Summer Work Program can work up to six weeks, a maximum of 40 hours a week, and earn a minimum wage salary which is paid out of counselors’ case services budgets. The goal of this program is to offer students who are blind or have low vision a real-world work experience.

ADRS, in partnership with the Alabama Institute for Deaf and Blind and Central Alabama Community College, offers a Dual Enrollment Program. The Dual Enrollment Program is a comprehensive approach which provides a support system for students who are blind or have low vision or deaf or hard of hearing who are interested in earning a college degree. This Dual Enrollment Program involves the campuses of the Alabama School for the Deaf, the Alabama School for the Blind, and the EH Gentry Rehabilitation Facility. Students can attend classes on various Central Alabama Community College campuses. The goal of this program is to provide students with the appropriate assistance to ensure college success. (Page 224) Title II

Funded Pre-Employment Transition Specialist — ADRS is committed to providing jointly funded pre-ets specialists in local education agencies to assist with the provision of pre—employment transition services. The jointly—funded specialists provide pre—employment transition services which are not typically or customarily provided by the LEA. These pre—employment transition services are designed to increase the likelihood of independence and inclusion of students with disabilities, including those with significant disabilities, in communities, as well as, maximize opportunities for these students for competitive integrated employment. Currently, ADRS has 31 jointly funded pre-ets specialists in place through third—party cooperative agreements. (Page 229) Title II

ADRS will collaborate with local school systems to ensure students who are appropriate for supported employment services have access to providers prior to their exit from high school. Supported employment providers will be active in the local high schools to present information regarding their programs and services to parents, students, and staff. Students will also have the opportunity to participate in work- based learning and/or community—based assessments before they exit school in order to facilitate a seamless transition from school to employment. (Page 227) Title II

ADRS has committed additional staff to address the needs of people with the most significant disabilities in order to improve access to services. Additional staff members have been added to expand and improve supported employment services for this population. Pre-employment transition specialists have been added to serve students and youth for the general program and for the blind and deaf program.

The Alabama Department of Rehabilitation Services strives to ensure that there is equitable access to the State VR Services Program and the State Supported Employment Services Program for all potentially eligible and eligible consumers. For participating in VR services all forms of auxiliary aids, as defined by the ADA, are provided to consumers based on individual needs including assistive technology. Our counselors for the deaf are required to possess an intermediate rating on the Sign Language Proficiency Interview (SLPI) ensuring that deaf consumers are commuted to in their native language. In addition, we have 11 full-time nationally certified sign language interpreters located in our offices statewide, as well as access to additional sign language interpreters through our partners and vendor network. Counselors and staff have access to language interpreters through a language line service, as well as language interpreters through our vendor system. In addition, correspondence and other print materials are provided in the consumers format of choice to include large print, braille, electronic, etc. (Page 236) Title II

State Grantee will work collaboratively to address issues ensuring host agency assignments are truly providing skills training to meet the needs of both participants and employers. Sub-grantees will continue to utilize the Individual Employment Plan (IEP), in partnership with the participant and host agency supervisor, ensuring community service employment assignments are providing skills training that meet the needs of the participant and host agency. Sub-grantees will monitor participants at least once every six months at their community service employment assignments. During those visits, sub-grantee staff will review and update the IEP with both the participant and host agency supervisor.

Sub-grantees will continue to monitor the training to ensure participants will be prepared for unsubsidized employment through the acquisition of transferable skills in demand by local employers. In addition, where applicable, sub-grantees, in partnership with participants, will develop IEPs that combine community service employment with other permissible training (e.g., classroom training or on- the- job experience (OJE) in the private for-profit sector) as funding permits. (Page 302) Title II

 

Career Pathways

~~Alabamians with disabilities must make informed choices regarding their vocational goal selection and subsequent career pathways in order to minimize barriers to employment and maximize success on the job. There are times when an individual with a disability may pursue a job goal for which, according to Alabama’s labor market demand, little opportunity of job growth exists. To address this issue, ADRS will provide professional staff with a labor market “dashboard” that will make it clear and easy to recognize which occupations within the state show the most promising future. Training will be provided to staff to enhance their ability to use current labor market information to facilitate the employment of individuals with disabilities into higher demand jobs. (Page 48) Title I

Apprenticeship

Consistent with the findings of the 2017 comprehensive statewide assessment, the established goals and priorities of this plan, and collaborative efforts between the SRC and SILC, innovation and expansion funds will be targeted to the following: 1. Ongoing support of the efforts of the State Rehabilitation Council and the State Independent Living Council. 2. Expansion and innovation of Work Based Learning opportunities for Students with Disabilities 3. Expansion and innovation of Individualized Placement Supports for persons with significant mental illness. 4. Expansion and innovation of participation in formalized apprenticeship among all VR consumers. (Page 235- 236) Title IV

Center for Technology, who is in the 11th or 12th grades, is eligible for or potentially eligible for Vocational Rehabilitation Services, and has received a referral from the VR Transition Counselor, Special Education Teacher and/or school administrator. Course curriculum will consist of instruction in the following areas Basic Computer Skills, Financial Literacy, Problem Solving, Manufacturing, Job Acquisition. Course curriculum will also include discussion of local high demand careers, labor market information and activities that may include community- based experiences. (Page 174) Title II

Work Incentives & Benefits

~~•Alabama Department of Economic and Community Affairs (ADECA): ADRS has an ongoing partnership with the ADECA. The agency has worked cooperatively to pursue grants to serve people with disabilities. • The Alabama Disability Advocacy Program (ADAP): ADAP is the Alabama arm of the Protection and Advocacy program for people with disabilities. ADAP makes referrals to Alabama’s toll- free number for information on the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) through ADRS which coordinates the service. • Statewide Independent Living Centers: ADRS is represented on the State Independent Living Council and works closely with Alabama’s three Independent Centers to coordinate services and referrals. • Governor’s Office on Disability (GOOD): GOOD serves as a clearinghouse for resources related to people with disabilities. ADRS maintains an ongoing relationship with the Governor’s Office in order to provide resources as needed. • Office of Federal Contract Compliance Programs (OFCCP): ADRS partners with OFCCP to provide affirmative action training to employers on issues related to hiring and retaining workers with disabilities. ADRS hosted a major conference for employers in conjunction with OFCCP staff to provide information to employers on the 503 Federal Hiring mandates. • Social Security Administration (SSA): The Agency maintains an excellent working relationship with the SSA. The ADRS employs a Social Security Specialist that stays abreast of Social Security issues and has given numerous presentations on the Ticket to Work, Work Incentives Improvement Act, and other SSA initiatives to ADRS staff, consumer groups, and partner organizations. (Page 177) Tile II

DVR coordinates with Human Resource Development (HRD) and Business Relations (BR) to determine the information and training needs for professional and para-professional staff to assist in obtaining and disseminating professional information. HRD meets with and/or surveys staff to identify areas directly and indirectly related to the field of vocational rehabilitation. Based on the information obtained from staff and administration, DVR seeks training programs, webinars, and presenters demonstrating expertise knowledge in disabilities, technical issues, and federal and state policies, procedures and guidelines. In turn, DVR, BR, and HRD utilize the gained knowledge to develop instructor-led training programs and videos and to evaluate/offer appropriate webinars to staff. DVR administration and staff attend national and state conferences, search professional internet sites, and review professional magazines, articles and federal and state guidelines to stay abreast of current trends in the field of vocational rehabilitation. Trainings, both formal and informal, are developed and presented regarding current trends to ensure that staff has up-to-date knowledge to provide services to consumers. Some of the topics of vocational rehabilitation knowledge provided to professional and para-professional staff include orientation for new counselors, orientation for new DVR supervisors, ethics in relation to vocational rehabilitation services and practices, social media/technology and ethics, WIOA guidelines, HIPPA, different aspects of various disabilities, mental health issues, (i.e., suicide, substance abuse, etc.), assistive technology, Social Security Administration and Work Incentives, labor market and work force trends/data, and leadership. (Page 200) Title II

Individuals with Disabilities who receive Social Security: To be eligible for Social Security Disability Insurance (DI) or Supplemental Security Income (SSI), a person must be deemed unable to engage in substantial gainful activity (SGA) due to a significant and long-lasting health condition. Because of this requirement, once receiving benefits, those who may be willing and able to work are often afraid of losing their benefits if they earn too much. Others are confused by the complex program rules governing benefit receipt for beneficiaries who work. Still others are unaware of the various incentives that SSA provides to encourage beneficiaries to return to work. VR Customers on the roles of SSI/SSDI need guidance tailored to their unique circumstances. This guidance should come with persons who possess a deep knowledge of the relationship between SSA work incentives and the VR process. (Page 208) Title II

Benefits counseling services are provided to all eligible individuals. Services are provided based on the Social Security Administrations (SSA) prioritization protocol. Highest priority is given to those individuals currently working or have job offers pending. Individuals actively seeking employment with specific vocational goals are served followed by those in the early information gathering contemplative phase of employment goal development. Additionally, ADRS places individuals served through either SEARCH or DISCOVERY in the top priority. Individual of the highest priority are provided full intensive work incentive planning services, while others receive Information and Referral Services. At present, ADRS and SSA are in year 3 of the joint funded WIPA benefits counseling program and has provided information and referral services to 3,627 individuals —786 have been referred for intensive long- term work incentive benefits counseling services. (Page 228) Title IV

ADRS began received grant funds from the Social Security Administration in 2000. The initial program the Benefits Planning and Outreach (BPAO) program provided basic Information and referral services to SSDI and/or SSI beneficiaries and recipients. The BPAO program eventually expanded to include intensive and long- term work incentive planning services in 2007—the Work Incentive Planning and Assistant (WIPA) program supported 2.5 staff serving 29 central and southern counties. A break in SSA funding for WIPA nationally in 2012. ADRS utilized SSA reimbursement funds to continue services to individuals in Alabama. When SSA funding returned nationally in 2015, ADRS and SSA entered into an agreement that utilizes joint funding to expand and continue WIPA benefits counseling services. This braided funding supports 6 SSA trained and certified benefits specialist providing services to all 67 counties. Benefits counselors provide both Information and Referral as well as intensive Work Incentive Counseling Services to all individuals receiving SSDI and or SSI. Counselors assist individuals with disabilities, their families and other team members in the development and maintenance of a variety of work. (Page 228) Title II

Benefits counseling services are provided to all eligible individuals. Services are provided based on the Social Security Administrations (SSA) prioritization protocol. Highest priority is given to those individuals currently working or have job offers pending. Individuals actively seeking employment with specific vocational goals are served followed by those in the early information gathering contemplative phase of employment goal development. Additionally, ADRS places individuals served through either SEARCH or DISCOVERY in the top priority. Individual of the highest priority are provided full intensive work incentive planning services, while others receive Information and Referral Services. At present, ADRS and SSA are in year 3 of the joint funded WIPA benefits counseling program and has provided information and referral services to 3,627 individuals —786 have been referred for intensive long- term work incentive benefits counseling services.

Additionally, as a result of the expansion of the WIPA benefits counseling program, a cooperative program was developed with the Alabama Department of Mental Health in 2017 to support 5 additional benefits specialists specifically charged with serving individuals on the Intellectual Disabilities (ID) or the Living at Home (LAH) waivers. The staff supported by the ADRS DMH cooperative agreement are not bound to the SSA prioritization protocols and therefore, individuals in pre-vocational or contemplative phases of employment goal setting are all eligible for intensive work incentive planning as well as Information & Referral services. (228) Title II

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Employer / Business Engagement

~~Alabama Business Leadership Employment (ABLE) Network: The 501c3 conglomerate of Alabama businesses that advocate for the employment of individuals with disabilities uses the ADRS business relations program as their lead resource for disability in the workplace issues, while co—sponsoring numerous training events for employers. They also serve as an advisor to ADRS on disability issues and resources for employers. • Federal Office of Personnel Management (OPM): Representatives from a variety of Federal agencies throughout Alabama that function under the OPM work directly with the ADRS business relations consultants to implement Federal hiring mandates, Schedule A recruitment, accommodations, and employee retention impacting workers with disabilities in the Federal sector. • Department of Veterans Affairs: Vocational Rehabilitation and Employment (VR&E) program. ADRS collaborates with the VR&E program at the national and state level to serve and place into employment veterans completing the VR&E program, providing customized services through ADRS specialty counselors, rehabilitation technology specialists for accommodations, and for return to work assistance. ADRS does not have a written agreement with the VA. (Page 177-178) Title II

ADRS is committed to a “dual customer” approach in working with employers to identify competitive integrated employment opportunities and career exploration opportunities for the consumers we serve. While doing so, ADRS also focuses on developing effective working relationships with business to address their disability related issues in the workplace from outreach and recruitment, to accommodations, to education, to resources linkages and more via the development and delivery of appropriate products and services to meet the needs of business as specified in the WIOA proposed regulations and beyond. To accomplish the above, ADRS has a business relations unit, “READI-Net” (Resources for Employment and Disability Information Network), led by a State Office Administrator of Business Relations and staffed by specially trained Business Relations Consultants (BRCs), in a classification separate from Vocational Rehabilitation Counselor. The Administrator serves as the ADRS representative with full oversight of collaborative relationships with businesses developed by any VR staff or other VR agencies in The NET (VR’s National Employment Team) that wish to establish or grow their partnership with Vocational Rehabilitation in Alabama. At the state level, the Administrator is the lead liaison to workforce partners, community organizations and other agencies that establish partnerships with business and is the “reviewing supervisor” of the business relations consultants. At the local level, the BRCs are charged with establishing and maintaining effective relationships with business to create employment opportunities for individuals with disabilities or to assist business with retention of workers whose job is affected by illness, injury or disability. BRCs develop and deliver other disability-related services needed by business and are accountable for the quality and effectiveness of those services. They simultaneously assist consumers (youth and adults) with job readiness preparation (through group or one-on-one sessions), job development, job search, job retention and follow-up. In addition, ADRS works with a network of community-based organizations on customized placement services for consumers, necessitating coordination with employers. (Page 188-189) Title II

Through the above - mentioned programs, employer services and partnerships, ADRS will also coordinate with employers in order to facilitate the provision of transition services for students and youth with disabilities. ADRS will also coordinate with employers to provide pre-employment transition services to students with disabilities. ADRS will accomplish this by working with employers to arrange work-based learnings experiences for students with disabilities. These work-based learning experiences will include setting up worksite tours, job shadowing and mentoring opportunities, paid and unpaid internships, apprenticeships and other learning experiences within business and industry sectors. ADRS will also involve employers in informational interviews and other mentoring activities in order to provide instruction in self-advocacy for students receiving pre-employment transition services. Lastly, employers will be used to provide information about in-demand industry sectors and occupations as well as labor market information, which can be used in providing job exploration counseling to students with disabilities receiving pre-employment transition services. (Page 190) Title II

Expand and leverage new employer and state agency partnerships to achieve Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act common performance measure outcomes. ADRS should build upon the existing business engagement activities, as well as state partnerships facilitated by the Alabama Workforce Development Board, to promote labor exchange between ADRS participants and employers seeking talent; with an emphasis on in-demand occupations.
• Enhance career guidance competencies of VR counselors by fostering knowledge of local labor-market information and in-demand careers. Having access to accurate and up-to-date labor market data, as well as information and guidance about career and training opportunities, can help individuals make better decisions about training and lead to better outcomes. (Page 234) Title II

These services are centered around Career Exploration, Work Base Learning, Counseling on Post-Secondary Education opportunities, Workplace Readiness, and Self-Advocacy. The agency will increase opportunities for College Preparation training and the agency will work with public schools statewide in order to plan vocational services and increase VR counselors’ presence in the schools. In order to ensure that individuals with disabilities have access to services offered through career centers, we will collaborate with workforce partners by having regular workforce meetings and by assuring the agency is represented on all local workforce boards. The agency will continue to assist consumers with gaining the skills necessary to compete for in demand jobs through collaboration with technical schools, universities, and partnerships with agencies such as the Alabama Industrial Development Training (AIDT).
 
3. EFFECTIVELY SERVING EMPLOYERS The agency will effectively serve employers through business services provided through its long-standing Business Relations Program called READI-Net. In order to improve the performance of the state in respect to this performance accountability measure, the READI-Net program will continue to provide disability resources, information and services to businesses in order to meet their disability and employment-related needs. The READI-Net program will also continue to develop new and innovative services for businesses. These new and innovative services will be driven by specific input from long-term ADRS business customers who serve as advisors to ADRS through the VR State Rehabilitation Council’s Business Relations Committee, through the ABLN - Alabama Business Leadership Network, which is the state chapter of the U.S. Business Leadership Network, and through Business Roundtable Events. The input gained from these business customers will be used to develop strategic plans with businesses which will facilitate the customization of business services in order to assist businesses with their outreach, recruitment, hiring and retention needs, as well as, staff training needs, affirmative action planning, metric and record keeping, and customized, company specific, disability-related services. The agency will work in collaboration with the Core Workforce Partners to record and report on the required measurements of Retention and Repeat business. (Page 232) Title II

Services provides a Supported Employment Administrator and two Supported Employment Specialists to monitor supported employment services and provide training and technical assistance. Each supported employment provider operates under a milestone/outcome—based program to ensure quality outcomes and appropriate employment options based on individual choice. Consumers are offered the opportunity to participate in community—based assessments to facilitate an informed decision regarding their employment goal. Job development is provided on an individual basis to locate employment based on the consumer’s interests, skills, limitations and community living needs. Job coaching is also provided at the work site to ensure that the individual has the necessary training, skills and supports to work. Once the consumer is stable in the workplace, extended services are planned and implemented to protect the long—term success of the job. Consumer and employer satisfaction regarding the services provided are measured at the time of employment and again before case closure. Extended services are a continuation of ongoing support services provided to individuals with the most significant disabilities. These extended supports are provided at the completion of stabilization, during the successful rehabilitation Milestone and beyond ADRS case closure. The option for Discovery and Customized Employment, or for Person Centered Profiles along with assessments are available to consumers to maximize success for individuals in supported employment. Supported Self-employment is also available for individuals wanting to start their own business. (Page 244) Title II

Data Collection

No disability specific information found regarding this element.

Subminimum Wage (Section 511)

~~• Regulations on Section 511 and Limitations on Use of Sub-Minimum Wage
The process of re-allocating our resources with the CRP program has already begun with Pre-Employment Transition Services and so far is considered a success. Of the total CRP set-aside dollars authorized to date in FY 17, 33% is for Pre-ETS service. Of all the consumers who had an authorization in the set aside, 44% of these were students with disabilities. The provision of Pre ETS through CRPs is an essential component of the department’s plan to meet the needs of students with disabilities. In order to continue at this pace and to provide the services our consumers need to become better equipped to work, the method of payment for services provided by the CRP needs to transition from a performance or outcome based system as in STEPS I, II, and III to a service based system as we have done with Pre-ETS. It is proposed that these services be phased in as the CRP becomes prepared to provide them and meet the demands of the counselors. However, most of the CRP’s are already equipped to or are providing these services.

Very strict guidelines have been included in WIOA related to the definition of competitive integrated employment. While VR and its CRP partners have had a focus on competitive employment for many years, this new interpretation states that persons who do not have a goal of competitive integrated employment are not eligible for VR and we cannot provide services which will lead to employment in a non-integrated environment. The Rehabilitation Services Administration (RSA) has gone further to define a non-integrated setting as employment with organizations that exist to employ persons with disabilities, including Ability One and other programs under the Javits—Wagner—O’Day Act. While VRS has no choice but to adhere to the current federal interpretation of this new definition, there remains an understanding of the value of a work experience on future vocational success. While not suitable any longer as a long- term rehabilitation goal, utilization of such opportunities for transitional employment, skill attainment, and work adjustment remain a viable option for person with disabilities. (Page 210) Title II
 
The restrictions placed on access to sub-minimum wage and the expansion of supported employment opportunities are significant but not particularly new in the VR program. Sheltered employment at below minimum wage has not been a suitable outcome for VRS for almost 20 years. WIOA simply made it much more difficult for a person to by-pass VR and select sub-minimum wage employment. Most of the traditional community rehabilitation partners in the state have relinquished their Department of Labor (DOL) sub-minimum wage certificates in favor of paying at least the minimum wage in what was traditionally called “sheltered employment”. With supported employment, the law places an emphasis on providing services to youth with disabilities and for providing extended supports for a longer period of time before the ongoing support is transitioned from VR to another provider. (Page 210) Title II

ADRS works very closely at ADMH and we have been able to access their waiver for youth seeking employment requiring extended supports, through this collaborative effort. ADMH set aside reserve waiver slots for youth in project SEARCH who needed extended supports beyond what was typically provided. We seek their assistance and work closely with their department, when we have individuals (including youth) seeking employment that will need extended supports. Because of this relationship, we have not yet needed to fund extended supports. Additionally, because our secondary systems are no longer referring to 14Cs, we are getting more referrals for students at a younger age that we feel like will need extended services. We do anticipate that we will use extended service funded by VR dollars. (Page 239-240) Title II

Continued collaboration with the Alabama Department of Mental Health on moving consumers from facility- based services to community based, competitive integrated employment. This includes making sure counselors have a better understanding of Medicaid waivers, SS implications, including work incentives and providers who don’t contract with VR know about our application and eligibility process, supported employment services, the availability of benefit planners and section 511 of WIOA. SE Specialists have been working with providers known to VR to provide career counseling, information and referral, and benefits counseling to those in subminimum wage employment. This includes information on the supported employment providers in their area. We have also worked with school systems in our state to provide documentation and instruction on limitations and requirements for youth entering subminimum wage employment. VR, in collaboration with the State Department of Education, developed procedures and documentation for both the LEAs and VR. This in addition to efforts to reach students at a younger age should greatly encourage competitive, integrated employment as a first option for students and youth with more significant disabilities. Documentation collected from individuals currently in sub-minimum wage employment suggests the median age is over 50. (Page 242-243) Title II

Equal Opportunity and Nondiscrimination (Section 188)

In 2005, a team of persons with disabilities and others reviewed each Alabama Career Center for physical and programmatic accessibility using a survey checklist developed under Section 188 of WIA. A re-survey of Career Centers (including satellite centers) is being done in FY 2016 to check physical and programmatic accessibility of facilities, services, technology and materials using a DOL survey checklist developed under Section 188 of WIOA and a policy checklist. (Page 110) Title I

This requirement provides some assurance that CRP’s address issues like ADA accessibility, accountability, safety, staff qualifications, accommodations, and affirmative action in hiring persons with disabilities and address any special communication needs of consumers. Currently, the CRP Administrator meets with CRP staff to discuss services and formulate an agreement that establishes agreed upon fees, referrals, and employment goals for each CRP. This information is shared with local counselors so that appropriate referrals and service authorizations can be made to the CRPs. The department continues to work cooperatively with CRPs statewide to improve services at the local level. There is a continuous need for services. The development and establishment of new programs will change with the assessment of consumer needs. Based on an assessment of the capacity and effectiveness of vocational rehabilitation services currently provided by CRPs statewide, a number of trends appear to be taking place: • Increased emphasis on serving individuals that are considered underserved, individuals with the most significant disabilities, and individuals residing in rural areas of the state. (Page 184- 185) Title I 

Individuals with Major Physical Impairments: The top vocational rehabilitation needs identified among individuals with major physical impairments were: Accessibility, Transportation, Assistive Technology, Housing, and Medical Care & Supplies. Many persons with physical limitations made their voices heard in the 2017 SRC Unmet Needs Survey and also at SRC Public Forums held around the state. Transportation and accessibility remain formidable barriers for wheelchair users, often presenting a more daunting challenge than work itself. Many told us of ongoing health care needs that are expensive and impossible to manage without proper medical benefits. Others emphasized the challenges they face finding accessible, affordable housing. (Page 207-208) Title II

The agency maintains a very productive relationship with the Workforce Development System of Alabama. First, the Commissioner of the agency sits on the Statewide Workforce Development Board. Consequently, the agency has a voice at the table to advocate for the needs and issues of individuals with disabilities. The agency has counselors stationed on a permanent basis in One—Stop Career Centers in several of the larger cities in the state. These staff members receive referrals and also provide advice and information to other staff in the One—Stop Career Centers on how to serve individuals with disabilities. The agency will have numerous staff participate in the state Workforce Conference, when conducted, involving all partners and other service providers related to the Statewide Workforce Investment System. The agency sits on the planning council of this conference so that various breakout sessions related to the needs of individuals with disabilities are included on the agenda. The agency is currently working in collaboration with the Career Centers and Workforce Development Partners on assessing all of the Career Centers in the state for accessibility. Recommendations will be made by the agency and the Workforce Development Core Partners will work together to ensure that the Career Centers continue to be accessible for all individuals with disabilities. (Page 233) Title II

Veterans

Department of Labor — Veterans Employment Training Service (VETS): ADRS collaborates at the state and local level with the Disabled Veterans Outreach Program (DVOP) and Local Veterans Employment Representatives (LVER) staff to assist wounded warriors in return to work or obtaining employment with Federal contractors and other businesses. This includes vets’ access to the ADRS RAVE (Retaining A Valued Employee) program. • Alabama Industry Liaison Group (ALILG): Represents Federal contractors’ compliance issues to include those tied to disability (Section 503 of the Rehab Act). ADRS is the lead provider of information, training and resources related to outreach, employment and retention of individuals with disabilities to ALILG businesses and ALILG routinely trains ADRS business relations consultants and participates in local, regional and state conferences sponsored by ADRS. Cooperative Agreements. (Page 177) Title II

Alabama will move ahead with plans under the Accelerate Alabama initiative that will include the services provided by Alabama Career Centers affiliated with the Americans Job Center network to include veterans and eligible persons with resources and emphasis for technical training and higher education. 2. Increase business services outreach to Federal defense contractors and subcontractors, such as URS Group Inc. of Mobile for work on the Air Force’s KC—46C; Northrop Grumman of Huntsville for research and development services in support of integrated missile defense; Boeing Co. for work on Army helicopters; L—3 Coleman Aerospace of Huntsville from the Missile Defense Agency. 3. Expand the AIDT training and job opportunities listing on the Alabama Job Link (AJL) https://joblink.alabama.gov/ada/ to increase priority referral of veterans and eligible persons to jobs and job training. 4. Increase employer outreach in the automotive manufacturing sector which employs many Recently Separated Veterans and pays the highest average wages of any manufacturing industry in Alabama — nearly $75,000. 5. Encourage more veterans to enroll in the State’s workforce Job—driven training, in trade, manufacturing, and shipbuilding apprenticeship programs offered through the Alabama Industrial Development Training to increase the entered employment rate of Recently Separated Veterans and long term unemployed, older veterans. 6. Expand innovative partnerships such as the initiative of the Alabama Career Center in Mobile, American Job Center affiliate that is training veterans in the welding training and certification program under a joint—venture by AIDT with the ship building industry. Historically, veterans who complete training are placed in well—paying and stable jobs. (Page 284) Title II

DVOPs will facilitate intensive services under a strategy of case management to veterans with special employment and training needs due to a SBE, as defined by current VPL guidance. These services may include any combination of services listed below, but at a minimum, an assessment of employability and a written employment plan are required in a program of case management. All services are to be documented including, assessment, career guidance, and coordination with supportive services, referrals to job training, and referral of “Job Ready” clients to career center job placement specialists. • DVOPs prioritize services to veterans with SBEs who are economically and educationally disadvantaged, veterans enrolled as clients in a program of vocational rehabilitation administered by the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs, veterans who are homeless, and other veterans identified as needing individual assistance and case management as determined by the Assistant Secretary for Veterans Employment and Training Services. • DVOPs develop and promote apprenticeship and OJT positions for veterans with SBEs. • DVOPs provide technical assistance to community—based organizations for employment and training services to veterans with SBEs. • DVOPs provide vocational and career guidance to veterans with SBEs. • DVOPs provide ES case management to veterans with significant obstacles and challenges to employment. (Page 286) Title II

Development Training (AIDT) program, and other training providers to locate and refer veterans to job—driven training and apprenticeship programs AIDT program. Veterans having a SBEs will be referred to DVOPs for intensive services. DVOPs will also be assigned to orientation sessions hosted by the U.S. Department of Veteran Affairs, Vocational Rehabilitation and Employment (VR&E) to assist potential VR&E clients to make good choices in their Chapter 31 occupational and career training.

LVER Staff LVER duties will be assigned in accordance with 38 U.S.C. § 4104, as amended by the VOW to Hire Heroes Act, Public Law 112—56, the Special Grant provisions of the JVSG, and VPL 03—14 and 04—14, to exclusively benefit veterans and eligible persons by promoting the advantages of hiring veterans to employers, employer associations, and business groups, as well as those duties that facilitate employment, training, and placement services furnished to veterans through the career center within the American Job Center (AJC) network of providers. (Page 287) Title II

The Alabama Career Centers in the statewide American Job Center network as a key member in the Alabama Veterans Executive Network (AlaVetNet) will assist in the implementation of the Long Range Plan with the Alabama Business Council, Small Business Administration and the Alabama Community College System to consolidate and streamline job—driven training for veterans and separating military service members based on the needs of business and industry and the recommendations from employers, veteran employee mentoring programs, and feedback from a series of Regional Employer Summits being planned for 2015.

The statewide American Job Center network as a partner with public and private agencies in the AlaVetNet will encourage bridge training with community colleges and will work with the Alabama National Guard to offer all veterans to participate Alabama National Guard’s Civilian Job Training program. (Page 294) Title II

This award is for Local Veterans Employment Representatives (LVER), Disabled Veterans Outreach Program (DVOP) representatives and the State’s workforce development employees who provide services to veterans under the Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act (WIOA) and the Wagner—Peyser Act. As defined in the Alabama Labor Administrative Code, § 480—2—1—.03, the Commissioner of the Alabama Department of Labor is responsible for the awarding of cash awards only to eligible recipients, and for the administration of the awards program, pursuant to law and the Special Provisions of the JVSG. (Page 294) Title II

Moreover, local career center managers will develop outreach activities to locate Covered Persons under Veterans’ Priority. Managers or designated representatives will review special reports generated by AJL for the purpose of identifying veterans and Covered Persons who may be contacted and made aware of their priority in services and training. Career Center managers will develop local service strategies and training goals for veterans and Covered Persons entitled to Veterans’ Priority, in consultation with their partner agencies and training providers, to encourage maximum utilization of services and training by veterans and Covered Persons. All Alabama Workforce Development regions have implemented Veterans’ Priority in the State WIA and Wagner—Peyser Plan of Service. Disabled Veterans Outreach Program (DVOP) representatives and Local Veterans Employment Representatives (LVERs) shall complement Priority of Service provided by the AJC to veterans and Covered Persons, as mandated under Title 38 U.S.C., Chapter 41, and in accordance with the general and special provisions of the Jobs For Veterans State Grant (JVSG), and applicable regulations, policies, and directive guidance for JVSG from the Assistant Secretary, Veterans Employment and Training (ASVET), including Veterans Program Letters addressing DVOP—LVER Roles and Responsibilities. (Page 298) Title II 

AJCs will promote job—driven apprenticeship training to veterans under the GoBuildAlabama initiative offered through unions and the Alabama Construction Recruitment Institute. Established by the Alabama Legislature to increase outreach to unemployed and under—employed, and expand the involvement of community leaders, employers, labor unions, training programs, and veterans’ organizations, the GoBuildAlabama program is an excellent opportunity for veterans to enter OJT and apprenticeship in the trades, in addition to employment and training programs funded under WIOA. • LVERs will maintain current information on employment and training opportunities. • LVERs will plan and participate in job fairs and employer summits to promote veterans. • LVERS will encourage streamlining of credentialing and licensing for veterans with military training comparable to the requirements of credentialing agencies and entities.

Outreach to Employers on Behalf of Veterans • LVERs as team members of Business Service Units will develop employer relations contact plans for career centers in the AJC network, to include identifying federal contractors and recruit jobs for all veterans from local employers. • LVERS will establish, maintain, or facilitate regular contact with employers to develop employment and training openings for all veterans. • LVERS will monitor job listings by federal contractors and encourage the referral of qualified veterans who may not have been referred to those job by the Alabama Job Link automated notification/referral system. (Page 288) Title IV

Veterans with SBEs will be provided a comprehensive Assessment of Employability, addressing barriers to employment and a written Individual Employment Plan (IEP) outlining the individual’s employability planning. Locating Priority Group Veterans Veterans in priority groups will be located in the data system by developing special reports and search capabilities of the AJL system. Career Center/AJC staff members will outreach to veterans who may benefit from DVOP services. DVOPs will outreach to homeless shelters, community agencies that provide services to homeless individuals, and will participate in special events for disabled and homeless veterans, such as Homeless Veterans Stand Downs. Employment Service Case Management by DVOP Specialists

Standard DVOP case management practices will include: 1. Assisting veteran—clients in development of job objectives and a resume. 2. Identifying significant barriers or challenges to employment. 3. Referring or assisting veteran—clients to appropriate supportive services. 4. Determining veteran—clients’ economic need. 5. Identifying training or educational goals. 6. Documenting contacts with employers on behalf of individual clients. 7. Maintaining current contact information. 8. Documenting job referrals and job development for employment, internship, or on—the—job—training (OJT) opportunities for individual clients. (Page 296) Title II

Behavioral / Mental Health

~~One industry sector that is not addressed in the Accelerate Alabama plan is Health Care. The fact that the baby boomers are hitting retirement age, and also that people are living longer, is beginning to have a large impact on the health care system. Additionally, there are many more specialized jobs in health care, than in the past, due to the fact that health care costs have risen and so has demand for health care. While hospitals have experienced small, but steady, growth every year since 2000, most of the growth in health care employment comes from industries that provide more focused care. Industries such as outpatient care centers, home health care services, and specialized health practitioners have doubled in employment since 2000. In addition, employment in residential disability, mental health, and substance facilities have grown 226.0 percent since the turn of the century. (Page 16) Title I.

The Agency has considered this recommendation and rejects it at this time as peer employment specialists are employed by the Alabama Department of Mental Health and their provider agencies and trained and certified through the Department. Additionally, ADRS has partnered with the Alabama Department of Mental Health to provide Individualized Placement and Support (IPS) supported employment, which is an initiative to reach out to individuals with mental illness and co-occurring substance abuse, and provide an integration of services, including peer support services, in order achieve competitive integrated employment outcomes.

Recommendation: The VR general consumer satisfaction survey should include SAIL clients.
Agency Response: The Agency accepts this recommendation and will implement it as soon as possible. (Page 171) Title I

Alabama Department of Mental Health is responsible for providing services to individuals with developmental disabilities, and ADRS works collaboratively in our state to increase competitive integrated employment, particularity for individuals with more significant disabilities. Initiatives such as Project SEACH, that currently serves over 100 individuals with significant disabilities at ten different locations throughout the state, the GATE project which is a collaborative effort to move individuals served through the waivers in day programs into community based, integrated employment opportunities through development of training sites embedded in employment opportunities in the communities, and conjoint trainings for job coaches working through both entities, community based rehabilitation partners, school personnel, jointly funded school personnel, skills training instructors, IPS staff and other community providers. We have a current cooperative agreement in place that outlines the roles and responsibilities of partners, over view and function as well as the state level shared objectives. This agreement is for both the DD and MI/SA divisions of the department. In 2017, ADRS entered into a cooperative agreement with the Alabama Department of Mental Health to provide benefits counseling services to individuals receiving Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) or Supplemental Security Income (SSI), are currently being served or on a waiting listfor either the Living at Home (LAH) or the Intellectual Disabilities (ID) waivers. Information and Referral as well as intensive benefits counseling services are provided by trained certified benefits specialists to any individuals whether the individual is currently employed, has a job offer or is in the contemplative stages of employment planning. Staff supported through the ADRS DMH cooperative agreement work in collaboration with other ADRS WIPA benefits counseling staff. The cooperative agreement targets 100 individuals annually. (Page 191) Title II

Continued collaboration with the Alabama Department of Mental Health on moving consumers from facility - based services to community based, competitive integrated employment. This includes making sure counselors have a better understanding of Medicaid waivers, SS implications, including work incentives and providers who don’t contract with VR know about our application and eligibility process, supported employment services, the availability of benefit planners and section 511 of WIOA. SE Specialists have been working with providers known to VR to provide career counseling, information and referral, and benefits counseling to those in subminimum wage employment. This includes information on the supported employment providers in their area. We have also worked with school systems in our state to provide documentation and instruction on limitations and requirements for youth entering subminimum wage employment. VR, in collaboration with the State Department of Education, developed procedures and documentation for both the LEAs and VR. This in addition to efforts to reach students at a younger age should greatly encourage competitive, integrated employment as a first option for students and youth with more significant disabilities. Documentation collected from individuals currently in sub-minimum wage employment suggests the median age is over 50. (Page 243) Title II

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

These services have been identified by our business customers and ADRS received input from our business customers in developing these services so that their needs would be met. One area is customized, but varied training related to disability issues, for example, Disability etiquette and Disability bias training; Awareness of specific disabling conditions; and Emergency Preparedness for employees with disabilities. With Federal legislation and specific mandates for compliance around disability matters, ADRS also provides relevant training on the successful methodology and resources for implementation. Retaining valued workers whose job is affected by illness, injury or disability has been a major concern by business and ADRS has customized stay-at-work and return-to-work services to increase the likelihood of that worker with a disability keeping their job. And finally, in looking at generic personnel issues related to the workforce, ADRS provides services to address personnel processes, job descriptions, website accessibility, targeted recruitment, and the use of the ADRS rehabilitation technology specialist team and, of course, the statewide Business Relations Consultants that provide all those services at the local level. (Page 76) Title I

Past WIOA Profiles Year
Past WIOA Profile Year: 
2017
Past WIOA Profile Attachment : 
Displaying 1 - 10 of 47

Home and Community Based Waivers – 2020 - 01/07/2020

“Individuals who are elderly and/or disabled may qualify for home and community- based services through one of these waiver programs.  These services are to protect the health, safety, and dignity of those individuals who are at risk of institutional care and will allow them to receive full Medicaid coverage in addition to the services provided by the specific waiver in the community setting.  Individuals who are disabled may first apply for SSI or disability benefits through the Social Security Administration in order to determine if they meet disability requirements.  Aged or disabled individuals must meet the specific eligibility requirements for each waiver listed below to receive the waiver services.”

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

Southeast AlabamaWorks! Local Workforce Development Board (SAW) Request for Proposals (RFP) for the selection of program operators to provide Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act (WIOA) funded Youth Workforce Development Services for program year 2019 - 04/02/2020

~~Alabama Department of Commerce’s (ADC) Workforce Development Division, Governor’s Local Workforce Areas (GLWA) and the Southeast AlabamaWorks! Local Workforce Development Board is issuing this Request for Proposals (RFP) for occupational youth services programs to serve out-of-school youth ages 16 – 24 (with barriers to employment as identified by WIOA) and in-school youth ages 16 – 21. Special consideration will be given to youth programs that provide linkages to Pre-Apprentice or Registered Apprenticeship programs

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

Chart of Alabama HCBS Waiver Services - 02/02/2020

~~This is a chart of the details of the HCBS waivers in Alabama.

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

AL-APSE 2020 Conference July 8-10, 2020 - 01/01/2020

~~Location: Renaissance Montgomery Hotel & SpaThe Alabama APSE conference is scheduled for July 8-10, 2020 in Montgomery at the Renaissance Hotel & Spa. The event will conclude at noon on Friday the 10th. 

Systems
  • Other
Topics
  • School-to-Work Transition

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

~~“AIDS Alabama, Inc. was awarded a statewide 2019 CMS Navigator Cooperative Agreement serving “Left behind”1populations, low-income and vulnerable populations, particularly those individuals with disabilities. There are no Sub-awardee/Subrecipient Contracted Organizations. They will partner with East Alabama Medical Center, AIDS Alabama South, The Right Place, and Unity Wellness Center.  For more information, please contact the designated project lead.

Contact:Matthew PagnottiPhone: (205) 324-9822Email: matthew.pagnotti@aidsalabama.org

Systems
  • Other
Topics
  • Cross-Agency Collaboration / Partnerships

Alabama Department of Mental Health - 06/08/2019

~~“MissionServe • Empower • Support

VisionPromoting the health and well-being of Alabamians with mental illnesses, developmental disabilities and substance use disorders

ValuesCore values are the basis on which the members of Alabama Department of Mental Health staff make decisions, plan strategy, and interact with each other and those we serve.”

More information about the services provided by the Alabama Dept. of Mental Heath is available by accessing its website

Systems
  • Department of Mental Health
Topics
  • Mental Health

HB570: Eliminating Legal Barriers to Apprenticeships (ELBA)17 Act -8-33, 25-8-35, and 25-8-43 am'd. - 05/31/2019

“ENROLLED, An Act,

Relating to apprenticeships; to provide that an individual who completes an apprenticeship may be granted an occupational license in that trade if the individual also meets other requirements, including completion of any required examination with a passing score; to provide that if a licensing authority requires an examination for a license, the authority may not impose higher testing standards upon that individual than it does for any other applicant; and to amend Sections 25-8-33, 25-8-35, and 25-8-43, Code of Alabama 1975, to allow in-school youth apprentices to work in certain occupations under certain conditions.”

Systems
  • Other
Topics
  • School-to-Work Transition
  • Employer Engagement
  • Apprenticeship
  • Resource Leveraging

SB 295: Alabama Industry Recognized and Registered Apprenticeship Program Act - 05/30/2019

“ENROLLED, An Act,

To establish the Alabama Industry Recognized and Registered Apprenticeship Program Act; to establish the Alabama Office of Apprenticeship to certify certain registered  and industry recognized apprenticeship programs; to develop the Alabama Registered and Industry Recognized Apprenticeship  Program; to provide incentives to employers who hire  apprentices; to offer a nationally recognized state  apprenticeship credential; to amend Sections 40-18-422, 40-18-423, and 40-18-424 of the Code of Alabama 1975, relating to the Apprenticeship Tax Credit Act of 2016; to increase the per capita apprenticeship tax credit from $1,000 to $1,250, increase the aggregate apprenticeship tax credit from  $3,000,000 to $7,500,000, provide a $500 per capita incentive  tax credit for hiring in school youth apprentices; to extend  the apprenticeship tax credit through 2025; and to clarify  that the State Department of Education shall continue to be  the eligible agency to receive and administer career and technical education funding under the Perkins Act.”

Systems
  • Other
Topics
  • School-to-Work Transition
  • Employer Engagement
  • Apprenticeship
  • Resource Leveraging

Employer Services - 05/24/2019

~~This page highlighting Alabama’s AJCs has a collection of organizations and programs for employment services including for veterans.

Systems
  • Other
Topics
  • Employer Engagement

AlabamaWorks! - 05/16/2019

~~AlabamaWorks stands for opportunity, innovation, accountability and inclusion with the vision of a better future for Alabama in which communities, business, and industry are supported in a collaborative process to build prosperity through the opportunity of meaningful work and a growing economy. Our mission is to recruit, train, and empower a highly skilled workforce driven by business and industry needs and to be the competitive advantage for Alabama’s economic growth. Whether you’re an employer, a job seeker or a student, AlabamaWorks is the springboard for your success and promises to provide profitability and economic growth by creating opportunities for success and an improved quality of life for Alabamians.”

Systems
  • Other
Topics
  • Employer Engagement
Citations
Displaying 1 - 3 of 3

HB570: Eliminating Legal Barriers to Apprenticeships (ELBA)17 Act -8-33, 25-8-35, and 25-8-43 am'd. - 05/31/2019

“ENROLLED, An Act,

Relating to apprenticeships; to provide that an individual who completes an apprenticeship may be granted an occupational license in that trade if the individual also meets other requirements, including completion of any required examination with a passing score; to provide that if a licensing authority requires an examination for a license, the authority may not impose higher testing standards upon that individual than it does for any other applicant; and to amend Sections 25-8-33, 25-8-35, and 25-8-43, Code of Alabama 1975, to allow in-school youth apprentices to work in certain occupations under certain conditions.”

Systems
  • Other
Topics
  • School-to-Work Transition
  • Employer Engagement
  • Apprenticeship
  • Resource Leveraging

SB 295: Alabama Industry Recognized and Registered Apprenticeship Program Act - 05/30/2019

“ENROLLED, An Act,

To establish the Alabama Industry Recognized and Registered Apprenticeship Program Act; to establish the Alabama Office of Apprenticeship to certify certain registered  and industry recognized apprenticeship programs; to develop the Alabama Registered and Industry Recognized Apprenticeship  Program; to provide incentives to employers who hire  apprentices; to offer a nationally recognized state  apprenticeship credential; to amend Sections 40-18-422, 40-18-423, and 40-18-424 of the Code of Alabama 1975, relating to the Apprenticeship Tax Credit Act of 2016; to increase the per capita apprenticeship tax credit from $1,000 to $1,250, increase the aggregate apprenticeship tax credit from  $3,000,000 to $7,500,000, provide a $500 per capita incentive  tax credit for hiring in school youth apprentices; to extend  the apprenticeship tax credit through 2025; and to clarify  that the State Department of Education shall continue to be  the eligible agency to receive and administer career and technical education funding under the Perkins Act.”

Systems
  • Other
Topics
  • School-to-Work Transition
  • Employer Engagement
  • Apprenticeship
  • Resource Leveraging

Alabama SB 226 ABLE Act - 06/04/2015

"The Achieving a Better Life Experience (ABLE) Act of 2014 established Section 529A of the Internal Revenue Code of 1986, as amended, to allow families and individuals to save for disability-related expenses of a disabled individual in a federal tax-advantaged account...This bill would include ABLE in the legislative intent...to provide for the ABLE Program; provide for definitions relating to the ABLE Program; would provide for the  income tax exemption eligible to the ABLE Program; and provide appropriations for Fiscal Year 2015 for development and implementation of the ABLE Program."

"The Legislature of Alabama intends to establish a qualified ABLE Program in this state which will encourage and assist Alabama individuals and families in saving private funds for the purpose of supporting Alabama citizens with disabilities." 

Systems
  • Other
Topics
  • Asset Development / Financial Capability
Citations

No Executive Orders have been entered for this state.

Displaying 1 - 10 of 16

Alabama Department of Mental Health - 06/08/2019

~~“MissionServe • Empower • Support

VisionPromoting the health and well-being of Alabamians with mental illnesses, developmental disabilities and substance use disorders

ValuesCore values are the basis on which the members of Alabama Department of Mental Health staff make decisions, plan strategy, and interact with each other and those we serve.”

More information about the services provided by the Alabama Dept. of Mental Heath is available by accessing its website

Systems
  • Department of Mental Health
Topics
  • Mental Health

Employer Services - 05/24/2019

~~This page highlighting Alabama’s AJCs has a collection of organizations and programs for employment services including for veterans.

Systems
  • Other
Topics
  • Employer Engagement

AlabamaWorks! - 05/16/2019

~~AlabamaWorks stands for opportunity, innovation, accountability and inclusion with the vision of a better future for Alabama in which communities, business, and industry are supported in a collaborative process to build prosperity through the opportunity of meaningful work and a growing economy. Our mission is to recruit, train, and empower a highly skilled workforce driven by business and industry needs and to be the competitive advantage for Alabama’s economic growth. Whether you’re an employer, a job seeker or a student, AlabamaWorks is the springboard for your success and promises to provide profitability and economic growth by creating opportunities for success and an improved quality of life for Alabamians.”

Systems
  • Other
Topics
  • Employer Engagement
Citations

Supported Employment: Working for People with Significant Disabilities - 08/01/2018

~~“Supported employment (SE) is a customer-driven approach that assesses individuals with the most-significant disabilities and assists eligible individuals in obtaining competitive, integrated employment.The program is offered by Vocational Rehabilitation Service (VRS), a division of the Alabama Department of Rehabilitation Services (ADRS), in collaboration with several partners throughout the state.  SE uses Milestones to Employment (MTE) in connecting employers with valuable employees who care about their job. MTE involves up to four milestone steps:Milestone 1 – Situational assessment and/or discoveryMilestone 2 – Job search/job placementMilestone 3 – Job coachingMilestone 4 – Long-term follow-up” 

Systems
  • Department of Rehabilitation Services
Topics
  • Employer Engagement

Engage Alabama: Secondary Transition Best Practices for Positive Student Outcomes - 07/06/2018

~~The objectives of this presentation are: “Provide participants with a brief overview of the letter and spirit of the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA) as it applies to transition. Demonstrate the use of transition tools and resources, assessments, data, and the transition component of the Individualized Education Program (IEP) to develop compliant and effective transition services. Practice using planning, preparation and data analysis to determine appropriate and relevant IEP content for transition. 

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

Governor Ivey Announces Funding for New Behavioral Health Services - 04/06/2018

~~“Governor Kay Ivey announced on Friday that Alabama has set aside $11 million in its recently passed budgets for the Alabama Department of Mental Health to expand behavioral health services for Medicaid-eligible children and youth. When combined with federal matching funds, the money is expected to generate more than $36 million in total spending during the 2019 fiscal year, which begins October 1.

The funding will expand services provided at home or in the community to two groups of young people. One group is children and youth with severe emotional disturbance. The other group is children and youth with autism spectrum disorder.

For both groups, these services will be designed to help recipients manage the behavioral aspects of their condition. For example, for both groups, the state will fund therapy teams to work with an affected young person and his or her family members to develop a behavior plan and provide home-based services that reflect the young person’s unique diagnosis and circumstances.

For this reason, the funding is expected to produce savings in other areas of public spending. In the short term, these services should reduce the number of crises experienced by the affected children and youth, thereby reducing the demands on schools and emergency services. Over the longer term, the services should reduce spending on residential mental health treatment.”

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

Mastering the Maze: The Special Education Process 1: Referral through IEP Implementation (Draft) - 03/01/2018

~~“Employment/Occupation/Career Goal l (Select or write the most appropriate goal for the student):• Student will reach college and career readiness by potentially earning an industry career credential. • Student will be prepared to participate in competitive integrated employment with no need for support based on successful completion of career exploration, community-based work, and/or cooperative education experience. • Student will be prepared to participate in competitive integrated employment with time-limited support based on successful completion of career exploration, community-based work experience and/ or cooperative education experience. • Student  will  be  prepared  to  participate  in  supported  employment  which  will  include  community-based assessment, job development, job coaching, and extended support needed to meet his/her  employment needs based on successful completion of school-based work experiences, community-based career exploration, and application for supported employment services.”

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

IT’s My Job It’s My Life!: Employment First for Alabamians with Disabilities - 11/15/2017

~~“The Alabama Disabilities Advocacy Program (ADAP) is part of the nationwide federally-funded protection and advocacy system. Our mission is to provide quality, legally-based advocacy services to Alabamians with disabilties to protect, promote, and expand their rights. …

In the past year ADAP staff has visited sheltered workshops across the state. We observed activities and talked with people with disabilities. Over and over, those people told us they want to work. They want real jobs and they want to make real wages. It is time to listen to what they are telling us and put “Employment First”.

Systems
  • Other

ADRS Business Relations Program - 09/01/2017

~~“WELCOME TO READI-Net....your Resource for Employment And Disability Information

The Alabama Department of Rehabilitation Services (ADRS) recognizes that business is an important customer and is committed to helping Alabama businesses find solutions to disability-related issues such as:•locating a talent pool of skilled candidates•retaining a valued employee whose job is affected by illness, injury or disability•accessing no-cost resources to save your company time and money and to address your “hot issues”•finding ways to make your business accessible to customers and employees with disabilities •linking your company to multi-state resources.” 

Systems
  • Department of Rehabilitation Services
Topics
  • Employer Engagement

‘Transition Unlimited,’ Unified Statewides Transition Efforts - 02/03/2017

~~“A collaboration between ADRS and Auburn University to improve transition services to students is currently being implemented in every high school in the state. The Alabama pre-employment transition services (Pre-ETS) initiative – dubbed “Transition Unlimited” – is designed to build capacity and connect services to appropriately implement transition services throughout the state. Its goal is to provide guidance to local education agencies (LEAs) in the development of Pre-ETS action plans to better meet the needs of students with disabilities.”

Systems
  • Department of Rehabilitation Services
  • Other
Topics
  • School-to-Work Transition
Displaying 1 - 7 of 7

Southeast AlabamaWorks! Local Workforce Development Board (SAW) Request for Proposals (RFP) for the selection of program operators to provide Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act (WIOA) funded Youth Workforce Development Services for program year 2019 - 04/02/2020

~~Alabama Department of Commerce’s (ADC) Workforce Development Division, Governor’s Local Workforce Areas (GLWA) and the Southeast AlabamaWorks! Local Workforce Development Board is issuing this Request for Proposals (RFP) for occupational youth services programs to serve out-of-school youth ages 16 – 24 (with barriers to employment as identified by WIOA) and in-school youth ages 16 – 21. Special consideration will be given to youth programs that provide linkages to Pre-Apprentice or Registered Apprenticeship programs

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

AL-APSE 2020 Conference July 8-10, 2020 - 01/01/2020

~~Location: Renaissance Montgomery Hotel & SpaThe Alabama APSE conference is scheduled for July 8-10, 2020 in Montgomery at the Renaissance Hotel & Spa. The event will conclude at noon on Friday the 10th. 

Systems
  • Other
Topics
  • School-to-Work Transition

Etowah County Project SEARCH - 05/10/2019

~~“Project SEARCH is a free unique business-led transition program for young adults ages 18-24 who are currently experiencing life with a disability. It provides individuals who want to work a chance to explore careers and develop transferable job skills through an internship at Gadsden Regional Medical Center (GRMC) in Gadsden, AL. Project SEARCH places young adults in real-world situations where they learn all aspects of gaining and maintaining a job. This process of immersion facilitates the teaching and learning of new work skills on a real job-site. “

Systems
  • Other
Topics
  • School-to-Work Transition

“Our Partners": Alabama Council on Developmental Disabilities - 04/20/2017

~~This page is a list of the ACDD’s network and state agency partners

Systems
  • Other
Topics
  • Cross-Agency Collaboration / Partnerships

Housing First, Inc. - 02/27/2017

~~“It is the mission of Housing First, Inc. to secure resources and assets, which lead to community planning to end homelessness through  advocacy and community collaboration. It is our vision that every man, woman, and child will have the opportunity to have suitable, safe, and adequate housing.Today, Housing First, Inc. provides direct service to homeless clients through programs funded by HUD and the Veterans Administration (VA).”   

Systems
  • Other
Topics
  • Cross-Agency Collaboration / Partnerships

Alabama Department of Social Services State Partners: Alabama Department of Mental Health

"ADSS currently partners on several ventures with the ADMH, to include ADRC development and advisory, consumer-directed and person-centered system change, Chronic Disease Self-Management programs, pre-and post-disaster planning and assistance, the Alzheimer’s/Dementia Related Disorders State Plan and Employment First Workforce development. The Council of Developmental Disabilities is housed within the ADMH and operates under Public Law 106-402 and a Governor’s Executive Order. …… ADSS is a member of the DD Council and staff of the DD Council actively participates in cross training, resource development and advice for ADRC development.”

Systems
  • Department of Mental Health
  • Department of Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities
  • Other
Topics
  • Cross-Agency Collaboration / Partnerships
  • Resource Leveraging

Alabama Pathways to Employment

Pathways to Employment is a collection of stepping stones. These opportunities are housed not in one state agency but in many. To make it easier for families and individuals, they are now all in one place.   There is no perfect path. But there are many opportunities available to assist Alabamians with disabilities in finding a path to employment.  
Systems
  • Department of Rehabilitation Services
  • Department of Mental Health
  • Department of Workforce Development
  • Department of Education
  • Medicaid Agencies
Topics
  • School-to-Work Transition
  • Mental Health
  • Home and Community Based Services (HCBS)
Displaying 1 - 7 of 7

Alabama Disability Employment Initiative - 11/01/2017

The Disability Employment Initiative (DEI) is a three-year federal grant-funded program that improves education, training, employment opportunities, and employment outcomes for people with disabilities who are unemployed, underemployed, and/or receiving Social Security disability benefits. In 2013, Alabama was awarded a Round 4 DEI grant from the U.S. Department of Labor’s Employment Training Administration. This grant ended in 2015.

Systems
  • Department of Rehabilitation Services
  • Department of Mental Health
  • Department of Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities
  • Department of Workforce Development
  • Department of Education
  • Medicaid Agencies
  • Other
Topics
  • Self-Employment
  • School-to-Work Transition
  • Mental Health
  • Asset Development / Financial Capability
  • Employer Engagement
  • Cross-Agency Collaboration / Partnerships
  • Data Sharing

Alabama Medicaid Money Follows the Person - 10/24/2012

Alabama received a Medicaid Money Follows the Person grant in October 2012. Alabama received $3.4 million in the first year and up to $28 million over the four-year project to support the successful transition of 625 individuals from an institutional setting to community living. The majority of the funds provide Home and Community-Based Services for Medicaid-eligible individuals who are elderly or have disabilities and who choose to transition from nursing facilities or a state-operated psychiatric hospital Grant funds will cover the upfront costs associated with transitioning each individual as well as the administrative costs of operating the program and will be paid during the first year of each person’s transition.

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

Alabama Employment First

~~Employment First, Real Jobs, Real Wages.One in five people living in the United States have some type of disability. Alabama ranks near the bottom in competitive employment opportunities for people with significant disabilities. Employment First is a declaration of both philosophy and policy, stating that employment is the first priority and preferred outcome of people with disabilities.  

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

Alabama Governor’s Youth Leadership Forum

Started in 1999, the Alabama Governor's Youth Leadership Forum is an innovative, intensive, five-day career leadership training program for high school juniors and seniors with disabilities throughout Alabama. Program activities focus on career planning, leadership development, technology resources and information on disability history to assist young people with disabilities in reaching their maximum potential.

Systems
  • Department of Rehabilitation Services
Topics
  • School-to-Work Transition

Alabama VR Transition Services

Vocational Rehabilitation Service (VRS) places substantial emphasis on assisting youth with disabilities in the transition from school to post school activities.  Transition services are a coordinated set of activities that lead to employment. A vocational rehabilitation counselor works with youth and their families to assess their needs and plan individualized services to meet their chosen vocational goal.  Every public high school in Alabama has a vocational rehabilitation counselor assigned to provide transition services.

Systems
  • Department of Rehabilitation Services
  • Department of Education
Topics
  • School-to-Work Transition
  • Employer Engagement

Alabama Teen Transition Clinic

The Teen Transition Clinic is a team clinic for youth with special health care needs from ages 12-21 who are eligible for Children's Rehabilitation Service and are beginning to plan for transition to adulthood. Young adults who participate in the clinic discuss their goals and explore their options for the future. The clinic team, including the young person and family, collaborates to address issues and problems in planning for the future.   This clinic is a partnership among CRS, Vocational Rehabilitation Service (VRS), the State of Alabama Independent Living (SAIL) Service, and other community providers.  
Systems
  • Department of Rehabilitation Services
Topics
  • School-to-Work Transition
  • Cross-Agency Collaboration / Partnerships

Alabama Project GATE

Alabama has piloted the Gaining Access To Employment project, a collaborative effort between the state’s Department of Mental Health/Developmental Disabilities (MH/DD) and its Department of Vocational Rehabilitation (VR). Through this project, known as Project GATE, the two agencies work together to help local service providers use funds to support integrated employment opportunities. MH/DD and VR have a long history of partnering, including joint efforts on a supported employment workgroup, due to the strong relationships between colleagues at each department.

Systems
  • Department of Rehabilitation Services
  • Department of Mental Health
  • Department of Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities
Topics
  • Customized Employment
  • Employer Engagement
  • Segregated Day & Employment Services
  • Provider Transformation
  • Cross-Agency Collaboration / Partnerships
Displaying 1 - 2 of 2

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

~~“AIDS Alabama, Inc. was awarded a statewide 2019 CMS Navigator Cooperative Agreement serving “Left behind”1populations, low-income and vulnerable populations, particularly those individuals with disabilities. There are no Sub-awardee/Subrecipient Contracted Organizations. They will partner with East Alabama Medical Center, AIDS Alabama South, The Right Place, and Unity Wellness Center.  For more information, please contact the designated project lead.

Contact:Matthew PagnottiPhone: (205) 324-9822Email: matthew.pagnotti@aidsalabama.org

Systems
  • Other
Topics
  • Cross-Agency Collaboration / Partnerships

Alabama’s Transition Engagement Series #1 - 06/16/2017

~~“Alabama’s Transition Engagement Series #1 – Helping Students Achieve Post-School Outcomes: A Handbook for Engaging Secondary Transition Professionals is a handbook designed for Special Education professionals who serve students with disabilities from 14 to 21 years of age.  Its purpose is to provide teachers, paraprofessionals and special education coordinators with (1) the information they need to understand transition and its legal requirements under the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA) and the Alabama Administrative Code (AAC): (2) to provide teachers with the necessary skills to plan, to assess, to write an appropriate and relevant Individualized Education Program (IEP), and conduct an IEP Team meeting for students of transition age; and (3) to provide information on the following topics: Interagency Collaboration, Family and Student Engagement, Program Structures,  Community-Based Work Training,  Transition Leadership Groups, Transition for Significant Disabilities, and Preparing for Graduation.”

Systems
  • Department of Education
Topics
  • School-to-Work Transition
Displaying 1 - 3 of 3

EEOC Sues Two Hawk Employment Agency - 02/22/2016

A temporary employment agency violated federal law when it asked an applicant illegal medical questions during its application process and then refused to hire the applicant because of her responses to those illegal medical inquiries, the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) charged in a lawsuit filed today. In addition, the suit alleges that Two Hawk failed to retain employment applications as required by federal law.

Systems
  • Other

University of Alabama at Birmingham ADA Settlement - 02/10/2016

This Agreement resolves an investigation and compliance review of physical accessibility for individuals with disabilities at UAB under title II of the Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990, 42 U.S.C. §§ 12131 - 12134 (ADA), and the Department of Justice's implementing regulation, 28 C.F.R. Part 35, including the 1991 Standards for Accessible Design, 28 C.F.R. Part 35 (2011) at Appendix D  (1991 Standards), and the ADA 2010 Standards for Accessible Design, 28 C.F.R. § 35.104  (2010 Standards as the requirements set forth in appendices B and D to 36 C.F.R. part 1191 and the requirements contained in subpart D of 28 C.F.R. part 35) (collectively the Standards).

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

“Alabama Disabilities Advocacy Program v. SafetyNet Youthcare, Inc.“ - 12/12/2014

~~“On October 14, 2014 the United States filed a Statement of Interest in Alabama Disabilities Advocacy Program v. SafetyNet Youthcare, Inc., a case in which the defendant denied access to the local protection and advocacy organization. The Statement of Interest expresses the United States' view that facilities must permit access under the Protection and Advocacy for Individuals with Mental Illness Act to all residents regardless of whether the facility characterizes some residents as having a less serious mental health disorder than others.On December 12, 2014, the United States District Court for the Southern District of Alabama granted summary judgment in favor of the local protection and advocacy organization. The court held that defendant's denial of access violated the Protection and Advocacy for Individuals with Mental Illness Act, 42 U.S.C. §§ 10801 – 10851 (2012). The court issued a permanent injunction prohibiting the defendant from denying the protection and advocacy organization reasonable access to defendant's programs.” 

Systems
  • Other
Displaying 1 - 9 of 9

Home and Community Based Waivers – 2020 - 01/07/2020

“Individuals who are elderly and/or disabled may qualify for home and community- based services through one of these waiver programs.  These services are to protect the health, safety, and dignity of those individuals who are at risk of institutional care and will allow them to receive full Medicaid coverage in addition to the services provided by the specific waiver in the community setting.  Individuals who are disabled may first apply for SSI or disability benefits through the Social Security Administration in order to determine if they meet disability requirements.  Aged or disabled individuals must meet the specific eligibility requirements for each waiver listed below to receive the waiver services.”

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

Chart of Alabama HCBS Waiver Services - 02/02/2020

~~This is a chart of the details of the HCBS waivers in Alabama.

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

Public Hearings Set for Medicaid’s Plan First Section 1115 Demonstration Waiver Extension Application - 07/31/2018

~~“Alabama Medicaid conducted public hearings and public notice in accordance with the requirements in 42 C.F.R. 431.408.  The following describes the actions taken by Alabama Medicaid to ensure the public was informed and had the opportunity  to provide input on the proposed waiver.  Alabama Medicaid published long and short versions of public notice of the Agency’s intent to submit a Section 1115 Demonstration Proposal to require unemployed and under-employed able-bodied POCRs to become gainfully employed, or participate in employment related activities such as job search, training, education, vocational or volunteer opportunities to enhance their chances of full employment. “

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

Proposed Section 1115 Demonstration - Work Requirements - 02/27/2018

~~“From 2013 through the current date, the able‐bodied Parent or Caretaker Relative  (POCR) eligibility group has more than doubled from 31,889 to more than 74,000. This has been  during a time of steady economic growth and job creation in the state reflected in the current 3.5  percent unemployment rate, the lowest in Alabama’s history. Thus, in keeping with the overall policy initiatives of the State, Alabama Medicaid’s stewardship of limited resources, and the  original Medicaid program design, Alabama Medicaid is proposing a work requirement for the  able‐bodied POCR eligibility group.  Currently, both the Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF) and the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) programs in Alabama contain certain work requirements for individuals participating in those programs.  Alabama Medicaid plans to utilize the resources that have been successful in these programs to assist Medicaid recipients in gaining the tools necessary to become more self‐sufficient.” 

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

Alabama Medicaid State Plan - 05/17/2017

The Medicaid State Plan outlines the organization and function of the Alabama Medicaid Agency.  Amendments to the State Plan (SPAs) are required when changes to amount, duration or scope of services, or eligibility requirements are proposed.

Systems
  • Medicaid Agencies

Alabama Medicaid State Plan (Proposed) Amendments - 04/28/2017

Amendments to the State Plan (SPAs) are required when changes to amount, duration or scope of services, or eligibility requirements are proposed.  This resource provides the current  proposed amendments. 

Systems
  • Medicaid Agencies

Alabama HCBS Transition Plan - 02/21/2017

Describes Alabama’s process for ensuring compliance with home and community-based setting requirements.

Systems
  • Department of Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities
  • Medicaid Agencies
Topics
  • Home and Community Based Services (HCBS)
  • Segregated Day & Employment Services

Alabama Home and Community- Based Waiver for Persons with MR (0001.R07.00) - 10/01/2014

The waiver provides day hab, personal care, prevocational, residential hab, respite, supported employment, adult companion, behavior therapy, community specialist services, crisis intervention, environmental accessibility adaptations, OT, PT, skilled nursing, specialized medical equipment, specialized medical supplies, speech/language therapy for individuals w/MR ages 3 - no max age

 

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

Alabama Medicaid Money Follows the Person - 10/11/2012

Alabama received a Medicaid Money Follows the Person grant in October 2012.

"Alabama will receive $3.4 million in the first year and up to $28 million over the four year project in the form of an enhanced matching rate to support the successful transition of 625 individuals from an institutional setting to community living, according to Wettingfeld. The project will not require new costs to the state, but rather a shifting of some current expenditures from institutional based programs to community based programs.

The majority of the expenditures will go to provide Home and Community-Based Services for Medicaid-eligible individuals who are elderly or have disabilities and who choose to transition from nursing facilities or a state-operated psychiatric hospital (only applies to recipients under 21 or over 65 for this type of facility). Most are expected to transition to one of Medicaid’s seven HCBS waiver programs or to a PACE program. Grant funds will cover the upfront costs associated with transitioning each individual as well as administrative costs of operating the program and will be paid during the first year of each person’s transition."

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

States - Large Tablet

Snapshot

The state motto of Alabama is "We Dare Defend Our Rights," including the rights of individuals with disabilities to have real employment opportunities at competitive wages. 

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 Alabama's VR Rates and Services

2019 State Population.
0.31%
Change from
2018 to 2019
4,903,185
2019 Number of people with disabilities (all disabilities, ages 18-64).
-3.99%
Change from
2018 to 2019
401,368
2019 Number of people with disabilities who are employed (all disabilities, ages 18-64).
8.35%
Change from
2018 to 2019
132,656
2019 Percentage of working age people who are employed (all disabilities).
11.86%
Change from
2018 to 2019
33.05%
2019 Percentage of working age people who are employed (NO disabilities).
12.25%
Change from
2018 to 2019
74.62%

State Data

General

2017 2018 2019
Population. 4,874,747 4,887,871 4,903,185
Number of people with disabilities (all disabilities, ages 18-64). 418,429 417,381 401,368
Number of people with disabilities who are employed (all disabilities, ages 18-64). 112,030 121,576 132,656
Number of people without disabilities who are employed (ages 18-64). 1,815,887 1,826,230 1,867,058
Percentage of working age people who are employed (all disabilities). 26.77% 29.13% 33.05%
Percentage of working age people who are employed (NO disabilities). 64.71% 65.48% 74.62%
State/National unemployment rate. 4.40% 3.90% 3.00%
Poverty Rate (all disabilities). 23.10% 23.00% 21.60%
Poverty Rate (NO disabilities). 15.70% 15.60% 14.30%
Number of males with disabilities (all ages). 380,392 372,948 363,930
Number of females with disabilities (all ages). 408,923 412,952 401,088
Number of Caucasians with disabilities (all ages). 540,995 543,393 535,010
Number of African Americans with disabilities (all ages). 215,372 210,848 200,257
Number of Hispanic/Latinos with disabilities (all ages). 15,668 16,505 15,428
Number of American Indians/Alaska Natives with disabilities (all ages). 7,270 4,791 5,974
Number of Asians with disabilities (all ages). 4,692 4,785 5,816
Number of Hawaiians/Pacific Islanders with disabilities (all ages). N/A N/A N/A
Number of persons of two or more races with disabilities (all ages) 15,896 16,110 14,164
Number of persons of some other race alone with disabilities (all ages) 4,826 5,814 3,587

 

SSA OUTCOMES

2017 2018 2019
Number of SSI recipients with disabilities who work. 3,910 4,051 4,176
Percentage of SSI recipients with disabilities who work relative to total SSI recipients with disabilities. 2.50% 2.60% 2.70%
Old Age Survivor and Disability Insurance (OASDI) recipients/workers with disabilities. 226,922 222,986 219,981

 

MENTAL HEALTH OUTCOMES

2017 2018 2019
Number of mental health services consumers who are employed. 7,033 7,183 7,218
Number of mental health services consumers who are part of the labor force (employed or actively looking for employment). 17,945 18,181 18,345
Number of adults served who have a known employment status. 43,176 43,467 40,979
Percentage of all state mental health agency consumers served in the community who are employed. 16.30% 16.50% 17.60%
Percentage of supported employment services evidence based practices (EBP). N/A 0.40% 0.40%
Percentage of supported housing services evidence based practices (EBP). 0.50% 0.50% 0.50%
Percentage of assertive community treatment services evidence based practices (EBP). 1.50% 1.50% 1.50%
Percentage of medications management evidence based practices (EBP). N/A N/A N/A
Number of evidence based practices (EBP) supported employment services. N/A 280 283
Number of evidence based practices (EBP) supported housing services. 354 341 329
Number of evidence based practices (EBP) assertive community treatment services. 988 974 916
Number of evidence based practices (EBP) medications management. N/A N/A N/A

 

WAGNER PEYSER OUTCOMES

2014 2015 2016
Number of registered job seekers with a disability. 8,415 7,703 3,087
Proportion of registered job seekers with a disability. 0.02 0.03 N/A

 

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. 55 42 52
Total number of people with a disability that is a substantial barrier to work who entered unsubsidized employment. 22 16 22
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. 40.00% 38.00% 42.00%
Incidence rate of people with a disability that is a substantial barrier to work who entered unsubsidized employment per 100,000 individuals in the general state population. 0.46 0.33 0.45

 

VR OUTCOMES

2017 2018 2019
Total Number of people served under VR.
N/A
N/A
N/A
Number of people with visual impairments served under VR. N/A N/A N/A
Number of people with communicative (hearing loss, deafness) impairments served under VR. N/A N/A N/A
Number of people with physical impairments served under VR. N/A N/A N/A
Number of people cognitive impairments served under VR. N/A N/A N/A
Number of people psychosocial impairments served under VR. N/A N/A N/A
Number of people with mental impairments served under VR. N/A N/A N/A
Percentage of overall closures into employment under VR. 25.00% 49.00% 40.00%
Number of employment network (EN) and vocational rehabilitation (VR) tickets assigned. 5,023 5,422 5,983
Number of eligible ticket to work beneficiaries. 336,758 332,907 330,493
Total number of ID closures using supported employment services with or without Title VI-B funds expended (VI-C prior to 2002). 622 274 405
Total number of ID competitive labor market closures. 375 411 485

 

IDD OUTCOMES

2016 2017 2018
Dollars spent on day/employment services for integrated employment funding. $675,600 $927,418 $1,228,277
Dollars spent on day/employment services for facility-based work funding. $5,063,281 $4,957,488 $4,373,956
Dollars spent on day/employment services for facility-based non-work funding. $64,375,801 $57,786,518 $56,498,502
Dollars spent on day/employment services for community based non-work funding. $1,039,339 $218,498 $354,651
Percentage of people served in integrated employment. 5.00% 12.00% 17.00%
Number of people served in community based non-work. 455 75 135
Number of people served in facility based work. 438 454 407
Number of people served in facility based non-work. 4,562 4,123 4,215
Number supported in integrated employment per 100,000 individuals in the general state population. 6.37 12.68 16.86

 

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). 83.56% 83.52% 83.65%
Percent of children with IEPs aged 6 through 21 served inside the regular class less than 40% of the day (Indicator 5b). 7.19% 7.16% 7.23%
Percent of children with IEPs aged 6 through 21 served in separate schools, residential facilities, or homebound/hospital placements (Indicator 5c). 2.49% 2.45% 2.51%
Percent of youth with IEPs aged 16 and above with an IEP that includes appropriate measurable postsecondary goals (Indicator 13). 99.99% 99.91% 99.77%
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). 27.33% 27.81% 26.37%
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). 70.20% 60.20% 60.02%
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). 78.49% 68.85% 70.50%
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). 42.87% 32.39% 33.65%

 

ABILITYONE/JWOD PROGRAM

2014
Number of overall agency blind and SD hours. 1,613,485
Number of overall total blind and SD workers. 1,408
Number of AbilityOne blind and SD hours (products). 297,988
Number of AbilityOne blind and SD hours (services). 882,262
Number of AbilityOne blind and SD hours (combined). 1,180,250
Number of AbilityOne blind and SD workers (products). 196
Number of AbilityOne blind and SD workers (services). 610
Number of AbilityOne blind and SD workers (combined). 806
AbilityOne wages (products). $2,732,728
AbilityOne wages (services). $11,470,273

 

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

2018 2019 2020
Number of 14(c) certificate-holding businesses. 0 0 0
Number of 14(c) certificate-holding school work experience programs (SWEPs). 0 0 0
Number of 14(c) certificate-holding community rehabilitation programs (CRPs). 4 7 2
Number of 14(c) certificate holding patient workers. 0 0 0
Total Number of 14(c) certificate holding entities. 4 7 2
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). 283 350 92
Reported number of people with disabilities working under 14(c) certificate holding patient workers. 0 0 0
Total reported number of people with disabilities working under 14(c) certificate holding entities. 283 350 92

 

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

~~ADRS does not currently have a written agreement regarding services to American Indians. • Department of Youth Services (DYS): Alabama has a Department of Youth Services. This Department is established to work with delinquent youth. The expectation is that the services of DYS will prevent delinquent youth from eventually advancing to the adult correctional system. ADRS has a specialist who is very actively involved with DYS. This individual receives referrals on a regular basis from DYS and forwards those referrals to the appropriate field staff. ADRS has a written agreement with the ADYS • Department of Mental Health (DMH): The Agency maintains an ongoing relationship with DMH. ADRS serves numerous consumers with mental illness. ADRS works on cooperative initiatives to ensure services are provided to eligible consumers. ADRS maintains a relationship with the DMH Division of Substance Abuse and a network of residential aftercare service providers. ADRS is working extensively with the DMH to expand and improve the ADRS supported employment program. This includes efforts in the areas of Employment First, extended supports, and collaborating on grants. ADRS has a cooperative agreement with ADMH. (Page 176) Title II

The Alabama Department of Rehabilitation Services continues to stay abreast of national issues regarding community rehabilitation facilities through its attendance and participation in conferences of state and national significance including Alabama Association of Rehabilitation Facilities (AARF), Alabama Association of People Supporting Employment First (AL—APSE), Council of State Administrators of Vocational Rehabilitation (CSAVR), and National Rehabilitation Association (NRA). Collaborative efforts between ADRS Computer Services and the CRP section have recently developed computer- generated reports that assist the CRP section in tracking targeted CRP goals and outcomes such as numbers of individuals successfully employed, cost per successful closure, and average wage. (Page 186) Title II

The Alabama Department of Education, the Social Security Administration, and the Department of the Department of Veterans Affairs. This training is currently being offered twice a year in a collaborative effort between the Alabama Department of Rehabilitation Services and the Alabama Department of Mental Health. APSE (Association for People Supporting Employment First) is sponsoring, and our state Chapter of APSE are also participating in CESP National Certification (National Certification for Employment Support Professionals). Project SEARCH, a statewide initiative to improve transition services for students with most significant disabilities began in Alabama in FY 2012 with two pilot sites. Alabama now has 11 Project SEARCH sites and we will continue to work to expand this transition program in our state. All sites have a state team member assigned to them to help with implementation and fidelity. Trainings take place throughout the year and the teacher and job coach both attend national SEARCH training as well. Cooperative Agreements between the Local School Systems (LEA’s) or Post-Secondary education (for youth programs) Alabama Department of Rehabilitation Services, the Alabama Council for Developmental Disabilities, the Alabama Department of Mental Health, the Supported Employment Community Rehabilitation Program and the local employer supporting the program are in place for all 11 sites. (Page 187) Title II

Alabama Department of Mental Health, Alabama State Department of Education, Alabama Medicaid, Alabama Department of Economic and Community Affairs and the Alabama Department of Post—Secondary Education continue to work towards Employment First legislation. Individualized Placement and Support (IPS) Supported Employment is an evidence- based approach to supported employment for individuals with serious mental illness. IPS, based on zero exclusion, competitive employment in the community, mental health treatment and employment services being integrated, benefits planning is included, job search occurs rapidly, employment specialist develop relationships with employers in their communities, job supports are continuous, and consumer preferences are honored. In 2014, Alabama applied for and was among 7 states that received a grant from the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) to implement IPS Supported Employment at 2 sites in the state. The grant is for 5 years during which time we will be looking at sustainability and expansion. Currently IPS is being implemented at Chilton Shelby in West Alabama (rural site) and Alapointe in Mobile County (urban site). (Page 187) Title II

Certificate Based Job Coach Training is collaboration between our agency, the Alabama Department of Mental Health, the Department of Education, the Council for Developmental Disabilities, and Alabama APSE (Association of Persons Supporting Employment First). This training ensures consistency of service delivery for supported employment providers and provides access to the latest marketing and training techniques. Training is provided by Virginia Commonwealth University’s Rehabilitation Research and Training Center on Workplace Supports. We offer this training twice a year to SE Job Coaches, School Job Coaches, Job Coaches employed by the Department of Mental Health and other community job developers and job coaches. This year, job coaches specializing in sensory impairments also participated in this training as we work to collaborate more closely with the Alabama Institute for the Deaf and Blind (AIDB) and their AIDB regional center staff located throughout the state. • Alabama Department of Rehabilitation Services, Alabama Council for Developmental Disabilities, Alabama Department of Mental Health, Alabama State Department of Education, Alabama Medicaid, Alabama Department of Economic and Community Affairs and the Alabama Department of Post—Secondary Education have been working to secure Employment First legislation and continue to participate in the Employment First Leadership Mentoring Program Community of Practice through Office of Disability Employment Policy (ODEP). These partners will continue to collaborate with human service agencies that work with people with disabilities and the workforce investment/development agencies to support the concept of Employment First. Additionally, several partners are participating in the Vision Quest training, offered through ODEP, to assist Alabama with options to infuse integrated employment into the Medicaid waiver, State Plan Options and increased collaboration to better serve consumers as they move towards integrated, community- based employment options. ADRS will collaborate with local school systems to improve transition services; ensuring students who are appropriate for SE services have access to community based Supported Employment providers while still in high school. SE providers will be active in the local high schools to present information regarding their programs to parents, students and staff. Students will also have the opportunity to participate in community- based assessments or begin the Discovery Profile before they exit school, to facilitate a seamless transit ion to Supported Employment Services. 2. •The GATE program (Gaining Access to Employment) is a training program that takes consumers from sheltered work or day habilitation and fully immerses them in industry training. This collaboration between the Alabama Department of Rehabilitation Services and Alabama Department of Mental Health began in North Alabama and now has 5 sites. The GATE program braids funding utilizing from both ADRS and ADMH (Medicaid waiver). Adults, who are long term consumers of day programs are trained in competitive integrated employment settings using job coaches for support during their internships. Consumers are paid wages while they intern, primarily in manufacturing settings. (Page 220) Title II

The agency has a state specialist overseeing the expansion and effectiveness of the agency’s supported employment efforts. Two additional specialists have been hired to assist with the growth and expansion of supported employment in Alabama in the last 2 years. This growth includes eleven 11 project SEARCH sites, the continuation of the GATE Project, IPS SE for individuals with serious mental illness and co-occurring substance abuse, and expansion of the Connections program for individuals with Autism. We are currently collaborating with the LEAs and training rehabilitation transition counselors on provision of services to students at an earlier age while in the secondary setting. This should increase participation of students with more significant disabilities and provide those services earlier. We currently have jointly funded pre-ets specialists contracts with secondary education for students with most significant disabilities. ADRS will collaborate with local school systems to develop and implement a transition initiative; ensuring students who are appropriate for SE services have access to providers prior to their exit from high school. SE providers will be active in the local high schools to present information regarding their programs to parents, students and staff. Students will also have the opportunity to participate in community— based assessments before they exit school, to facilitate a seamless transition. Many students with most significant disabilities are participating in our summer JET program which includes work -based learning emphasizing social skills acquisition, career exploration and paid work experience.

Training on Certificate Based Job Coach Training in collaboration with the Alabama Department of Mental Health, the Department of Education, and the Council for Developmental Disabilities, and Alabama APSE (Association of Persons Supporting Employment First), The Network on Employment continues. This training ensures consistency of service delivery for supported employment providers and provides access to the latest marketing and training techniques. Training is provided by Virginia Commonwealth University’s Rehabilitation Research and Training Center on Workplace Supports. (Page 226) Title II

ADRS continues to seek methods to increase participation of individuals with all types of disabilities in supported employment programs. Initiatives for improving transition services for students with more significant disabilities are being implemented. Since WIOA students with more significant disabilities are being referred and receiving services at a much earlier age. SE providers are providing Pre-Employment Transition Services to these students with an emphasis on work- based learning. We are procuring additional pre-employment transition specialist (jointly funded) to increase the likelihood of competitive integrated employment for students with more significant disabilities and expansion of innovative opportunities and collaborations including student led enterprises, participation in work- based learning at a younger age, and successful programs like Project SEARCH. We will continue to work with career and technical education to develop innovative programs that address internship and apprentice opportunities as well as certifications in employment areas, especially in high demand areas for our state. We will continue to work with Workforce development to identify and provide services to youth in the area, especially underserved youth and those with more significant disabilities. All these identified entities are a part of our Employment First efforts in Alabama. We are currently submitting 3 RFP’s for collaborations with Workforce Boards, Post-Secondary Education, and Alabama One-Stop Centers for internships and services to youth through expansion of Project SEARCH to youth in their areas. (Page 241-242) Title II.

Efforts continued to collaborate closely with Alabama APSE (Association of Persons Supporting Employment First)—The Network on Employment, Alabama Department of Mental Health, and the Alabama Council for Developmental Disabilities (DD Council), to provide training to staff, pre-employment transition specialist, skills training instructors, SE providers, IPS staff and other employment staff in Alabama that serve individuals with disabilities. Customized employment and Discovery are included in this training. ADRS continues to expand services within the state to increase opportunities for individuals to access to supported employment services. All counties in Alabama all have trained supported employment providers to serve consumers in their area. Many of our community rehabilitation programs provided paid summer work experiences that include job exploration, work place readiness, instruction in self-advocacy, in demand jobs in their areas, and paid work place paid work experience with employers in their local areas. Two additional staff members were hired as Rehabilitation Specialists for Supported Employment to assist the counselors and providers with quality supported employment and to provide training as needed to both groups. Additionally another state office specialist was hired to assist the statewide transition specialist. The addition of these specialists will help to assure that we are providing quality services to students, youth, and adults with more significant disabilities that require supported employment. We continue to include Discovery and customized employment in our bi-annual training with staff to assure better job matches, and more opportunities for internships and training to consumers requiring SE. The following initiatives have been implemented:

Continual training and consultation by state office staff on Supported Employment, Milestones, Discovery, Person Centered Profile Development, WIOA, IPS Supported Employment, Self-Employment, Pre-Employment Transition Services and Project SEARCH for transition students.
(Page 242) Title II
 
 Collaboration continues with Alabama Association of Persons Supporting Employment First (AL—APSE) and Alabama Department of Mental Health to offer bi-annual job coach training to new job coaches, job developers, pre-employment transition specialists, skills training instructors, IPS staff, mental health staff and case managers. This training is conducted by Virginia Commonwealth University and provides instruction on best practices, innovative strategies and customized employment. For the last two years Alabama Institute for the Deaf and Blind sent local and regional staff personnel who serve those with sensory impairments.

We continue to provide the GATE Project for provider agencies who have consumers in sheltered work who are seeking employment in their communities. GATE was recognized by ICI (Institute for Community Inclusion) as an innovative strategy to move consumers from segregated employment to competitive integrated employment. It is a partnership with our agency, the Department of Mental Health and local employers. This program is embedded in the workplace and gives the opportunity for those who will require extra time and additional supports and training to learn a job. This unique program braids funds from the two agencies to secure the supports and training needed. (Page 243) Title I

Customized Employment

~~Supported Employment (SE) is available in Alabama for individuals with the most significant disabilities who require intensive support services, and extended support services for an appropriate and successful employment outcome. These services are provided in all regions of the state by 38 approved community—based organizations. Supported Employment services are available to individuals regardless of their disability. Currently, the primary disabilities served include persons with significant intellectual disabilities, severe mental illness, cerebral palsy, autism spectrum disorders, visual and hearing impairments, severe orthopedic impairments, traumatic brain injury, and other most significant disabilities. The Alabama Department of Rehabilitation Services currently utilizes a Milestones service and payment process. Milestones, a service and outcome- based payment system, has significantly improved the quality of supported employment throughout the state, while proving to be more cost effective for the Agency. Providers of supported employment are paid for successful outcomes achieved by individuals participating in supported employment. The Milestones program segments the rehabilitation process into four distinct areas: (1) Determination of Needs/Person Centered Profiles (including Assessments) and the Discovery Process, (2) Hire, (3) Job Retention/Coaching and (4) Closure. Extended supports including natural supports are available at the job site, and are provided for the duration of the employment. Providers of long- term supports are required to document twice monthly contact with each consumer successfully working in the community, and to maintain this documentation in case files for the duration of that consumer’s job. ADRS can fund extended supports to youth for up to 4 years or until they reach the age of 25 and are no longer considered a youth. If VR is funding extended services the case must remain open until the individual is receiving these supports funded through another source. To ensure the highest quality of services, training is provided throughout the year to address issues related to supported employment, including the provision of extended services, customized employment and supported self-employment. In this cooperative arrangement with the Alabama Department of Mental Health and the Alabama Department of Rehabilitation Services, in collaboration with AL—APSE/ the Alabama Council on Developmental Disabilities and the Department of Education training and educational activities continue to be offered twice a year to improve the consistency of service delivery by job coaches, pre-employment transition specialist, skills training instructors, AIDB staff, IPS staff and others in the community that offer employment services to individuals with most significant disabilities. Customized employment training is also provided. This training is coordinated by ADRS and the ADMH and offered by Virginia Commonwealth University’s Rehabilitation Research and Training Center on Workplace Supports. We currently have a cooperative agreement with the Alabama Department of Mental Health that includes both the DD Division of the Department and the MI/SA Division. This agreement gives and Overview of both Departments including their purpose, changes reflected in WIOA, the Legal basis for the agreement, Overview of the Departments and the Responsibilities of the Partners, Eligibility, Plan Development, Referral Process for the Departments, State level shared objectives, Responsibilities and Implementation including extended services to individuals with most significant disabilities.  (Page 186) Title II

Yet another perspective on the needs of individuals with the most significant disabilities was available by examining the services most often anticipated for MSD individuals by counselors during the eligibility determination process. From 2014 to 2016, 24,122 individuals were determined eligible and assigned an eligibility category using the agency’s Functional Limitations Priority Assessment (FLPA). 5,681 of these individuals were determined to the Most Significant Disability group. More often than those in other eligible categories, persons deemed MSD were anticipated to require Supported Employment Services, Customized Employment Services, Job Readiness Training, and Rehabilitation Technology and/or Devices. Supported Employment was anticipated for 3,181 of the 5,681 individuals in the MSD category, 56%. (Page 204) Title IV

The Alabama Department of Rehabilitation Services (ADRS) remains committed to the provision of quality services to individuals with the most significant disabilities through the provision of supported employment services. ADRS provides supported employment services through a collaborative/partnership effort with 38 service providers statewide in FY 2017. These providers cover all counties in the state. These providers offer services to individuals with a variety of significant disabilities without restrictions regarding disability type. The SE providers are distributed throughout the state in order to ensure maximum availability to those in need of supported employment to obtain or maintain competitive integrated employment or advancement in employment. Service providers receive funds for the provision of supported employment through an outcome based payment system. Providers must submit evidence that each milestone has been achieved. Some milestones include consumer and employer satisfaction surveys. Consumer satisfaction is designed to reflect satisfaction with the job or identify any consumer concerns or issues. The employer satisfaction survey is designed to reflect the consumer’s job performance, stability and training needs. Supported employment funds are distributed to each provider agency based on the milestone achieved by each individual served. Job skills training is provided to individuals on site at the work setting. Supported employment services include placement in competitive integrated employment settings for the maximum number of hours possible and is based on the strengths, resources, priorities, concerns, abilities, interests and informed choice of the individual. In FY 2017, the SE program: had 1019 consumers’ complete situational assessments and/or the Discovery process. We closed 541 consumers in competitive integrated employment. These consumers worked an average of 23 hours a week and made an average of $8.30 an hour. This represents an increase of 15% from the previous year in consumers served. (Page 241) Title II

Each supported employment provider operates under a milestone/outcome—based program to ensure quality outcomes and appropriate employment options based on individual choice. Consumers are offered the opportunity to participate in community—based assessments to facilitate an informed decision regarding their employment goal. Job development is provided on an individual basis to locate employment based on the consumer’s interests, skills, limitations and community living needs. Job coaching is also provided at the work site to ensure that the individual has the necessary training, skills and supports to work. Once the consumer is stable in the workplace, extended services are planned and implemented to protect the long—term success of the job. Consumer and employer satisfaction regarding the services provided are measured at the time of employment and again before case closure. Extended services are a continuation of ongoing support services provided to individuals with the most significant disabilities. These extended supports are provided at the completion of stabilization, during the successful rehabilitation Milestone and beyond ADRS case closure. The option for Discovery and Customized Employment, or for Person Centered Profiles along with assessments are available to consumers to maximize success for individuals in supported employment. Supported Self-employment is also available for individuals wanting to start their own business. (Page 244) Title II

Blending/ Braiding Resources

~~No disability specific information found regarding this element.

Disability Employment Initiative (DEI)

~~Extended service provision is provided to youth with the most significant disabilities in a variety of ways. This includes the Medicaid waiver, state dollars set aside to support youth in Project SEARCH, contract service provision to SE vendors, grant dollars for IPS and DEI, fund raising, and private pay. Extended services not to exceed four years.

Financial Literacy /Economic Advancement

~~The Alabama Department of Rehabilitation Services entered into this agreement to mutually serve students with disabilities in the Pike County and Troy City Boards of Education through cooperatively funding the professional services of one full-time nine- month instructor, housed at Charles Henderson High School and Troy/Pike Center for Technology. Instruction will be provided in an integrated classroom setting with peers who are not identified as students with disabilities, and will focus on the area of pre-employment transition services. These pre-employment transition services, which are not typically or customarily provided by the LEA, will be provided in a group setting in a classroom or the community. The instruction of pre-employment transition services provided will be in the areas of: job exploration counseling, work-based learning experiences, counseling on opportunities for enrollment in comprehensive transition or postsecondary educational programs, workplace readiness training and instruction in self-advocacy. This instruction is designed to prepare students with disabilities to enter long terms competitive integrated employment in high demand careers by identifying and exploring career interests, as well as, increasing individual independence, self-sufficiency and inclusion of students with disabilities in their communities. Students served by this program include any student with a disability enrolled at Charles Henderson High School and Troy/Pike Center for Technology, who is in the 11th or 12th grades, is eligible for or potentially eligible for Vocational Rehabilitation Services, and has received a referral from the VR Transition Counselor, Special Education Teacher and/or school administrator. Course curriculum will consist of instruction in the following areas Basic Computer Skills, Financial Literacy, Problem Solving, Manufacturing, Job Acquisition. Course curriculum will also include discussion of local high demand careers, labor market information and activities that may include community- based experiences. (Page 173-174) Title II

School to Work Transition

~~The yet to be determined workforce development areas provide career services, client assessment, case management, referral to Individual Training Accounts, on-the-job training (OJT), customized training, and work- based learning. They also provide specialized employment and training activities for youth, including basic education, GED programs, occupational skills training, and work- based learning activities.
The Alabama Workforce System (AWS) includes the following programs and entities operated through the following agents. (Page 50) Title I

• PROJECT SEARCH: Project SEARCH is a one—year internship program for students with disabilities in the last year of high school or with out of school youth. It is targeted for students and youth whose goal is competitive employment. The program takes place in a healthcare, government, or business setting where total immersion in the workplace facilitates the teaching and learning process as well as the acquisition of employability and marketable work skills. Students participate in up to three (3) internships to explore a variety of career paths. The students work with a team that includes their family, special education teacher and skills training instructor to create an employment goal, and to support the student during this important transition from school to work. The program is a cooperative arrangement between the employer, the Alabama Department of Rehabilitation Services, the Alabama State Department of Education, the Alabama Council for Development Disabilities the Alabama Department of Mental Health, the local school systems (or post-secondary education for youth) and most importantly the employers. The program is currently available in the following counties: Montgomery, Birmingham, Huntsville, Tuscaloosa, Shelby, Etowah, Marshall, Baldwin, Calhoun and two (2) programs in Mobile. When participating in Project SEARCH, the student actually goes to the employment site each day as opposed to going to the school. The LEA provides a classroom teacher(s) to provide employment instruction in the morning, and the students go to assigned internships the remainder of the day. Internships include patient escort, food service, central sterilization, pharmacy, maintenance, grounds keeping, and other settings at the business. No funds from other participating agencies are used to match federal money drawn down by ADRS. State Unit approval is obtained before services are initiated. All services are provided in accordance with the agency’s approved State Plan.  (Page 174) Title II

Referrals for transition services and pre-employment transition services are carried out in a number of ways. Students can be referred by the LEA’s, special education teachers, 504 coordinators, doctors, mental health professionals, parents, teachers, transition counselors assigned to the schools, or can be self-referred. Once referred to the VR counselors assigned to the school, the counselors work with educational officials to obtain pertinent documentation necessary for pre-employment transition services or transition services. Students may receive pre-employment transition services beginning in the 9th grade or age 16-21 (or younger if decided in the IEP). Students can be served as eligible or potentially eligible consumers. Students who require intensive services will require an application, be determined eligible within the required 60- day period (unless for specific, documented reason an extension is necessary) and a plan for transition services will be written within 90 days. It is expected that all students requiring VR services to be successful in competitive integrated employment will have a plan before they exit high school. We anticipate that many of our students served under potentially eligible will apply for services and become VR consumers in their 11th grade year. All pre-ets services for students ages 16-21 or in the 9th grade (younger if stipulated in their IEP) that are not served under potentially eligible, will have pre-ets services included in their IPEs. (Page 179) Title II

Smart Work Ethics Training (SWE) — SWE is a social skills curriculum that addresses communication skills and work place behaviors (attitude, work ethic, image and appearance, interpersonal skills, teamwork, time management, accountability) needed to obtain and maintain successful competitive employment. This curriculum is provided to the student in the LEA by a certified trainer from a Community Rehabilitation Program. • Jointly—Funded Pre-Employment Transition Specialist — ADRS is committed to providing jointly funded Pre-ETS specialist in local education agencies to assist with the provision of pre—employment transition services. This is accomplished through cooperative agreements with local education agencies (ADRS pays 75% LEA pays 25%). The jointly funded pre-employment transition specialist provide pre—employment transition services that are not typically or customarily provided by the LEA. These pre—employment transition services are designed to increase the likelihood of independence and inclusion of students with disabilities, including those with significant disabilities, in communities, as well as, maximize opportunities for these students for long term competitive integrated employment. (Page 180) Title II

Team (SITT). SITT is a multidisciplinary group of 37 representatives from 22 state agencies (ADRS, ALSDE, Alabama Department of Mental Health and Alabama Department of Postsecondary Education) and organizations providing services for students and young adults with disabilities. The purpose of this group is to develop a better understanding of each agency’s role and responsibilities in service delivery for Alabama’s students and young adults with disabilities, and to seek and implement new and better ways of providing secondary special education and transition services. At the local level, the ADRS has procedures in place to ensure the agency is actively involved in the transition of students with disabilities from school to work. The agency has a counselor assigned to each high school to act as transition counselor. The counselor visits the school on a regularly scheduled basis to meet with teachers and guidance counselors in order to provide vocational rehabilitation information and to receive referrals of students with disabilities in need of rehabilitation services. The VR counselor meets with the student and parents in order to explain rehabilitation services to enable a student’s informed choice regarding these services. School records and other information needed to serve a student as a potentially eligible consumer or needed for eligibility determination is obtained. Once eligibility is determined efforts are made to begin determining rehabilitation needs and a vocational goal. (Page 181) Title II

The new MOU between ALSDE and ADRS addresses transition planning and development of the IEP under scope of services for both ALSDE and ADRs collaboratively and individually. A revised agreement has been sent to SDE and is awaiting the new superintendent’s signature. This replaces the agreement on file dated 5/6/2016.

ADRS emphasizes best practices in providing services to students in order to provide a seamless transition from school to post school activities. As stated earlier, ADRS has transition counselors designated to each LEA who work closely with the special education and career and technical education teachers in the development of the IEP for those students/consumers with whom the ADRS is involved and attend IEP Team meetings and/or provide input that will assist in making decisions about services that will be provided by the ADRS, such as assistive technology, career exploration or work experience opportunities. ADRS emphasizes best practices in providing services to students in order to provide a seamless transition from school to post school activities. (Page 182)

The MOA clarifies that nothing under the Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act reduces the obligation of the LEA to pay for, or provide transition services that are considered special education services, or related services necessary for assuring a free and appropriate education for students. The agreement also states that all expenditures identified by the LEA and VR for provision of pre-employment transition services that are new, having a VR focus of preparing students with disabilities to access careers that will lead to long term competitive integrated employment, and are not duplicative of services provided by the LEA, be the responsibility of ADRS. It also clarifies in the memorandum of agreement, that expenditures approved by the VR Counselor for transition services that are provided to VR students with disabilities, eligible for VR services, that are vocational in nature and support and lead to the achievement of the employment goal in the IEP, will be the financial responsibility of the DSU. (Page 183) Title II

Individuals with Intellectual Disabilities: The top vocational rehabilitation needs identified among individuals with intellectual disabilities were: Community Inclusion, Fair Wages, Employment Supports and Benefits. Agency outcomes in FY 2014 through 2016 for persons with intellectual disabilities for both rehabilitation rate and weekly wage were significantly lower than the agency norm. VR program data examined over a six- year span indicate that the majority of VR consumers with an intellectual disability were in need of supported employment services. Many publications acknowledge the importance of school to work transition outcomes, that early exposure to a wide range of work-based learning experiences plays a large part in later outcomes for individuals with intellectual disabilities. Regarding those who have already made the transition from secondary education, it will be important for VR to monitor and address the need to offer VR services to those individuals who are currently being served within day programs. (Page 207) Title II

Findings from the 2017 CSNA indicate that Alabama’s Youth with Disabilities are affected by disproportionately high dropout rates, markedly lower rates of enrollment and completion of postsecondary education, and significantly higher rates of unemployment or underemployment. These observations are borne out by data from the Alabama Department of Education, the Census Bureau, as well as ADRS’s own program statistics and survey research. Recently published findings from the National Longitudinal Transition Study demonstrated that Youth with an Individualized Education Plan are more likely than their peers to be socioeconomically disadvantaged, experience difficulty completing typical tasks independently, and find themselves the object of bullying. Youth with an IEP were found to be suspended at higher rates and to lag their peers in planning and taking steps to obtain postsecondary education and jobs (Lipscomb et al., 2017). Furthermore, Youth with autism, deaf-blindness, intellectual disability, multiple disabilities, and orthopedic impairments appear to be at highest risk for challenges making a successful transition from high school. (Page 209) Title II

It is fortunate that prior to new WIOA requirements for students with disabilities, ADRS had enjoyed a long and productive relationship with the Alabama State Department of Education (ALSDE). ADRS maintains a formal Interagency Agreement with the ALSDE for the provision of transition services. At the state level, ADRS participates as an equal partner in the Alabama State Interagency Transition Team. At the local level, the ADRS has a counselor assigned to each high school to act as transition counselor. Furthermore, ADRS has for years been committed to the financial support of jointly funded positions, i.e. Pre-Employment Transition Specialists, in local education agencies to assist with the provision of transition services. Shortly after the final WIOA regulations were released in August of 2016, however, ADRS recognized the need for a comprehensive effort to build upon existing capacity and foster greater connections between ADRS staff and their Department of Education counterparts at the local level.  (Page 211) Title II

Additionally, we are continuing to collaborate with all our state entities to improve services for students and youth with most significant disabilities. We are working with the State Department of Education on improving Assistive Technology access in order to improve the transition from school to work, and entry to Post Secondary settings. We are working with Career and Technical Education to increase participation for students with more significant disabilities. (Page 218) Title II

Extended services for youth are included in policy and in the counselor resource manual however this has not been necessary. State office has been contacted in regard to several cases of youth needed extended services, but in these cases, we were able to access waiver services for extended supports. We do anticipate that extended services for youth will be necessary for individuals who do not receive waiver services, but to date we have not had to use this provision and have been able to access the waiver. ADRS’s allotment for FY 2018 for supported employment services for youth will include post-employment services and extended services for youth. VR currently spends about 3 million on supported employment and almost 1 million additional dollars through contracts for all individuals with most significant disabilities so easily expends its allotment requirements for youth. Additionally, this year we will be adding 3 new youth programs through Project SEARCH for out of school youth with more significant disabilities. (Page 220) Title II

Engage Alabama is a collaborative effort of the ADRS, Alabama State Department of Education, Alabama Council on Developmental Disabilities and Alabama Disabilities Advocacy Program to develop and provide an app for students with disabilities to improve the student’s knowledge of transition services; assist the student in identifying and utilizing strategies to improve transition services and increase the student’s capability to better advocate for transition service through the student led IEP process. Students may access Engage Alabama via the internet at engageal.com, or by going to the Apple Store or Google Play store where students can download the app at no charge. Once all questions in the app are answered a transition plan will be generated that the student may print and share with his/her family and IEP case manager prior to the IEP meeting. This plan will serve as a self-advocacy tool to assist the student in successfully leading his/her IEP meeting, in discussing transition goals and what is needed for the students to reach those goals. Students may access this app as often as need during the school year to make any necessary changes, but it is recommended that students access the app on an annual basis prior to his/her IEP meeting. It is important to note that while the Engage Alabama application was designed for use by students who are receiving services under an IEP, any student with a disability (including those that would meet the requirements for 504 services) may access the app to assist with identification of needed pre-employment transition services and to develop transition goals. (Page 230) Title II

The agency maintains an excellent service delivery system to consumers who are blind or have low vision. This service delivery system includes a network of Rehabilitation Counselors specializing in blindness, Vision Rehabilitation Therapists, Orientation and Mobility Specialists, Assistive Technology Specialists, Pre-Employment Transition Specialists, and Vision Rehabilitation Assistants who provide a wide range of services to individuals who are blind or have low vision. Additionally, there is a State Coordinator of Blind Services who oversees these services. (Page 223) Title II

ADRS, in Partnership with the Alabama Institute for Deaf and Blind, offers a Summer Work Experience Program. During the summer, students who are in high school or college have the opportunity to participate in this program. Vocational Rehabilitation Counselors, Business Relations Consultants, Job Coaches, and Pre-Employment Transition Specialists partner with local businesses to provide students with a paid work experience. Students who participate in the Summer Work Program can work up to six weeks, a maximum of 40 hours a week, and earn a minimum wage salary which is paid out of counselors’ case services budgets. The goal of this program is to offer students who are blind or have low vision a real-world work experience.

ADRS, in partnership with the Alabama Institute for Deaf and Blind and Central Alabama Community College, offers a Dual Enrollment Program. The Dual Enrollment Program is a comprehensive approach which provides a support system for students who are blind or have low vision or deaf or hard of hearing who are interested in earning a college degree. This Dual Enrollment Program involves the campuses of the Alabama School for the Deaf, the Alabama School for the Blind, and the EH Gentry Rehabilitation Facility. Students can attend classes on various Central Alabama Community College campuses. The goal of this program is to provide students with the appropriate assistance to ensure college success. (Page 224) Title II

Funded Pre-Employment Transition Specialist — ADRS is committed to providing jointly funded pre-ets specialists in local education agencies to assist with the provision of pre—employment transition services. The jointly—funded specialists provide pre—employment transition services which are not typically or customarily provided by the LEA. These pre—employment transition services are designed to increase the likelihood of independence and inclusion of students with disabilities, including those with significant disabilities, in communities, as well as, maximize opportunities for these students for competitive integrated employment. Currently, ADRS has 31 jointly funded pre-ets specialists in place through third—party cooperative agreements. (Page 229) Title II

ADRS will collaborate with local school systems to ensure students who are appropriate for supported employment services have access to providers prior to their exit from high school. Supported employment providers will be active in the local high schools to present information regarding their programs and services to parents, students, and staff. Students will also have the opportunity to participate in work- based learning and/or community—based assessments before they exit school in order to facilitate a seamless transition from school to employment. (Page 227) Title II

ADRS has committed additional staff to address the needs of people with the most significant disabilities in order to improve access to services. Additional staff members have been added to expand and improve supported employment services for this population. Pre-employment transition specialists have been added to serve students and youth for the general program and for the blind and deaf program.

The Alabama Department of Rehabilitation Services strives to ensure that there is equitable access to the State VR Services Program and the State Supported Employment Services Program for all potentially eligible and eligible consumers. For participating in VR services all forms of auxiliary aids, as defined by the ADA, are provided to consumers based on individual needs including assistive technology. Our counselors for the deaf are required to possess an intermediate rating on the Sign Language Proficiency Interview (SLPI) ensuring that deaf consumers are commuted to in their native language. In addition, we have 11 full-time nationally certified sign language interpreters located in our offices statewide, as well as access to additional sign language interpreters through our partners and vendor network. Counselors and staff have access to language interpreters through a language line service, as well as language interpreters through our vendor system. In addition, correspondence and other print materials are provided in the consumers format of choice to include large print, braille, electronic, etc. (Page 236) Title II

State Grantee will work collaboratively to address issues ensuring host agency assignments are truly providing skills training to meet the needs of both participants and employers. Sub-grantees will continue to utilize the Individual Employment Plan (IEP), in partnership with the participant and host agency supervisor, ensuring community service employment assignments are providing skills training that meet the needs of the participant and host agency. Sub-grantees will monitor participants at least once every six months at their community service employment assignments. During those visits, sub-grantee staff will review and update the IEP with both the participant and host agency supervisor.

Sub-grantees will continue to monitor the training to ensure participants will be prepared for unsubsidized employment through the acquisition of transferable skills in demand by local employers. In addition, where applicable, sub-grantees, in partnership with participants, will develop IEPs that combine community service employment with other permissible training (e.g., classroom training or on- the- job experience (OJE) in the private for-profit sector) as funding permits. (Page 302) Title II

 

Career Pathways

~~Alabamians with disabilities must make informed choices regarding their vocational goal selection and subsequent career pathways in order to minimize barriers to employment and maximize success on the job. There are times when an individual with a disability may pursue a job goal for which, according to Alabama’s labor market demand, little opportunity of job growth exists. To address this issue, ADRS will provide professional staff with a labor market “dashboard” that will make it clear and easy to recognize which occupations within the state show the most promising future. Training will be provided to staff to enhance their ability to use current labor market information to facilitate the employment of individuals with disabilities into higher demand jobs. (Page 48) Title I

Apprenticeship

Consistent with the findings of the 2017 comprehensive statewide assessment, the established goals and priorities of this plan, and collaborative efforts between the SRC and SILC, innovation and expansion funds will be targeted to the following: 1. Ongoing support of the efforts of the State Rehabilitation Council and the State Independent Living Council. 2. Expansion and innovation of Work Based Learning opportunities for Students with Disabilities 3. Expansion and innovation of Individualized Placement Supports for persons with significant mental illness. 4. Expansion and innovation of participation in formalized apprenticeship among all VR consumers. (Page 235- 236) Title IV

Center for Technology, who is in the 11th or 12th grades, is eligible for or potentially eligible for Vocational Rehabilitation Services, and has received a referral from the VR Transition Counselor, Special Education Teacher and/or school administrator. Course curriculum will consist of instruction in the following areas Basic Computer Skills, Financial Literacy, Problem Solving, Manufacturing, Job Acquisition. Course curriculum will also include discussion of local high demand careers, labor market information and activities that may include community- based experiences. (Page 174) Title II

Work Incentives & Benefits

~~•Alabama Department of Economic and Community Affairs (ADECA): ADRS has an ongoing partnership with the ADECA. The agency has worked cooperatively to pursue grants to serve people with disabilities. • The Alabama Disability Advocacy Program (ADAP): ADAP is the Alabama arm of the Protection and Advocacy program for people with disabilities. ADAP makes referrals to Alabama’s toll- free number for information on the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) through ADRS which coordinates the service. • Statewide Independent Living Centers: ADRS is represented on the State Independent Living Council and works closely with Alabama’s three Independent Centers to coordinate services and referrals. • Governor’s Office on Disability (GOOD): GOOD serves as a clearinghouse for resources related to people with disabilities. ADRS maintains an ongoing relationship with the Governor’s Office in order to provide resources as needed. • Office of Federal Contract Compliance Programs (OFCCP): ADRS partners with OFCCP to provide affirmative action training to employers on issues related to hiring and retaining workers with disabilities. ADRS hosted a major conference for employers in conjunction with OFCCP staff to provide information to employers on the 503 Federal Hiring mandates. • Social Security Administration (SSA): The Agency maintains an excellent working relationship with the SSA. The ADRS employs a Social Security Specialist that stays abreast of Social Security issues and has given numerous presentations on the Ticket to Work, Work Incentives Improvement Act, and other SSA initiatives to ADRS staff, consumer groups, and partner organizations. (Page 177) Tile II

DVR coordinates with Human Resource Development (HRD) and Business Relations (BR) to determine the information and training needs for professional and para-professional staff to assist in obtaining and disseminating professional information. HRD meets with and/or surveys staff to identify areas directly and indirectly related to the field of vocational rehabilitation. Based on the information obtained from staff and administration, DVR seeks training programs, webinars, and presenters demonstrating expertise knowledge in disabilities, technical issues, and federal and state policies, procedures and guidelines. In turn, DVR, BR, and HRD utilize the gained knowledge to develop instructor-led training programs and videos and to evaluate/offer appropriate webinars to staff. DVR administration and staff attend national and state conferences, search professional internet sites, and review professional magazines, articles and federal and state guidelines to stay abreast of current trends in the field of vocational rehabilitation. Trainings, both formal and informal, are developed and presented regarding current trends to ensure that staff has up-to-date knowledge to provide services to consumers. Some of the topics of vocational rehabilitation knowledge provided to professional and para-professional staff include orientation for new counselors, orientation for new DVR supervisors, ethics in relation to vocational rehabilitation services and practices, social media/technology and ethics, WIOA guidelines, HIPPA, different aspects of various disabilities, mental health issues, (i.e., suicide, substance abuse, etc.), assistive technology, Social Security Administration and Work Incentives, labor market and work force trends/data, and leadership. (Page 200) Title II

Individuals with Disabilities who receive Social Security: To be eligible for Social Security Disability Insurance (DI) or Supplemental Security Income (SSI), a person must be deemed unable to engage in substantial gainful activity (SGA) due to a significant and long-lasting health condition. Because of this requirement, once receiving benefits, those who may be willing and able to work are often afraid of losing their benefits if they earn too much. Others are confused by the complex program rules governing benefit receipt for beneficiaries who work. Still others are unaware of the various incentives that SSA provides to encourage beneficiaries to return to work. VR Customers on the roles of SSI/SSDI need guidance tailored to their unique circumstances. This guidance should come with persons who possess a deep knowledge of the relationship between SSA work incentives and the VR process. (Page 208) Title II

Benefits counseling services are provided to all eligible individuals. Services are provided based on the Social Security Administrations (SSA) prioritization protocol. Highest priority is given to those individuals currently working or have job offers pending. Individuals actively seeking employment with specific vocational goals are served followed by those in the early information gathering contemplative phase of employment goal development. Additionally, ADRS places individuals served through either SEARCH or DISCOVERY in the top priority. Individual of the highest priority are provided full intensive work incentive planning services, while others receive Information and Referral Services. At present, ADRS and SSA are in year 3 of the joint funded WIPA benefits counseling program and has provided information and referral services to 3,627 individuals —786 have been referred for intensive long- term work incentive benefits counseling services. (Page 228) Title IV

ADRS began received grant funds from the Social Security Administration in 2000. The initial program the Benefits Planning and Outreach (BPAO) program provided basic Information and referral services to SSDI and/or SSI beneficiaries and recipients. The BPAO program eventually expanded to include intensive and long- term work incentive planning services in 2007—the Work Incentive Planning and Assistant (WIPA) program supported 2.5 staff serving 29 central and southern counties. A break in SSA funding for WIPA nationally in 2012. ADRS utilized SSA reimbursement funds to continue services to individuals in Alabama. When SSA funding returned nationally in 2015, ADRS and SSA entered into an agreement that utilizes joint funding to expand and continue WIPA benefits counseling services. This braided funding supports 6 SSA trained and certified benefits specialist providing services to all 67 counties. Benefits counselors provide both Information and Referral as well as intensive Work Incentive Counseling Services to all individuals receiving SSDI and or SSI. Counselors assist individuals with disabilities, their families and other team members in the development and maintenance of a variety of work. (Page 228) Title II

Benefits counseling services are provided to all eligible individuals. Services are provided based on the Social Security Administrations (SSA) prioritization protocol. Highest priority is given to those individuals currently working or have job offers pending. Individuals actively seeking employment with specific vocational goals are served followed by those in the early information gathering contemplative phase of employment goal development. Additionally, ADRS places individuals served through either SEARCH or DISCOVERY in the top priority. Individual of the highest priority are provided full intensive work incentive planning services, while others receive Information and Referral Services. At present, ADRS and SSA are in year 3 of the joint funded WIPA benefits counseling program and has provided information and referral services to 3,627 individuals —786 have been referred for intensive long- term work incentive benefits counseling services.

Additionally, as a result of the expansion of the WIPA benefits counseling program, a cooperative program was developed with the Alabama Department of Mental Health in 2017 to support 5 additional benefits specialists specifically charged with serving individuals on the Intellectual Disabilities (ID) or the Living at Home (LAH) waivers. The staff supported by the ADRS DMH cooperative agreement are not bound to the SSA prioritization protocols and therefore, individuals in pre-vocational or contemplative phases of employment goal setting are all eligible for intensive work incentive planning as well as Information & Referral services. (228) Title II

.

Employer / Business Engagement

~~Alabama Business Leadership Employment (ABLE) Network: The 501c3 conglomerate of Alabama businesses that advocate for the employment of individuals with disabilities uses the ADRS business relations program as their lead resource for disability in the workplace issues, while co—sponsoring numerous training events for employers. They also serve as an advisor to ADRS on disability issues and resources for employers. • Federal Office of Personnel Management (OPM): Representatives from a variety of Federal agencies throughout Alabama that function under the OPM work directly with the ADRS business relations consultants to implement Federal hiring mandates, Schedule A recruitment, accommodations, and employee retention impacting workers with disabilities in the Federal sector. • Department of Veterans Affairs: Vocational Rehabilitation and Employment (VR&E) program. ADRS collaborates with the VR&E program at the national and state level to serve and place into employment veterans completing the VR&E program, providing customized services through ADRS specialty counselors, rehabilitation technology specialists for accommodations, and for return to work assistance. ADRS does not have a written agreement with the VA. (Page 177-178) Title II

ADRS is committed to a “dual customer” approach in working with employers to identify competitive integrated employment opportunities and career exploration opportunities for the consumers we serve. While doing so, ADRS also focuses on developing effective working relationships with business to address their disability related issues in the workplace from outreach and recruitment, to accommodations, to education, to resources linkages and more via the development and delivery of appropriate products and services to meet the needs of business as specified in the WIOA proposed regulations and beyond. To accomplish the above, ADRS has a business relations unit, “READI-Net” (Resources for Employment and Disability Information Network), led by a State Office Administrator of Business Relations and staffed by specially trained Business Relations Consultants (BRCs), in a classification separate from Vocational Rehabilitation Counselor. The Administrator serves as the ADRS representative with full oversight of collaborative relationships with businesses developed by any VR staff or other VR agencies in The NET (VR’s National Employment Team) that wish to establish or grow their partnership with Vocational Rehabilitation in Alabama. At the state level, the Administrator is the lead liaison to workforce partners, community organizations and other agencies that establish partnerships with business and is the “reviewing supervisor” of the business relations consultants. At the local level, the BRCs are charged with establishing and maintaining effective relationships with business to create employment opportunities for individuals with disabilities or to assist business with retention of workers whose job is affected by illness, injury or disability. BRCs develop and deliver other disability-related services needed by business and are accountable for the quality and effectiveness of those services. They simultaneously assist consumers (youth and adults) with job readiness preparation (through group or one-on-one sessions), job development, job search, job retention and follow-up. In addition, ADRS works with a network of community-based organizations on customized placement services for consumers, necessitating coordination with employers. (Page 188-189) Title II

Through the above - mentioned programs, employer services and partnerships, ADRS will also coordinate with employers in order to facilitate the provision of transition services for students and youth with disabilities. ADRS will also coordinate with employers to provide pre-employment transition services to students with disabilities. ADRS will accomplish this by working with employers to arrange work-based learnings experiences for students with disabilities. These work-based learning experiences will include setting up worksite tours, job shadowing and mentoring opportunities, paid and unpaid internships, apprenticeships and other learning experiences within business and industry sectors. ADRS will also involve employers in informational interviews and other mentoring activities in order to provide instruction in self-advocacy for students receiving pre-employment transition services. Lastly, employers will be used to provide information about in-demand industry sectors and occupations as well as labor market information, which can be used in providing job exploration counseling to students with disabilities receiving pre-employment transition services. (Page 190) Title II

Expand and leverage new employer and state agency partnerships to achieve Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act common performance measure outcomes. ADRS should build upon the existing business engagement activities, as well as state partnerships facilitated by the Alabama Workforce Development Board, to promote labor exchange between ADRS participants and employers seeking talent; with an emphasis on in-demand occupations.
• Enhance career guidance competencies of VR counselors by fostering knowledge of local labor-market information and in-demand careers. Having access to accurate and up-to-date labor market data, as well as information and guidance about career and training opportunities, can help individuals make better decisions about training and lead to better outcomes. (Page 234) Title II

These services are centered around Career Exploration, Work Base Learning, Counseling on Post-Secondary Education opportunities, Workplace Readiness, and Self-Advocacy. The agency will increase opportunities for College Preparation training and the agency will work with public schools statewide in order to plan vocational services and increase VR counselors’ presence in the schools. In order to ensure that individuals with disabilities have access to services offered through career centers, we will collaborate with workforce partners by having regular workforce meetings and by assuring the agency is represented on all local workforce boards. The agency will continue to assist consumers with gaining the skills necessary to compete for in demand jobs through collaboration with technical schools, universities, and partnerships with agencies such as the Alabama Industrial Development Training (AIDT).
 
3. EFFECTIVELY SERVING EMPLOYERS The agency will effectively serve employers through business services provided through its long-standing Business Relations Program called READI-Net. In order to improve the performance of the state in respect to this performance accountability measure, the READI-Net program will continue to provide disability resources, information and services to businesses in order to meet their disability and employment-related needs. The READI-Net program will also continue to develop new and innovative services for businesses. These new and innovative services will be driven by specific input from long-term ADRS business customers who serve as advisors to ADRS through the VR State Rehabilitation Council’s Business Relations Committee, through the ABLN - Alabama Business Leadership Network, which is the state chapter of the U.S. Business Leadership Network, and through Business Roundtable Events. The input gained from these business customers will be used to develop strategic plans with businesses which will facilitate the customization of business services in order to assist businesses with their outreach, recruitment, hiring and retention needs, as well as, staff training needs, affirmative action planning, metric and record keeping, and customized, company specific, disability-related services. The agency will work in collaboration with the Core Workforce Partners to record and report on the required measurements of Retention and Repeat business. (Page 232) Title II

Services provides a Supported Employment Administrator and two Supported Employment Specialists to monitor supported employment services and provide training and technical assistance. Each supported employment provider operates under a milestone/outcome—based program to ensure quality outcomes and appropriate employment options based on individual choice. Consumers are offered the opportunity to participate in community—based assessments to facilitate an informed decision regarding their employment goal. Job development is provided on an individual basis to locate employment based on the consumer’s interests, skills, limitations and community living needs. Job coaching is also provided at the work site to ensure that the individual has the necessary training, skills and supports to work. Once the consumer is stable in the workplace, extended services are planned and implemented to protect the long—term success of the job. Consumer and employer satisfaction regarding the services provided are measured at the time of employment and again before case closure. Extended services are a continuation of ongoing support services provided to individuals with the most significant disabilities. These extended supports are provided at the completion of stabilization, during the successful rehabilitation Milestone and beyond ADRS case closure. The option for Discovery and Customized Employment, or for Person Centered Profiles along with assessments are available to consumers to maximize success for individuals in supported employment. Supported Self-employment is also available for individuals wanting to start their own business. (Page 244) Title II

Data Collection

No disability specific information found regarding this element.

Subminimum Wage (Section 511)

~~• Regulations on Section 511 and Limitations on Use of Sub-Minimum Wage
The process of re-allocating our resources with the CRP program has already begun with Pre-Employment Transition Services and so far is considered a success. Of the total CRP set-aside dollars authorized to date in FY 17, 33% is for Pre-ETS service. Of all the consumers who had an authorization in the set aside, 44% of these were students with disabilities. The provision of Pre ETS through CRPs is an essential component of the department’s plan to meet the needs of students with disabilities. In order to continue at this pace and to provide the services our consumers need to become better equipped to work, the method of payment for services provided by the CRP needs to transition from a performance or outcome based system as in STEPS I, II, and III to a service based system as we have done with Pre-ETS. It is proposed that these services be phased in as the CRP becomes prepared to provide them and meet the demands of the counselors. However, most of the CRP’s are already equipped to or are providing these services.

Very strict guidelines have been included in WIOA related to the definition of competitive integrated employment. While VR and its CRP partners have had a focus on competitive employment for many years, this new interpretation states that persons who do not have a goal of competitive integrated employment are not eligible for VR and we cannot provide services which will lead to employment in a non-integrated environment. The Rehabilitation Services Administration (RSA) has gone further to define a non-integrated setting as employment with organizations that exist to employ persons with disabilities, including Ability One and other programs under the Javits—Wagner—O’Day Act. While VRS has no choice but to adhere to the current federal interpretation of this new definition, there remains an understanding of the value of a work experience on future vocational success. While not suitable any longer as a long- term rehabilitation goal, utilization of such opportunities for transitional employment, skill attainment, and work adjustment remain a viable option for person with disabilities. (Page 210) Title II
 
The restrictions placed on access to sub-minimum wage and the expansion of supported employment opportunities are significant but not particularly new in the VR program. Sheltered employment at below minimum wage has not been a suitable outcome for VRS for almost 20 years. WIOA simply made it much more difficult for a person to by-pass VR and select sub-minimum wage employment. Most of the traditional community rehabilitation partners in the state have relinquished their Department of Labor (DOL) sub-minimum wage certificates in favor of paying at least the minimum wage in what was traditionally called “sheltered employment”. With supported employment, the law places an emphasis on providing services to youth with disabilities and for providing extended supports for a longer period of time before the ongoing support is transitioned from VR to another provider. (Page 210) Title II

ADRS works very closely at ADMH and we have been able to access their waiver for youth seeking employment requiring extended supports, through this collaborative effort. ADMH set aside reserve waiver slots for youth in project SEARCH who needed extended supports beyond what was typically provided. We seek their assistance and work closely with their department, when we have individuals (including youth) seeking employment that will need extended supports. Because of this relationship, we have not yet needed to fund extended supports. Additionally, because our secondary systems are no longer referring to 14Cs, we are getting more referrals for students at a younger age that we feel like will need extended services. We do anticipate that we will use extended service funded by VR dollars. (Page 239-240) Title II

Continued collaboration with the Alabama Department of Mental Health on moving consumers from facility- based services to community based, competitive integrated employment. This includes making sure counselors have a better understanding of Medicaid waivers, SS implications, including work incentives and providers who don’t contract with VR know about our application and eligibility process, supported employment services, the availability of benefit planners and section 511 of WIOA. SE Specialists have been working with providers known to VR to provide career counseling, information and referral, and benefits counseling to those in subminimum wage employment. This includes information on the supported employment providers in their area. We have also worked with school systems in our state to provide documentation and instruction on limitations and requirements for youth entering subminimum wage employment. VR, in collaboration with the State Department of Education, developed procedures and documentation for both the LEAs and VR. This in addition to efforts to reach students at a younger age should greatly encourage competitive, integrated employment as a first option for students and youth with more significant disabilities. Documentation collected from individuals currently in sub-minimum wage employment suggests the median age is over 50. (Page 242-243) Title II

Equal Opportunity and Nondiscrimination (Section 188)

In 2005, a team of persons with disabilities and others reviewed each Alabama Career Center for physical and programmatic accessibility using a survey checklist developed under Section 188 of WIA. A re-survey of Career Centers (including satellite centers) is being done in FY 2016 to check physical and programmatic accessibility of facilities, services, technology and materials using a DOL survey checklist developed under Section 188 of WIOA and a policy checklist. (Page 110) Title I

This requirement provides some assurance that CRP’s address issues like ADA accessibility, accountability, safety, staff qualifications, accommodations, and affirmative action in hiring persons with disabilities and address any special communication needs of consumers. Currently, the CRP Administrator meets with CRP staff to discuss services and formulate an agreement that establishes agreed upon fees, referrals, and employment goals for each CRP. This information is shared with local counselors so that appropriate referrals and service authorizations can be made to the CRPs. The department continues to work cooperatively with CRPs statewide to improve services at the local level. There is a continuous need for services. The development and establishment of new programs will change with the assessment of consumer needs. Based on an assessment of the capacity and effectiveness of vocational rehabilitation services currently provided by CRPs statewide, a number of trends appear to be taking place: • Increased emphasis on serving individuals that are considered underserved, individuals with the most significant disabilities, and individuals residing in rural areas of the state. (Page 184- 185) Title I 

Individuals with Major Physical Impairments: The top vocational rehabilitation needs identified among individuals with major physical impairments were: Accessibility, Transportation, Assistive Technology, Housing, and Medical Care & Supplies. Many persons with physical limitations made their voices heard in the 2017 SRC Unmet Needs Survey and also at SRC Public Forums held around the state. Transportation and accessibility remain formidable barriers for wheelchair users, often presenting a more daunting challenge than work itself. Many told us of ongoing health care needs that are expensive and impossible to manage without proper medical benefits. Others emphasized the challenges they face finding accessible, affordable housing. (Page 207-208) Title II

The agency maintains a very productive relationship with the Workforce Development System of Alabama. First, the Commissioner of the agency sits on the Statewide Workforce Development Board. Consequently, the agency has a voice at the table to advocate for the needs and issues of individuals with disabilities. The agency has counselors stationed on a permanent basis in One—Stop Career Centers in several of the larger cities in the state. These staff members receive referrals and also provide advice and information to other staff in the One—Stop Career Centers on how to serve individuals with disabilities. The agency will have numerous staff participate in the state Workforce Conference, when conducted, involving all partners and other service providers related to the Statewide Workforce Investment System. The agency sits on the planning council of this conference so that various breakout sessions related to the needs of individuals with disabilities are included on the agenda. The agency is currently working in collaboration with the Career Centers and Workforce Development Partners on assessing all of the Career Centers in the state for accessibility. Recommendations will be made by the agency and the Workforce Development Core Partners will work together to ensure that the Career Centers continue to be accessible for all individuals with disabilities. (Page 233) Title II

Veterans

Department of Labor — Veterans Employment Training Service (VETS): ADRS collaborates at the state and local level with the Disabled Veterans Outreach Program (DVOP) and Local Veterans Employment Representatives (LVER) staff to assist wounded warriors in return to work or obtaining employment with Federal contractors and other businesses. This includes vets’ access to the ADRS RAVE (Retaining A Valued Employee) program. • Alabama Industry Liaison Group (ALILG): Represents Federal contractors’ compliance issues to include those tied to disability (Section 503 of the Rehab Act). ADRS is the lead provider of information, training and resources related to outreach, employment and retention of individuals with disabilities to ALILG businesses and ALILG routinely trains ADRS business relations consultants and participates in local, regional and state conferences sponsored by ADRS. Cooperative Agreements. (Page 177) Title II

Alabama will move ahead with plans under the Accelerate Alabama initiative that will include the services provided by Alabama Career Centers affiliated with the Americans Job Center network to include veterans and eligible persons with resources and emphasis for technical training and higher education. 2. Increase business services outreach to Federal defense contractors and subcontractors, such as URS Group Inc. of Mobile for work on the Air Force’s KC—46C; Northrop Grumman of Huntsville for research and development services in support of integrated missile defense; Boeing Co. for work on Army helicopters; L—3 Coleman Aerospace of Huntsville from the Missile Defense Agency. 3. Expand the AIDT training and job opportunities listing on the Alabama Job Link (AJL) https://joblink.alabama.gov/ada/ to increase priority referral of veterans and eligible persons to jobs and job training. 4. Increase employer outreach in the automotive manufacturing sector which employs many Recently Separated Veterans and pays the highest average wages of any manufacturing industry in Alabama — nearly $75,000. 5. Encourage more veterans to enroll in the State’s workforce Job—driven training, in trade, manufacturing, and shipbuilding apprenticeship programs offered through the Alabama Industrial Development Training to increase the entered employment rate of Recently Separated Veterans and long term unemployed, older veterans. 6. Expand innovative partnerships such as the initiative of the Alabama Career Center in Mobile, American Job Center affiliate that is training veterans in the welding training and certification program under a joint—venture by AIDT with the ship building industry. Historically, veterans who complete training are placed in well—paying and stable jobs. (Page 284) Title II

DVOPs will facilitate intensive services under a strategy of case management to veterans with special employment and training needs due to a SBE, as defined by current VPL guidance. These services may include any combination of services listed below, but at a minimum, an assessment of employability and a written employment plan are required in a program of case management. All services are to be documented including, assessment, career guidance, and coordination with supportive services, referrals to job training, and referral of “Job Ready” clients to career center job placement specialists. • DVOPs prioritize services to veterans with SBEs who are economically and educationally disadvantaged, veterans enrolled as clients in a program of vocational rehabilitation administered by the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs, veterans who are homeless, and other veterans identified as needing individual assistance and case management as determined by the Assistant Secretary for Veterans Employment and Training Services. • DVOPs develop and promote apprenticeship and OJT positions for veterans with SBEs. • DVOPs provide technical assistance to community—based organizations for employment and training services to veterans with SBEs. • DVOPs provide vocational and career guidance to veterans with SBEs. • DVOPs provide ES case management to veterans with significant obstacles and challenges to employment. (Page 286) Title II

Development Training (AIDT) program, and other training providers to locate and refer veterans to job—driven training and apprenticeship programs AIDT program. Veterans having a SBEs will be referred to DVOPs for intensive services. DVOPs will also be assigned to orientation sessions hosted by the U.S. Department of Veteran Affairs, Vocational Rehabilitation and Employment (VR&E) to assist potential VR&E clients to make good choices in their Chapter 31 occupational and career training.

LVER Staff LVER duties will be assigned in accordance with 38 U.S.C. § 4104, as amended by the VOW to Hire Heroes Act, Public Law 112—56, the Special Grant provisions of the JVSG, and VPL 03—14 and 04—14, to exclusively benefit veterans and eligible persons by promoting the advantages of hiring veterans to employers, employer associations, and business groups, as well as those duties that facilitate employment, training, and placement services furnished to veterans through the career center within the American Job Center (AJC) network of providers. (Page 287) Title II

The Alabama Career Centers in the statewide American Job Center network as a key member in the Alabama Veterans Executive Network (AlaVetNet) will assist in the implementation of the Long Range Plan with the Alabama Business Council, Small Business Administration and the Alabama Community College System to consolidate and streamline job—driven training for veterans and separating military service members based on the needs of business and industry and the recommendations from employers, veteran employee mentoring programs, and feedback from a series of Regional Employer Summits being planned for 2015.

The statewide American Job Center network as a partner with public and private agencies in the AlaVetNet will encourage bridge training with community colleges and will work with the Alabama National Guard to offer all veterans to participate Alabama National Guard’s Civilian Job Training program. (Page 294) Title II

This award is for Local Veterans Employment Representatives (LVER), Disabled Veterans Outreach Program (DVOP) representatives and the State’s workforce development employees who provide services to veterans under the Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act (WIOA) and the Wagner—Peyser Act. As defined in the Alabama Labor Administrative Code, § 480—2—1—.03, the Commissioner of the Alabama Department of Labor is responsible for the awarding of cash awards only to eligible recipients, and for the administration of the awards program, pursuant to law and the Special Provisions of the JVSG. (Page 294) Title II

Moreover, local career center managers will develop outreach activities to locate Covered Persons under Veterans’ Priority. Managers or designated representatives will review special reports generated by AJL for the purpose of identifying veterans and Covered Persons who may be contacted and made aware of their priority in services and training. Career Center managers will develop local service strategies and training goals for veterans and Covered Persons entitled to Veterans’ Priority, in consultation with their partner agencies and training providers, to encourage maximum utilization of services and training by veterans and Covered Persons. All Alabama Workforce Development regions have implemented Veterans’ Priority in the State WIA and Wagner—Peyser Plan of Service. Disabled Veterans Outreach Program (DVOP) representatives and Local Veterans Employment Representatives (LVERs) shall complement Priority of Service provided by the AJC to veterans and Covered Persons, as mandated under Title 38 U.S.C., Chapter 41, and in accordance with the general and special provisions of the Jobs For Veterans State Grant (JVSG), and applicable regulations, policies, and directive guidance for JVSG from the Assistant Secretary, Veterans Employment and Training (ASVET), including Veterans Program Letters addressing DVOP—LVER Roles and Responsibilities. (Page 298) Title II 

AJCs will promote job—driven apprenticeship training to veterans under the GoBuildAlabama initiative offered through unions and the Alabama Construction Recruitment Institute. Established by the Alabama Legislature to increase outreach to unemployed and under—employed, and expand the involvement of community leaders, employers, labor unions, training programs, and veterans’ organizations, the GoBuildAlabama program is an excellent opportunity for veterans to enter OJT and apprenticeship in the trades, in addition to employment and training programs funded under WIOA. • LVERs will maintain current information on employment and training opportunities. • LVERs will plan and participate in job fairs and employer summits to promote veterans. • LVERS will encourage streamlining of credentialing and licensing for veterans with military training comparable to the requirements of credentialing agencies and entities.

Outreach to Employers on Behalf of Veterans • LVERs as team members of Business Service Units will develop employer relations contact plans for career centers in the AJC network, to include identifying federal contractors and recruit jobs for all veterans from local employers. • LVERS will establish, maintain, or facilitate regular contact with employers to develop employment and training openings for all veterans. • LVERS will monitor job listings by federal contractors and encourage the referral of qualified veterans who may not have been referred to those job by the Alabama Job Link automated notification/referral system. (Page 288) Title IV

Veterans with SBEs will be provided a comprehensive Assessment of Employability, addressing barriers to employment and a written Individual Employment Plan (IEP) outlining the individual’s employability planning. Locating Priority Group Veterans Veterans in priority groups will be located in the data system by developing special reports and search capabilities of the AJL system. Career Center/AJC staff members will outreach to veterans who may benefit from DVOP services. DVOPs will outreach to homeless shelters, community agencies that provide services to homeless individuals, and will participate in special events for disabled and homeless veterans, such as Homeless Veterans Stand Downs. Employment Service Case Management by DVOP Specialists

Standard DVOP case management practices will include: 1. Assisting veteran—clients in development of job objectives and a resume. 2. Identifying significant barriers or challenges to employment. 3. Referring or assisting veteran—clients to appropriate supportive services. 4. Determining veteran—clients’ economic need. 5. Identifying training or educational goals. 6. Documenting contacts with employers on behalf of individual clients. 7. Maintaining current contact information. 8. Documenting job referrals and job development for employment, internship, or on—the—job—training (OJT) opportunities for individual clients. (Page 296) Title II

Behavioral / Mental Health

~~One industry sector that is not addressed in the Accelerate Alabama plan is Health Care. The fact that the baby boomers are hitting retirement age, and also that people are living longer, is beginning to have a large impact on the health care system. Additionally, there are many more specialized jobs in health care, than in the past, due to the fact that health care costs have risen and so has demand for health care. While hospitals have experienced small, but steady, growth every year since 2000, most of the growth in health care employment comes from industries that provide more focused care. Industries such as outpatient care centers, home health care services, and specialized health practitioners have doubled in employment since 2000. In addition, employment in residential disability, mental health, and substance facilities have grown 226.0 percent since the turn of the century. (Page 16) Title I.

The Agency has considered this recommendation and rejects it at this time as peer employment specialists are employed by the Alabama Department of Mental Health and their provider agencies and trained and certified through the Department. Additionally, ADRS has partnered with the Alabama Department of Mental Health to provide Individualized Placement and Support (IPS) supported employment, which is an initiative to reach out to individuals with mental illness and co-occurring substance abuse, and provide an integration of services, including peer support services, in order achieve competitive integrated employment outcomes.

Recommendation: The VR general consumer satisfaction survey should include SAIL clients.
Agency Response: The Agency accepts this recommendation and will implement it as soon as possible. (Page 171) Title I

Alabama Department of Mental Health is responsible for providing services to individuals with developmental disabilities, and ADRS works collaboratively in our state to increase competitive integrated employment, particularity for individuals with more significant disabilities. Initiatives such as Project SEACH, that currently serves over 100 individuals with significant disabilities at ten different locations throughout the state, the GATE project which is a collaborative effort to move individuals served through the waivers in day programs into community based, integrated employment opportunities through development of training sites embedded in employment opportunities in the communities, and conjoint trainings for job coaches working through both entities, community based rehabilitation partners, school personnel, jointly funded school personnel, skills training instructors, IPS staff and other community providers. We have a current cooperative agreement in place that outlines the roles and responsibilities of partners, over view and function as well as the state level shared objectives. This agreement is for both the DD and MI/SA divisions of the department. In 2017, ADRS entered into a cooperative agreement with the Alabama Department of Mental Health to provide benefits counseling services to individuals receiving Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) or Supplemental Security Income (SSI), are currently being served or on a waiting listfor either the Living at Home (LAH) or the Intellectual Disabilities (ID) waivers. Information and Referral as well as intensive benefits counseling services are provided by trained certified benefits specialists to any individuals whether the individual is currently employed, has a job offer or is in the contemplative stages of employment planning. Staff supported through the ADRS DMH cooperative agreement work in collaboration with other ADRS WIPA benefits counseling staff. The cooperative agreement targets 100 individuals annually. (Page 191) Title II

Continued collaboration with the Alabama Department of Mental Health on moving consumers from facility - based services to community based, competitive integrated employment. This includes making sure counselors have a better understanding of Medicaid waivers, SS implications, including work incentives and providers who don’t contract with VR know about our application and eligibility process, supported employment services, the availability of benefit planners and section 511 of WIOA. SE Specialists have been working with providers known to VR to provide career counseling, information and referral, and benefits counseling to those in subminimum wage employment. This includes information on the supported employment providers in their area. We have also worked with school systems in our state to provide documentation and instruction on limitations and requirements for youth entering subminimum wage employment. VR, in collaboration with the State Department of Education, developed procedures and documentation for both the LEAs and VR. This in addition to efforts to reach students at a younger age should greatly encourage competitive, integrated employment as a first option for students and youth with more significant disabilities. Documentation collected from individuals currently in sub-minimum wage employment suggests the median age is over 50. (Page 243) Title II

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

These services have been identified by our business customers and ADRS received input from our business customers in developing these services so that their needs would be met. One area is customized, but varied training related to disability issues, for example, Disability etiquette and Disability bias training; Awareness of specific disabling conditions; and Emergency Preparedness for employees with disabilities. With Federal legislation and specific mandates for compliance around disability matters, ADRS also provides relevant training on the successful methodology and resources for implementation. Retaining valued workers whose job is affected by illness, injury or disability has been a major concern by business and ADRS has customized stay-at-work and return-to-work services to increase the likelihood of that worker with a disability keeping their job. And finally, in looking at generic personnel issues related to the workforce, ADRS provides services to address personnel processes, job descriptions, website accessibility, targeted recruitment, and the use of the ADRS rehabilitation technology specialist team and, of course, the statewide Business Relations Consultants that provide all those services at the local level. (Page 76) Title I

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

Policies and Initiatives

Displaying 1 - 10 of 47

Home and Community Based Waivers – 2020 - 01/07/2020

“Individuals who are elderly and/or disabled may qualify for home and community- based services through one of these waiver programs.  These services are to protect the health, safety, and dignity of those individuals who are at risk of institutional care and will allow them to receive full Medicaid coverage in addition to the services provided by the specific waiver in the community setting.  Individuals who are disabled may first apply for SSI or disability benefits through the Social Security Administration in order to determine if they meet disability requirements.  Aged or disabled individuals must meet the specific eligibility requirements for each waiver listed below to receive the waiver services.”

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

Southeast AlabamaWorks! Local Workforce Development Board (SAW) Request for Proposals (RFP) for the selection of program operators to provide Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act (WIOA) funded Youth Workforce Development Services for program year 2019 - 04/02/2020

~~Alabama Department of Commerce’s (ADC) Workforce Development Division, Governor’s Local Workforce Areas (GLWA) and the Southeast AlabamaWorks! Local Workforce Development Board is issuing this Request for Proposals (RFP) for occupational youth services programs to serve out-of-school youth ages 16 – 24 (with barriers to employment as identified by WIOA) and in-school youth ages 16 – 21. Special consideration will be given to youth programs that provide linkages to Pre-Apprentice or Registered Apprenticeship programs

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

Chart of Alabama HCBS Waiver Services - 02/02/2020

~~This is a chart of the details of the HCBS waivers in Alabama.

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

AL-APSE 2020 Conference July 8-10, 2020 - 01/01/2020

~~Location: Renaissance Montgomery Hotel & SpaThe Alabama APSE conference is scheduled for July 8-10, 2020 in Montgomery at the Renaissance Hotel & Spa. The event will conclude at noon on Friday the 10th. 

Systems
  • Other
Topics
  • School-to-Work Transition

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

~~“AIDS Alabama, Inc. was awarded a statewide 2019 CMS Navigator Cooperative Agreement serving “Left behind”1populations, low-income and vulnerable populations, particularly those individuals with disabilities. There are no Sub-awardee/Subrecipient Contracted Organizations. They will partner with East Alabama Medical Center, AIDS Alabama South, The Right Place, and Unity Wellness Center.  For more information, please contact the designated project lead.

Contact:Matthew PagnottiPhone: (205) 324-9822Email: matthew.pagnotti@aidsalabama.org

Systems
  • Other
Topics
  • Cross-Agency Collaboration / Partnerships

Alabama Department of Mental Health - 06/08/2019

~~“MissionServe • Empower • Support

VisionPromoting the health and well-being of Alabamians with mental illnesses, developmental disabilities and substance use disorders

ValuesCore values are the basis on which the members of Alabama Department of Mental Health staff make decisions, plan strategy, and interact with each other and those we serve.”

More information about the services provided by the Alabama Dept. of Mental Heath is available by accessing its website

Systems
  • Department of Mental Health
Topics
  • Mental Health

HB570: Eliminating Legal Barriers to Apprenticeships (ELBA)17 Act -8-33, 25-8-35, and 25-8-43 am'd. - 05/31/2019

“ENROLLED, An Act,

Relating to apprenticeships; to provide that an individual who completes an apprenticeship may be granted an occupational license in that trade if the individual also meets other requirements, including completion of any required examination with a passing score; to provide that if a licensing authority requires an examination for a license, the authority may not impose higher testing standards upon that individual than it does for any other applicant; and to amend Sections 25-8-33, 25-8-35, and 25-8-43, Code of Alabama 1975, to allow in-school youth apprentices to work in certain occupations under certain conditions.”

Systems
  • Other
Topics
  • School-to-Work Transition
  • Employer Engagement
  • Apprenticeship
  • Resource Leveraging

SB 295: Alabama Industry Recognized and Registered Apprenticeship Program Act - 05/30/2019

“ENROLLED, An Act,

To establish the Alabama Industry Recognized and Registered Apprenticeship Program Act; to establish the Alabama Office of Apprenticeship to certify certain registered  and industry recognized apprenticeship programs; to develop the Alabama Registered and Industry Recognized Apprenticeship  Program; to provide incentives to employers who hire  apprentices; to offer a nationally recognized state  apprenticeship credential; to amend Sections 40-18-422, 40-18-423, and 40-18-424 of the Code of Alabama 1975, relating to the Apprenticeship Tax Credit Act of 2016; to increase the per capita apprenticeship tax credit from $1,000 to $1,250, increase the aggregate apprenticeship tax credit from  $3,000,000 to $7,500,000, provide a $500 per capita incentive  tax credit for hiring in school youth apprentices; to extend  the apprenticeship tax credit through 2025; and to clarify  that the State Department of Education shall continue to be  the eligible agency to receive and administer career and technical education funding under the Perkins Act.”

Systems
  • Other
Topics
  • School-to-Work Transition
  • Employer Engagement
  • Apprenticeship
  • Resource Leveraging

Employer Services - 05/24/2019

~~This page highlighting Alabama’s AJCs has a collection of organizations and programs for employment services including for veterans.

Systems
  • Other
Topics
  • Employer Engagement

AlabamaWorks! - 05/16/2019

~~AlabamaWorks stands for opportunity, innovation, accountability and inclusion with the vision of a better future for Alabama in which communities, business, and industry are supported in a collaborative process to build prosperity through the opportunity of meaningful work and a growing economy. Our mission is to recruit, train, and empower a highly skilled workforce driven by business and industry needs and to be the competitive advantage for Alabama’s economic growth. Whether you’re an employer, a job seeker or a student, AlabamaWorks is the springboard for your success and promises to provide profitability and economic growth by creating opportunities for success and an improved quality of life for Alabamians.”

Systems
  • Other
Topics
  • Employer Engagement
Citations
Displaying 1 - 3 of 3

HB570: Eliminating Legal Barriers to Apprenticeships (ELBA)17 Act -8-33, 25-8-35, and 25-8-43 am'd. - 05/31/2019

“ENROLLED, An Act,

Relating to apprenticeships; to provide that an individual who completes an apprenticeship may be granted an occupational license in that trade if the individual also meets other requirements, including completion of any required examination with a passing score; to provide that if a licensing authority requires an examination for a license, the authority may not impose higher testing standards upon that individual than it does for any other applicant; and to amend Sections 25-8-33, 25-8-35, and 25-8-43, Code of Alabama 1975, to allow in-school youth apprentices to work in certain occupations under certain conditions.”

Systems
  • Other
Topics
  • School-to-Work Transition
  • Employer Engagement
  • Apprenticeship
  • Resource Leveraging

SB 295: Alabama Industry Recognized and Registered Apprenticeship Program Act - 05/30/2019

“ENROLLED, An Act,

To establish the Alabama Industry Recognized and Registered Apprenticeship Program Act; to establish the Alabama Office of Apprenticeship to certify certain registered  and industry recognized apprenticeship programs; to develop the Alabama Registered and Industry Recognized Apprenticeship  Program; to provide incentives to employers who hire  apprentices; to offer a nationally recognized state  apprenticeship credential; to amend Sections 40-18-422, 40-18-423, and 40-18-424 of the Code of Alabama 1975, relating to the Apprenticeship Tax Credit Act of 2016; to increase the per capita apprenticeship tax credit from $1,000 to $1,250, increase the aggregate apprenticeship tax credit from  $3,000,000 to $7,500,000, provide a $500 per capita incentive  tax credit for hiring in school youth apprentices; to extend  the apprenticeship tax credit through 2025; and to clarify  that the State Department of Education shall continue to be  the eligible agency to receive and administer career and technical education funding under the Perkins Act.”

Systems
  • Other
Topics
  • School-to-Work Transition
  • Employer Engagement
  • Apprenticeship
  • Resource Leveraging

Alabama SB 226 ABLE Act - 06/04/2015

"The Achieving a Better Life Experience (ABLE) Act of 2014 established Section 529A of the Internal Revenue Code of 1986, as amended, to allow families and individuals to save for disability-related expenses of a disabled individual in a federal tax-advantaged account...This bill would include ABLE in the legislative intent...to provide for the ABLE Program; provide for definitions relating to the ABLE Program; would provide for the  income tax exemption eligible to the ABLE Program; and provide appropriations for Fiscal Year 2015 for development and implementation of the ABLE Program."

"The Legislature of Alabama intends to establish a qualified ABLE Program in this state which will encourage and assist Alabama individuals and families in saving private funds for the purpose of supporting Alabama citizens with disabilities." 

Systems
  • Other
Topics
  • Asset Development / Financial Capability
Citations

No Executive Orders have been entered for this state.

Displaying 1 - 10 of 16

Alabama Department of Mental Health - 06/08/2019

~~“MissionServe • Empower • Support

VisionPromoting the health and well-being of Alabamians with mental illnesses, developmental disabilities and substance use disorders

ValuesCore values are the basis on which the members of Alabama Department of Mental Health staff make decisions, plan strategy, and interact with each other and those we serve.”

More information about the services provided by the Alabama Dept. of Mental Heath is available by accessing its website

Systems
  • Department of Mental Health
Topics
  • Mental Health

Employer Services - 05/24/2019

~~This page highlighting Alabama’s AJCs has a collection of organizations and programs for employment services including for veterans.

Systems
  • Other
Topics
  • Employer Engagement

AlabamaWorks! - 05/16/2019

~~AlabamaWorks stands for opportunity, innovation, accountability and inclusion with the vision of a better future for Alabama in which communities, business, and industry are supported in a collaborative process to build prosperity through the opportunity of meaningful work and a growing economy. Our mission is to recruit, train, and empower a highly skilled workforce driven by business and industry needs and to be the competitive advantage for Alabama’s economic growth. Whether you’re an employer, a job seeker or a student, AlabamaWorks is the springboard for your success and promises to provide profitability and economic growth by creating opportunities for success and an improved quality of life for Alabamians.”

Systems
  • Other
Topics
  • Employer Engagement
Citations

Supported Employment: Working for People with Significant Disabilities - 08/01/2018

~~“Supported employment (SE) is a customer-driven approach that assesses individuals with the most-significant disabilities and assists eligible individuals in obtaining competitive, integrated employment.The program is offered by Vocational Rehabilitation Service (VRS), a division of the Alabama Department of Rehabilitation Services (ADRS), in collaboration with several partners throughout the state.  SE uses Milestones to Employment (MTE) in connecting employers with valuable employees who care about their job. MTE involves up to four milestone steps:Milestone 1 – Situational assessment and/or discoveryMilestone 2 – Job search/job placementMilestone 3 – Job coachingMilestone 4 – Long-term follow-up” 

Systems
  • Department of Rehabilitation Services
Topics
  • Employer Engagement

Engage Alabama: Secondary Transition Best Practices for Positive Student Outcomes - 07/06/2018

~~The objectives of this presentation are: “Provide participants with a brief overview of the letter and spirit of the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA) as it applies to transition. Demonstrate the use of transition tools and resources, assessments, data, and the transition component of the Individualized Education Program (IEP) to develop compliant and effective transition services. Practice using planning, preparation and data analysis to determine appropriate and relevant IEP content for transition. 

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

Governor Ivey Announces Funding for New Behavioral Health Services - 04/06/2018

~~“Governor Kay Ivey announced on Friday that Alabama has set aside $11 million in its recently passed budgets for the Alabama Department of Mental Health to expand behavioral health services for Medicaid-eligible children and youth. When combined with federal matching funds, the money is expected to generate more than $36 million in total spending during the 2019 fiscal year, which begins October 1.

The funding will expand services provided at home or in the community to two groups of young people. One group is children and youth with severe emotional disturbance. The other group is children and youth with autism spectrum disorder.

For both groups, these services will be designed to help recipients manage the behavioral aspects of their condition. For example, for both groups, the state will fund therapy teams to work with an affected young person and his or her family members to develop a behavior plan and provide home-based services that reflect the young person’s unique diagnosis and circumstances.

For this reason, the funding is expected to produce savings in other areas of public spending. In the short term, these services should reduce the number of crises experienced by the affected children and youth, thereby reducing the demands on schools and emergency services. Over the longer term, the services should reduce spending on residential mental health treatment.”

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

Mastering the Maze: The Special Education Process 1: Referral through IEP Implementation (Draft) - 03/01/2018

~~“Employment/Occupation/Career Goal l (Select or write the most appropriate goal for the student):• Student will reach college and career readiness by potentially earning an industry career credential. • Student will be prepared to participate in competitive integrated employment with no need for support based on successful completion of career exploration, community-based work, and/or cooperative education experience. • Student will be prepared to participate in competitive integrated employment with time-limited support based on successful completion of career exploration, community-based work experience and/ or cooperative education experience. • Student  will  be  prepared  to  participate  in  supported  employment  which  will  include  community-based assessment, job development, job coaching, and extended support needed to meet his/her  employment needs based on successful completion of school-based work experiences, community-based career exploration, and application for supported employment services.”

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

IT’s My Job It’s My Life!: Employment First for Alabamians with Disabilities - 11/15/2017

~~“The Alabama Disabilities Advocacy Program (ADAP) is part of the nationwide federally-funded protection and advocacy system. Our mission is to provide quality, legally-based advocacy services to Alabamians with disabilties to protect, promote, and expand their rights. …

In the past year ADAP staff has visited sheltered workshops across the state. We observed activities and talked with people with disabilities. Over and over, those people told us they want to work. They want real jobs and they want to make real wages. It is time to listen to what they are telling us and put “Employment First”.

Systems
  • Other

ADRS Business Relations Program - 09/01/2017

~~“WELCOME TO READI-Net....your Resource for Employment And Disability Information

The Alabama Department of Rehabilitation Services (ADRS) recognizes that business is an important customer and is committed to helping Alabama businesses find solutions to disability-related issues such as:•locating a talent pool of skilled candidates•retaining a valued employee whose job is affected by illness, injury or disability•accessing no-cost resources to save your company time and money and to address your “hot issues”•finding ways to make your business accessible to customers and employees with disabilities •linking your company to multi-state resources.” 

Systems
  • Department of Rehabilitation Services
Topics
  • Employer Engagement

‘Transition Unlimited,’ Unified Statewides Transition Efforts - 02/03/2017

~~“A collaboration between ADRS and Auburn University to improve transition services to students is currently being implemented in every high school in the state. The Alabama pre-employment transition services (Pre-ETS) initiative – dubbed “Transition Unlimited” – is designed to build capacity and connect services to appropriately implement transition services throughout the state. Its goal is to provide guidance to local education agencies (LEAs) in the development of Pre-ETS action plans to better meet the needs of students with disabilities.”

Systems
  • Department of Rehabilitation Services
  • Other
Topics
  • School-to-Work Transition
Displaying 1 - 7 of 7

Southeast AlabamaWorks! Local Workforce Development Board (SAW) Request for Proposals (RFP) for the selection of program operators to provide Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act (WIOA) funded Youth Workforce Development Services for program year 2019 - 04/02/2020

~~Alabama Department of Commerce’s (ADC) Workforce Development Division, Governor’s Local Workforce Areas (GLWA) and the Southeast AlabamaWorks! Local Workforce Development Board is issuing this Request for Proposals (RFP) for occupational youth services programs to serve out-of-school youth ages 16 – 24 (with barriers to employment as identified by WIOA) and in-school youth ages 16 – 21. Special consideration will be given to youth programs that provide linkages to Pre-Apprentice or Registered Apprenticeship programs

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

AL-APSE 2020 Conference July 8-10, 2020 - 01/01/2020

~~Location: Renaissance Montgomery Hotel & SpaThe Alabama APSE conference is scheduled for July 8-10, 2020 in Montgomery at the Renaissance Hotel & Spa. The event will conclude at noon on Friday the 10th. 

Systems
  • Other
Topics
  • School-to-Work Transition

Etowah County Project SEARCH - 05/10/2019

~~“Project SEARCH is a free unique business-led transition program for young adults ages 18-24 who are currently experiencing life with a disability. It provides individuals who want to work a chance to explore careers and develop transferable job skills through an internship at Gadsden Regional Medical Center (GRMC) in Gadsden, AL. Project SEARCH places young adults in real-world situations where they learn all aspects of gaining and maintaining a job. This process of immersion facilitates the teaching and learning of new work skills on a real job-site. “

Systems
  • Other
Topics
  • School-to-Work Transition

“Our Partners": Alabama Council on Developmental Disabilities - 04/20/2017

~~This page is a list of the ACDD’s network and state agency partners

Systems
  • Other
Topics
  • Cross-Agency Collaboration / Partnerships

Housing First, Inc. - 02/27/2017

~~“It is the mission of Housing First, Inc. to secure resources and assets, which lead to community planning to end homelessness through  advocacy and community collaboration. It is our vision that every man, woman, and child will have the opportunity to have suitable, safe, and adequate housing.Today, Housing First, Inc. provides direct service to homeless clients through programs funded by HUD and the Veterans Administration (VA).”   

Systems
  • Other
Topics
  • Cross-Agency Collaboration / Partnerships

Alabama Department of Social Services State Partners: Alabama Department of Mental Health

"ADSS currently partners on several ventures with the ADMH, to include ADRC development and advisory, consumer-directed and person-centered system change, Chronic Disease Self-Management programs, pre-and post-disaster planning and assistance, the Alzheimer’s/Dementia Related Disorders State Plan and Employment First Workforce development. The Council of Developmental Disabilities is housed within the ADMH and operates under Public Law 106-402 and a Governor’s Executive Order. …… ADSS is a member of the DD Council and staff of the DD Council actively participates in cross training, resource development and advice for ADRC development.”

Systems
  • Department of Mental Health
  • Department of Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities
  • Other
Topics
  • Cross-Agency Collaboration / Partnerships
  • Resource Leveraging

Alabama Pathways to Employment

Pathways to Employment is a collection of stepping stones. These opportunities are housed not in one state agency but in many. To make it easier for families and individuals, they are now all in one place.   There is no perfect path. But there are many opportunities available to assist Alabamians with disabilities in finding a path to employment.  
Systems
  • Department of Rehabilitation Services
  • Department of Mental Health
  • Department of Workforce Development
  • Department of Education
  • Medicaid Agencies
Topics
  • School-to-Work Transition
  • Mental Health
  • Home and Community Based Services (HCBS)
Displaying 1 - 7 of 7

Alabama Disability Employment Initiative - 11/01/2017

The Disability Employment Initiative (DEI) is a three-year federal grant-funded program that improves education, training, employment opportunities, and employment outcomes for people with disabilities who are unemployed, underemployed, and/or receiving Social Security disability benefits. In 2013, Alabama was awarded a Round 4 DEI grant from the U.S. Department of Labor’s Employment Training Administration. This grant ended in 2015.

Systems
  • Department of Rehabilitation Services
  • Department of Mental Health
  • Department of Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities
  • Department of Workforce Development
  • Department of Education
  • Medicaid Agencies
  • Other
Topics
  • Self-Employment
  • School-to-Work Transition
  • Mental Health
  • Asset Development / Financial Capability
  • Employer Engagement
  • Cross-Agency Collaboration / Partnerships
  • Data Sharing

Alabama Medicaid Money Follows the Person - 10/24/2012

Alabama received a Medicaid Money Follows the Person grant in October 2012. Alabama received $3.4 million in the first year and up to $28 million over the four-year project to support the successful transition of 625 individuals from an institutional setting to community living. The majority of the funds provide Home and Community-Based Services for Medicaid-eligible individuals who are elderly or have disabilities and who choose to transition from nursing facilities or a state-operated psychiatric hospital Grant funds will cover the upfront costs associated with transitioning each individual as well as the administrative costs of operating the program and will be paid during the first year of each person’s transition.

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

Alabama Employment First

~~Employment First, Real Jobs, Real Wages.One in five people living in the United States have some type of disability. Alabama ranks near the bottom in competitive employment opportunities for people with significant disabilities. Employment First is a declaration of both philosophy and policy, stating that employment is the first priority and preferred outcome of people with disabilities.  

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

Alabama Governor’s Youth Leadership Forum

Started in 1999, the Alabama Governor's Youth Leadership Forum is an innovative, intensive, five-day career leadership training program for high school juniors and seniors with disabilities throughout Alabama. Program activities focus on career planning, leadership development, technology resources and information on disability history to assist young people with disabilities in reaching their maximum potential.

Systems
  • Department of Rehabilitation Services
Topics
  • School-to-Work Transition

Alabama VR Transition Services

Vocational Rehabilitation Service (VRS) places substantial emphasis on assisting youth with disabilities in the transition from school to post school activities.  Transition services are a coordinated set of activities that lead to employment. A vocational rehabilitation counselor works with youth and their families to assess their needs and plan individualized services to meet their chosen vocational goal.  Every public high school in Alabama has a vocational rehabilitation counselor assigned to provide transition services.

Systems
  • Department of Rehabilitation Services
  • Department of Education
Topics
  • School-to-Work Transition
  • Employer Engagement

Alabama Teen Transition Clinic

The Teen Transition Clinic is a team clinic for youth with special health care needs from ages 12-21 who are eligible for Children's Rehabilitation Service and are beginning to plan for transition to adulthood. Young adults who participate in the clinic discuss their goals and explore their options for the future. The clinic team, including the young person and family, collaborates to address issues and problems in planning for the future.   This clinic is a partnership among CRS, Vocational Rehabilitation Service (VRS), the State of Alabama Independent Living (SAIL) Service, and other community providers.  
Systems
  • Department of Rehabilitation Services
Topics
  • School-to-Work Transition
  • Cross-Agency Collaboration / Partnerships

Alabama Project GATE

Alabama has piloted the Gaining Access To Employment project, a collaborative effort between the state’s Department of Mental Health/Developmental Disabilities (MH/DD) and its Department of Vocational Rehabilitation (VR). Through this project, known as Project GATE, the two agencies work together to help local service providers use funds to support integrated employment opportunities. MH/DD and VR have a long history of partnering, including joint efforts on a supported employment workgroup, due to the strong relationships between colleagues at each department.

Systems
  • Department of Rehabilitation Services
  • Department of Mental Health
  • Department of Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities
Topics
  • Customized Employment
  • Employer Engagement
  • Segregated Day & Employment Services
  • Provider Transformation
  • Cross-Agency Collaboration / Partnerships
Displaying 1 - 2 of 2

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

~~“AIDS Alabama, Inc. was awarded a statewide 2019 CMS Navigator Cooperative Agreement serving “Left behind”1populations, low-income and vulnerable populations, particularly those individuals with disabilities. There are no Sub-awardee/Subrecipient Contracted Organizations. They will partner with East Alabama Medical Center, AIDS Alabama South, The Right Place, and Unity Wellness Center.  For more information, please contact the designated project lead.

Contact:Matthew PagnottiPhone: (205) 324-9822Email: matthew.pagnotti@aidsalabama.org

Systems
  • Other
Topics
  • Cross-Agency Collaboration / Partnerships

Alabama’s Transition Engagement Series #1 - 06/16/2017

~~“Alabama’s Transition Engagement Series #1 – Helping Students Achieve Post-School Outcomes: A Handbook for Engaging Secondary Transition Professionals is a handbook designed for Special Education professionals who serve students with disabilities from 14 to 21 years of age.  Its purpose is to provide teachers, paraprofessionals and special education coordinators with (1) the information they need to understand transition and its legal requirements under the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA) and the Alabama Administrative Code (AAC): (2) to provide teachers with the necessary skills to plan, to assess, to write an appropriate and relevant Individualized Education Program (IEP), and conduct an IEP Team meeting for students of transition age; and (3) to provide information on the following topics: Interagency Collaboration, Family and Student Engagement, Program Structures,  Community-Based Work Training,  Transition Leadership Groups, Transition for Significant Disabilities, and Preparing for Graduation.”

Systems
  • Department of Education
Topics
  • School-to-Work Transition
Displaying 1 - 3 of 3

EEOC Sues Two Hawk Employment Agency - 02/22/2016

A temporary employment agency violated federal law when it asked an applicant illegal medical questions during its application process and then refused to hire the applicant because of her responses to those illegal medical inquiries, the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) charged in a lawsuit filed today. In addition, the suit alleges that Two Hawk failed to retain employment applications as required by federal law.

Systems
  • Other

University of Alabama at Birmingham ADA Settlement - 02/10/2016

This Agreement resolves an investigation and compliance review of physical accessibility for individuals with disabilities at UAB under title II of the Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990, 42 U.S.C. §§ 12131 - 12134 (ADA), and the Department of Justice's implementing regulation, 28 C.F.R. Part 35, including the 1991 Standards for Accessible Design, 28 C.F.R. Part 35 (2011) at Appendix D  (1991 Standards), and the ADA 2010 Standards for Accessible Design, 28 C.F.R. § 35.104  (2010 Standards as the requirements set forth in appendices B and D to 36 C.F.R. part 1191 and the requirements contained in subpart D of 28 C.F.R. part 35) (collectively the Standards).

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

“Alabama Disabilities Advocacy Program v. SafetyNet Youthcare, Inc.“ - 12/12/2014

~~“On October 14, 2014 the United States filed a Statement of Interest in Alabama Disabilities Advocacy Program v. SafetyNet Youthcare, Inc., a case in which the defendant denied access to the local protection and advocacy organization. The Statement of Interest expresses the United States' view that facilities must permit access under the Protection and Advocacy for Individuals with Mental Illness Act to all residents regardless of whether the facility characterizes some residents as having a less serious mental health disorder than others.On December 12, 2014, the United States District Court for the Southern District of Alabama granted summary judgment in favor of the local protection and advocacy organization. The court held that defendant's denial of access violated the Protection and Advocacy for Individuals with Mental Illness Act, 42 U.S.C. §§ 10801 – 10851 (2012). The court issued a permanent injunction prohibiting the defendant from denying the protection and advocacy organization reasonable access to defendant's programs.” 

Systems
  • Other
Displaying 1 - 9 of 9

Home and Community Based Waivers – 2020 - 01/07/2020

“Individuals who are elderly and/or disabled may qualify for home and community- based services through one of these waiver programs.  These services are to protect the health, safety, and dignity of those individuals who are at risk of institutional care and will allow them to receive full Medicaid coverage in addition to the services provided by the specific waiver in the community setting.  Individuals who are disabled may first apply for SSI or disability benefits through the Social Security Administration in order to determine if they meet disability requirements.  Aged or disabled individuals must meet the specific eligibility requirements for each waiver listed below to receive the waiver services.”

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

Chart of Alabama HCBS Waiver Services - 02/02/2020

~~This is a chart of the details of the HCBS waivers in Alabama.

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

Public Hearings Set for Medicaid’s Plan First Section 1115 Demonstration Waiver Extension Application - 07/31/2018

~~“Alabama Medicaid conducted public hearings and public notice in accordance with the requirements in 42 C.F.R. 431.408.  The following describes the actions taken by Alabama Medicaid to ensure the public was informed and had the opportunity  to provide input on the proposed waiver.  Alabama Medicaid published long and short versions of public notice of the Agency’s intent to submit a Section 1115 Demonstration Proposal to require unemployed and under-employed able-bodied POCRs to become gainfully employed, or participate in employment related activities such as job search, training, education, vocational or volunteer opportunities to enhance their chances of full employment. “

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

Proposed Section 1115 Demonstration - Work Requirements - 02/27/2018

~~“From 2013 through the current date, the able‐bodied Parent or Caretaker Relative  (POCR) eligibility group has more than doubled from 31,889 to more than 74,000. This has been  during a time of steady economic growth and job creation in the state reflected in the current 3.5  percent unemployment rate, the lowest in Alabama’s history. Thus, in keeping with the overall policy initiatives of the State, Alabama Medicaid’s stewardship of limited resources, and the  original Medicaid program design, Alabama Medicaid is proposing a work requirement for the  able‐bodied POCR eligibility group.  Currently, both the Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF) and the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) programs in Alabama contain certain work requirements for individuals participating in those programs.  Alabama Medicaid plans to utilize the resources that have been successful in these programs to assist Medicaid recipients in gaining the tools necessary to become more self‐sufficient.” 

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

Alabama Medicaid State Plan - 05/17/2017

The Medicaid State Plan outlines the organization and function of the Alabama Medicaid Agency.  Amendments to the State Plan (SPAs) are required when changes to amount, duration or scope of services, or eligibility requirements are proposed.

Systems
  • Medicaid Agencies

Alabama Medicaid State Plan (Proposed) Amendments - 04/28/2017

Amendments to the State Plan (SPAs) are required when changes to amount, duration or scope of services, or eligibility requirements are proposed.  This resource provides the current  proposed amendments. 

Systems
  • Medicaid Agencies

Alabama HCBS Transition Plan - 02/21/2017

Describes Alabama’s process for ensuring compliance with home and community-based setting requirements.

Systems
  • Department of Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities
  • Medicaid Agencies
Topics
  • Home and Community Based Services (HCBS)
  • Segregated Day & Employment Services

Alabama Home and Community- Based Waiver for Persons with MR (0001.R07.00) - 10/01/2014

The waiver provides day hab, personal care, prevocational, residential hab, respite, supported employment, adult companion, behavior therapy, community specialist services, crisis intervention, environmental accessibility adaptations, OT, PT, skilled nursing, specialized medical equipment, specialized medical supplies, speech/language therapy for individuals w/MR ages 3 - no max age

 

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

Alabama Medicaid Money Follows the Person - 10/11/2012

Alabama received a Medicaid Money Follows the Person grant in October 2012.

"Alabama will receive $3.4 million in the first year and up to $28 million over the four year project in the form of an enhanced matching rate to support the successful transition of 625 individuals from an institutional setting to community living, according to Wettingfeld. The project will not require new costs to the state, but rather a shifting of some current expenditures from institutional based programs to community based programs.

The majority of the expenditures will go to provide Home and Community-Based Services for Medicaid-eligible individuals who are elderly or have disabilities and who choose to transition from nursing facilities or a state-operated psychiatric hospital (only applies to recipients under 21 or over 65 for this type of facility). Most are expected to transition to one of Medicaid’s seven HCBS waiver programs or to a PACE program. Grant funds will cover the upfront costs associated with transitioning each individual as well as administrative costs of operating the program and will be paid during the first year of each person’s transition."

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

States - Small Tablet

Snapshot

The state motto of Alabama is "We Dare Defend Our Rights," including the rights of individuals with disabilities to have real employment opportunities at competitive wages. 

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 Alabama's VR Rates and Services

2019 State Population.
0.31%
Change from
2018 to 2019
4,903,185
2019 Number of people with disabilities (all disabilities, ages 18-64).
-3.99%
Change from
2018 to 2019
401,368
2019 Number of people with disabilities who are employed (all disabilities, ages 18-64).
8.35%
Change from
2018 to 2019
132,656
2019 Percentage of working age people who are employed (all disabilities).
11.86%
Change from
2018 to 2019
33.05%
2019 Percentage of working age people who are employed (NO disabilities).
12.25%
Change from
2018 to 2019
74.62%

State Data

General

2017 2018 2019
Population. 4,874,747 4,887,871 4,903,185
Number of people with disabilities (all disabilities, ages 18-64). 418,429 417,381 401,368
Number of people with disabilities who are employed (all disabilities, ages 18-64). 112,030 121,576 132,656
Number of people without disabilities who are employed (ages 18-64). 1,815,887 1,826,230 1,867,058
Percentage of working age people who are employed (all disabilities). 26.77% 29.13% 33.05%
Percentage of working age people who are employed (NO disabilities). 64.71% 65.48% 74.62%
State/National unemployment rate. 4.40% 3.90% 3.00%
Poverty Rate (all disabilities). 23.10% 23.00% 21.60%
Poverty Rate (NO disabilities). 15.70% 15.60% 14.30%
Number of males with disabilities (all ages). 380,392 372,948 363,930
Number of females with disabilities (all ages). 408,923 412,952 401,088
Number of Caucasians with disabilities (all ages). 540,995 543,393 535,010
Number of African Americans with disabilities (all ages). 215,372 210,848 200,257
Number of Hispanic/Latinos with disabilities (all ages). 15,668 16,505 15,428
Number of American Indians/Alaska Natives with disabilities (all ages). 7,270 4,791 5,974
Number of Asians with disabilities (all ages). 4,692 4,785 5,816
Number of Hawaiians/Pacific Islanders with disabilities (all ages). N/A N/A N/A
Number of persons of two or more races with disabilities (all ages) 15,896 16,110 14,164
Number of persons of some other race alone with disabilities (all ages) 4,826 5,814 3,587

 

SSA OUTCOMES

2017 2018 2019
Number of SSI recipients with disabilities who work. 3,910 4,051 4,176
Percentage of SSI recipients with disabilities who work relative to total SSI recipients with disabilities. 2.50% 2.60% 2.70%
Old Age Survivor and Disability Insurance (OASDI) recipients/workers with disabilities. 226,922 222,986 219,981

 

MENTAL HEALTH OUTCOMES

2017 2018 2019
Number of mental health services consumers who are employed. 7,033 7,183 7,218
Number of mental health services consumers who are part of the labor force (employed or actively looking for employment). 17,945 18,181 18,345
Number of adults served who have a known employment status. 43,176 43,467 40,979
Percentage of all state mental health agency consumers served in the community who are employed. 16.30% 16.50% 17.60%
Percentage of supported employment services evidence based practices (EBP). N/A 0.40% 0.40%
Percentage of supported housing services evidence based practices (EBP). 0.50% 0.50% 0.50%
Percentage of assertive community treatment services evidence based practices (EBP). 1.50% 1.50% 1.50%
Percentage of medications management evidence based practices (EBP). N/A N/A N/A
Number of evidence based practices (EBP) supported employment services. N/A 280 283
Number of evidence based practices (EBP) supported housing services. 354 341 329
Number of evidence based practices (EBP) assertive community treatment services. 988 974 916
Number of evidence based practices (EBP) medications management. N/A N/A N/A

 

WAGNER PEYSER OUTCOMES

2014 2015 2016
Number of registered job seekers with a disability. 8,415 7,703 3,087
Proportion of registered job seekers with a disability. 0.02 0.03 N/A

 

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. 55 42 52
Total number of people with a disability that is a substantial barrier to work who entered unsubsidized employment. 22 16 22
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. 40.00% 38.00% 42.00%
Incidence rate of people with a disability that is a substantial barrier to work who entered unsubsidized employment per 100,000 individuals in the general state population. 0.46 0.33 0.45

 

VR OUTCOMES

2017 2018 2019
Total Number of people served under VR.
N/A
N/A
N/A
Number of people with visual impairments served under VR. N/A N/A N/A
Number of people with communicative (hearing loss, deafness) impairments served under VR. N/A N/A N/A
Number of people with physical impairments served under VR. N/A N/A N/A
Number of people cognitive impairments served under VR. N/A N/A N/A
Number of people psychosocial impairments served under VR. N/A N/A N/A
Number of people with mental impairments served under VR. N/A N/A N/A
Percentage of overall closures into employment under VR. 25.00% 49.00% 40.00%
Number of employment network (EN) and vocational rehabilitation (VR) tickets assigned. 5,023 5,422 5,983
Number of eligible ticket to work beneficiaries. 336,758 332,907 330,493
Total number of ID closures using supported employment services with or without Title VI-B funds expended (VI-C prior to 2002). 622 274 405
Total number of ID competitive labor market closures. 375 411 485

 

IDD OUTCOMES

2016 2017 2018
Dollars spent on day/employment services for integrated employment funding. $675,600 $927,418 $1,228,277
Dollars spent on day/employment services for facility-based work funding. $5,063,281 $4,957,488 $4,373,956
Dollars spent on day/employment services for facility-based non-work funding. $64,375,801 $57,786,518 $56,498,502
Dollars spent on day/employment services for community based non-work funding. $1,039,339 $218,498 $354,651
Percentage of people served in integrated employment. 5.00% 12.00% 17.00%
Number of people served in community based non-work. 455 75 135
Number of people served in facility based work. 438 454 407
Number of people served in facility based non-work. 4,562 4,123 4,215
Number supported in integrated employment per 100,000 individuals in the general state population. 6.37 12.68 16.86

 

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). 83.56% 83.52% 83.65%
Percent of children with IEPs aged 6 through 21 served inside the regular class less than 40% of the day (Indicator 5b). 7.19% 7.16% 7.23%
Percent of children with IEPs aged 6 through 21 served in separate schools, residential facilities, or homebound/hospital placements (Indicator 5c). 2.49% 2.45% 2.51%
Percent of youth with IEPs aged 16 and above with an IEP that includes appropriate measurable postsecondary goals (Indicator 13). 99.99% 99.91% 99.77%
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). 27.33% 27.81% 26.37%
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). 70.20% 60.20% 60.02%
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). 78.49% 68.85% 70.50%
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). 42.87% 32.39% 33.65%

 

ABILITYONE/JWOD PROGRAM

2014
Number of overall agency blind and SD hours. 1,613,485
Number of overall total blind and SD workers. 1,408
Number of AbilityOne blind and SD hours (products). 297,988
Number of AbilityOne blind and SD hours (services). 882,262
Number of AbilityOne blind and SD hours (combined). 1,180,250
Number of AbilityOne blind and SD workers (products). 196
Number of AbilityOne blind and SD workers (services). 610
Number of AbilityOne blind and SD workers (combined). 806
AbilityOne wages (products). $2,732,728
AbilityOne wages (services). $11,470,273

 

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

2018 2019 2020
Number of 14(c) certificate-holding businesses. 0 0 0
Number of 14(c) certificate-holding school work experience programs (SWEPs). 0 0 0
Number of 14(c) certificate-holding community rehabilitation programs (CRPs). 4 7 2
Number of 14(c) certificate holding patient workers. 0 0 0
Total Number of 14(c) certificate holding entities. 4 7 2
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). 283 350 92
Reported number of people with disabilities working under 14(c) certificate holding patient workers. 0 0 0
Total reported number of people with disabilities working under 14(c) certificate holding entities. 283 350 92

 

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

~~ADRS does not currently have a written agreement regarding services to American Indians. • Department of Youth Services (DYS): Alabama has a Department of Youth Services. This Department is established to work with delinquent youth. The expectation is that the services of DYS will prevent delinquent youth from eventually advancing to the adult correctional system. ADRS has a specialist who is very actively involved with DYS. This individual receives referrals on a regular basis from DYS and forwards those referrals to the appropriate field staff. ADRS has a written agreement with the ADYS • Department of Mental Health (DMH): The Agency maintains an ongoing relationship with DMH. ADRS serves numerous consumers with mental illness. ADRS works on cooperative initiatives to ensure services are provided to eligible consumers. ADRS maintains a relationship with the DMH Division of Substance Abuse and a network of residential aftercare service providers. ADRS is working extensively with the DMH to expand and improve the ADRS supported employment program. This includes efforts in the areas of Employment First, extended supports, and collaborating on grants. ADRS has a cooperative agreement with ADMH. (Page 176) Title II

The Alabama Department of Rehabilitation Services continues to stay abreast of national issues regarding community rehabilitation facilities through its attendance and participation in conferences of state and national significance including Alabama Association of Rehabilitation Facilities (AARF), Alabama Association of People Supporting Employment First (AL—APSE), Council of State Administrators of Vocational Rehabilitation (CSAVR), and National Rehabilitation Association (NRA). Collaborative efforts between ADRS Computer Services and the CRP section have recently developed computer- generated reports that assist the CRP section in tracking targeted CRP goals and outcomes such as numbers of individuals successfully employed, cost per successful closure, and average wage. (Page 186) Title II

The Alabama Department of Education, the Social Security Administration, and the Department of the Department of Veterans Affairs. This training is currently being offered twice a year in a collaborative effort between the Alabama Department of Rehabilitation Services and the Alabama Department of Mental Health. APSE (Association for People Supporting Employment First) is sponsoring, and our state Chapter of APSE are also participating in CESP National Certification (National Certification for Employment Support Professionals). Project SEARCH, a statewide initiative to improve transition services for students with most significant disabilities began in Alabama in FY 2012 with two pilot sites. Alabama now has 11 Project SEARCH sites and we will continue to work to expand this transition program in our state. All sites have a state team member assigned to them to help with implementation and fidelity. Trainings take place throughout the year and the teacher and job coach both attend national SEARCH training as well. Cooperative Agreements between the Local School Systems (LEA’s) or Post-Secondary education (for youth programs) Alabama Department of Rehabilitation Services, the Alabama Council for Developmental Disabilities, the Alabama Department of Mental Health, the Supported Employment Community Rehabilitation Program and the local employer supporting the program are in place for all 11 sites. (Page 187) Title II

Alabama Department of Mental Health, Alabama State Department of Education, Alabama Medicaid, Alabama Department of Economic and Community Affairs and the Alabama Department of Post—Secondary Education continue to work towards Employment First legislation. Individualized Placement and Support (IPS) Supported Employment is an evidence- based approach to supported employment for individuals with serious mental illness. IPS, based on zero exclusion, competitive employment in the community, mental health treatment and employment services being integrated, benefits planning is included, job search occurs rapidly, employment specialist develop relationships with employers in their communities, job supports are continuous, and consumer preferences are honored. In 2014, Alabama applied for and was among 7 states that received a grant from the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) to implement IPS Supported Employment at 2 sites in the state. The grant is for 5 years during which time we will be looking at sustainability and expansion. Currently IPS is being implemented at Chilton Shelby in West Alabama (rural site) and Alapointe in Mobile County (urban site). (Page 187) Title II

Certificate Based Job Coach Training is collaboration between our agency, the Alabama Department of Mental Health, the Department of Education, the Council for Developmental Disabilities, and Alabama APSE (Association of Persons Supporting Employment First). This training ensures consistency of service delivery for supported employment providers and provides access to the latest marketing and training techniques. Training is provided by Virginia Commonwealth University’s Rehabilitation Research and Training Center on Workplace Supports. We offer this training twice a year to SE Job Coaches, School Job Coaches, Job Coaches employed by the Department of Mental Health and other community job developers and job coaches. This year, job coaches specializing in sensory impairments also participated in this training as we work to collaborate more closely with the Alabama Institute for the Deaf and Blind (AIDB) and their AIDB regional center staff located throughout the state. • Alabama Department of Rehabilitation Services, Alabama Council for Developmental Disabilities, Alabama Department of Mental Health, Alabama State Department of Education, Alabama Medicaid, Alabama Department of Economic and Community Affairs and the Alabama Department of Post—Secondary Education have been working to secure Employment First legislation and continue to participate in the Employment First Leadership Mentoring Program Community of Practice through Office of Disability Employment Policy (ODEP). These partners will continue to collaborate with human service agencies that work with people with disabilities and the workforce investment/development agencies to support the concept of Employment First. Additionally, several partners are participating in the Vision Quest training, offered through ODEP, to assist Alabama with options to infuse integrated employment into the Medicaid waiver, State Plan Options and increased collaboration to better serve consumers as they move towards integrated, community- based employment options. ADRS will collaborate with local school systems to improve transition services; ensuring students who are appropriate for SE services have access to community based Supported Employment providers while still in high school. SE providers will be active in the local high schools to present information regarding their programs to parents, students and staff. Students will also have the opportunity to participate in community- based assessments or begin the Discovery Profile before they exit school, to facilitate a seamless transit ion to Supported Employment Services. 2. •The GATE program (Gaining Access to Employment) is a training program that takes consumers from sheltered work or day habilitation and fully immerses them in industry training. This collaboration between the Alabama Department of Rehabilitation Services and Alabama Department of Mental Health began in North Alabama and now has 5 sites. The GATE program braids funding utilizing from both ADRS and ADMH (Medicaid waiver). Adults, who are long term consumers of day programs are trained in competitive integrated employment settings using job coaches for support during their internships. Consumers are paid wages while they intern, primarily in manufacturing settings. (Page 220) Title II

The agency has a state specialist overseeing the expansion and effectiveness of the agency’s supported employment efforts. Two additional specialists have been hired to assist with the growth and expansion of supported employment in Alabama in the last 2 years. This growth includes eleven 11 project SEARCH sites, the continuation of the GATE Project, IPS SE for individuals with serious mental illness and co-occurring substance abuse, and expansion of the Connections program for individuals with Autism. We are currently collaborating with the LEAs and training rehabilitation transition counselors on provision of services to students at an earlier age while in the secondary setting. This should increase participation of students with more significant disabilities and provide those services earlier. We currently have jointly funded pre-ets specialists contracts with secondary education for students with most significant disabilities. ADRS will collaborate with local school systems to develop and implement a transition initiative; ensuring students who are appropriate for SE services have access to providers prior to their exit from high school. SE providers will be active in the local high schools to present information regarding their programs to parents, students and staff. Students will also have the opportunity to participate in community— based assessments before they exit school, to facilitate a seamless transition. Many students with most significant disabilities are participating in our summer JET program which includes work -based learning emphasizing social skills acquisition, career exploration and paid work experience.

Training on Certificate Based Job Coach Training in collaboration with the Alabama Department of Mental Health, the Department of Education, and the Council for Developmental Disabilities, and Alabama APSE (Association of Persons Supporting Employment First), The Network on Employment continues. This training ensures consistency of service delivery for supported employment providers and provides access to the latest marketing and training techniques. Training is provided by Virginia Commonwealth University’s Rehabilitation Research and Training Center on Workplace Supports. (Page 226) Title II

ADRS continues to seek methods to increase participation of individuals with all types of disabilities in supported employment programs. Initiatives for improving transition services for students with more significant disabilities are being implemented. Since WIOA students with more significant disabilities are being referred and receiving services at a much earlier age. SE providers are providing Pre-Employment Transition Services to these students with an emphasis on work- based learning. We are procuring additional pre-employment transition specialist (jointly funded) to increase the likelihood of competitive integrated employment for students with more significant disabilities and expansion of innovative opportunities and collaborations including student led enterprises, participation in work- based learning at a younger age, and successful programs like Project SEARCH. We will continue to work with career and technical education to develop innovative programs that address internship and apprentice opportunities as well as certifications in employment areas, especially in high demand areas for our state. We will continue to work with Workforce development to identify and provide services to youth in the area, especially underserved youth and those with more significant disabilities. All these identified entities are a part of our Employment First efforts in Alabama. We are currently submitting 3 RFP’s for collaborations with Workforce Boards, Post-Secondary Education, and Alabama One-Stop Centers for internships and services to youth through expansion of Project SEARCH to youth in their areas. (Page 241-242) Title II.

Efforts continued to collaborate closely with Alabama APSE (Association of Persons Supporting Employment First)—The Network on Employment, Alabama Department of Mental Health, and the Alabama Council for Developmental Disabilities (DD Council), to provide training to staff, pre-employment transition specialist, skills training instructors, SE providers, IPS staff and other employment staff in Alabama that serve individuals with disabilities. Customized employment and Discovery are included in this training. ADRS continues to expand services within the state to increase opportunities for individuals to access to supported employment services. All counties in Alabama all have trained supported employment providers to serve consumers in their area. Many of our community rehabilitation programs provided paid summer work experiences that include job exploration, work place readiness, instruction in self-advocacy, in demand jobs in their areas, and paid work place paid work experience with employers in their local areas. Two additional staff members were hired as Rehabilitation Specialists for Supported Employment to assist the counselors and providers with quality supported employment and to provide training as needed to both groups. Additionally another state office specialist was hired to assist the statewide transition specialist. The addition of these specialists will help to assure that we are providing quality services to students, youth, and adults with more significant disabilities that require supported employment. We continue to include Discovery and customized employment in our bi-annual training with staff to assure better job matches, and more opportunities for internships and training to consumers requiring SE. The following initiatives have been implemented:

Continual training and consultation by state office staff on Supported Employment, Milestones, Discovery, Person Centered Profile Development, WIOA, IPS Supported Employment, Self-Employment, Pre-Employment Transition Services and Project SEARCH for transition students.
(Page 242) Title II
 
 Collaboration continues with Alabama Association of Persons Supporting Employment First (AL—APSE) and Alabama Department of Mental Health to offer bi-annual job coach training to new job coaches, job developers, pre-employment transition specialists, skills training instructors, IPS staff, mental health staff and case managers. This training is conducted by Virginia Commonwealth University and provides instruction on best practices, innovative strategies and customized employment. For the last two years Alabama Institute for the Deaf and Blind sent local and regional staff personnel who serve those with sensory impairments.

We continue to provide the GATE Project for provider agencies who have consumers in sheltered work who are seeking employment in their communities. GATE was recognized by ICI (Institute for Community Inclusion) as an innovative strategy to move consumers from segregated employment to competitive integrated employment. It is a partnership with our agency, the Department of Mental Health and local employers. This program is embedded in the workplace and gives the opportunity for those who will require extra time and additional supports and training to learn a job. This unique program braids funds from the two agencies to secure the supports and training needed. (Page 243) Title I

Customized Employment

~~Supported Employment (SE) is available in Alabama for individuals with the most significant disabilities who require intensive support services, and extended support services for an appropriate and successful employment outcome. These services are provided in all regions of the state by 38 approved community—based organizations. Supported Employment services are available to individuals regardless of their disability. Currently, the primary disabilities served include persons with significant intellectual disabilities, severe mental illness, cerebral palsy, autism spectrum disorders, visual and hearing impairments, severe orthopedic impairments, traumatic brain injury, and other most significant disabilities. The Alabama Department of Rehabilitation Services currently utilizes a Milestones service and payment process. Milestones, a service and outcome- based payment system, has significantly improved the quality of supported employment throughout the state, while proving to be more cost effective for the Agency. Providers of supported employment are paid for successful outcomes achieved by individuals participating in supported employment. The Milestones program segments the rehabilitation process into four distinct areas: (1) Determination of Needs/Person Centered Profiles (including Assessments) and the Discovery Process, (2) Hire, (3) Job Retention/Coaching and (4) Closure. Extended supports including natural supports are available at the job site, and are provided for the duration of the employment. Providers of long- term supports are required to document twice monthly contact with each consumer successfully working in the community, and to maintain this documentation in case files for the duration of that consumer’s job. ADRS can fund extended supports to youth for up to 4 years or until they reach the age of 25 and are no longer considered a youth. If VR is funding extended services the case must remain open until the individual is receiving these supports funded through another source. To ensure the highest quality of services, training is provided throughout the year to address issues related to supported employment, including the provision of extended services, customized employment and supported self-employment. In this cooperative arrangement with the Alabama Department of Mental Health and the Alabama Department of Rehabilitation Services, in collaboration with AL—APSE/ the Alabama Council on Developmental Disabilities and the Department of Education training and educational activities continue to be offered twice a year to improve the consistency of service delivery by job coaches, pre-employment transition specialist, skills training instructors, AIDB staff, IPS staff and others in the community that offer employment services to individuals with most significant disabilities. Customized employment training is also provided. This training is coordinated by ADRS and the ADMH and offered by Virginia Commonwealth University’s Rehabilitation Research and Training Center on Workplace Supports. We currently have a cooperative agreement with the Alabama Department of Mental Health that includes both the DD Division of the Department and the MI/SA Division. This agreement gives and Overview of both Departments including their purpose, changes reflected in WIOA, the Legal basis for the agreement, Overview of the Departments and the Responsibilities of the Partners, Eligibility, Plan Development, Referral Process for the Departments, State level shared objectives, Responsibilities and Implementation including extended services to individuals with most significant disabilities.  (Page 186) Title II

Yet another perspective on the needs of individuals with the most significant disabilities was available by examining the services most often anticipated for MSD individuals by counselors during the eligibility determination process. From 2014 to 2016, 24,122 individuals were determined eligible and assigned an eligibility category using the agency’s Functional Limitations Priority Assessment (FLPA). 5,681 of these individuals were determined to the Most Significant Disability group. More often than those in other eligible categories, persons deemed MSD were anticipated to require Supported Employment Services, Customized Employment Services, Job Readiness Training, and Rehabilitation Technology and/or Devices. Supported Employment was anticipated for 3,181 of the 5,681 individuals in the MSD category, 56%. (Page 204) Title IV

The Alabama Department of Rehabilitation Services (ADRS) remains committed to the provision of quality services to individuals with the most significant disabilities through the provision of supported employment services. ADRS provides supported employment services through a collaborative/partnership effort with 38 service providers statewide in FY 2017. These providers cover all counties in the state. These providers offer services to individuals with a variety of significant disabilities without restrictions regarding disability type. The SE providers are distributed throughout the state in order to ensure maximum availability to those in need of supported employment to obtain or maintain competitive integrated employment or advancement in employment. Service providers receive funds for the provision of supported employment through an outcome based payment system. Providers must submit evidence that each milestone has been achieved. Some milestones include consumer and employer satisfaction surveys. Consumer satisfaction is designed to reflect satisfaction with the job or identify any consumer concerns or issues. The employer satisfaction survey is designed to reflect the consumer’s job performance, stability and training needs. Supported employment funds are distributed to each provider agency based on the milestone achieved by each individual served. Job skills training is provided to individuals on site at the work setting. Supported employment services include placement in competitive integrated employment settings for the maximum number of hours possible and is based on the strengths, resources, priorities, concerns, abilities, interests and informed choice of the individual. In FY 2017, the SE program: had 1019 consumers’ complete situational assessments and/or the Discovery process. We closed 541 consumers in competitive integrated employment. These consumers worked an average of 23 hours a week and made an average of $8.30 an hour. This represents an increase of 15% from the previous year in consumers served. (Page 241) Title II

Each supported employment provider operates under a milestone/outcome—based program to ensure quality outcomes and appropriate employment options based on individual choice. Consumers are offered the opportunity to participate in community—based assessments to facilitate an informed decision regarding their employment goal. Job development is provided on an individual basis to locate employment based on the consumer’s interests, skills, limitations and community living needs. Job coaching is also provided at the work site to ensure that the individual has the necessary training, skills and supports to work. Once the consumer is stable in the workplace, extended services are planned and implemented to protect the long—term success of the job. Consumer and employer satisfaction regarding the services provided are measured at the time of employment and again before case closure. Extended services are a continuation of ongoing support services provided to individuals with the most significant disabilities. These extended supports are provided at the completion of stabilization, during the successful rehabilitation Milestone and beyond ADRS case closure. The option for Discovery and Customized Employment, or for Person Centered Profiles along with assessments are available to consumers to maximize success for individuals in supported employment. Supported Self-employment is also available for individuals wanting to start their own business. (Page 244) Title II

Blending/ Braiding Resources

~~No disability specific information found regarding this element.

Disability Employment Initiative (DEI)

~~Extended service provision is provided to youth with the most significant disabilities in a variety of ways. This includes the Medicaid waiver, state dollars set aside to support youth in Project SEARCH, contract service provision to SE vendors, grant dollars for IPS and DEI, fund raising, and private pay. Extended services not to exceed four years.

Financial Literacy /Economic Advancement

~~The Alabama Department of Rehabilitation Services entered into this agreement to mutually serve students with disabilities in the Pike County and Troy City Boards of Education through cooperatively funding the professional services of one full-time nine- month instructor, housed at Charles Henderson High School and Troy/Pike Center for Technology. Instruction will be provided in an integrated classroom setting with peers who are not identified as students with disabilities, and will focus on the area of pre-employment transition services. These pre-employment transition services, which are not typically or customarily provided by the LEA, will be provided in a group setting in a classroom or the community. The instruction of pre-employment transition services provided will be in the areas of: job exploration counseling, work-based learning experiences, counseling on opportunities for enrollment in comprehensive transition or postsecondary educational programs, workplace readiness training and instruction in self-advocacy. This instruction is designed to prepare students with disabilities to enter long terms competitive integrated employment in high demand careers by identifying and exploring career interests, as well as, increasing individual independence, self-sufficiency and inclusion of students with disabilities in their communities. Students served by this program include any student with a disability enrolled at Charles Henderson High School and Troy/Pike Center for Technology, who is in the 11th or 12th grades, is eligible for or potentially eligible for Vocational Rehabilitation Services, and has received a referral from the VR Transition Counselor, Special Education Teacher and/or school administrator. Course curriculum will consist of instruction in the following areas Basic Computer Skills, Financial Literacy, Problem Solving, Manufacturing, Job Acquisition. Course curriculum will also include discussion of local high demand careers, labor market information and activities that may include community- based experiences. (Page 173-174) Title II

School to Work Transition

~~The yet to be determined workforce development areas provide career services, client assessment, case management, referral to Individual Training Accounts, on-the-job training (OJT), customized training, and work- based learning. They also provide specialized employment and training activities for youth, including basic education, GED programs, occupational skills training, and work- based learning activities.
The Alabama Workforce System (AWS) includes the following programs and entities operated through the following agents. (Page 50) Title I

• PROJECT SEARCH: Project SEARCH is a one—year internship program for students with disabilities in the last year of high school or with out of school youth. It is targeted for students and youth whose goal is competitive employment. The program takes place in a healthcare, government, or business setting where total immersion in the workplace facilitates the teaching and learning process as well as the acquisition of employability and marketable work skills. Students participate in up to three (3) internships to explore a variety of career paths. The students work with a team that includes their family, special education teacher and skills training instructor to create an employment goal, and to support the student during this important transition from school to work. The program is a cooperative arrangement between the employer, the Alabama Department of Rehabilitation Services, the Alabama State Department of Education, the Alabama Council for Development Disabilities the Alabama Department of Mental Health, the local school systems (or post-secondary education for youth) and most importantly the employers. The program is currently available in the following counties: Montgomery, Birmingham, Huntsville, Tuscaloosa, Shelby, Etowah, Marshall, Baldwin, Calhoun and two (2) programs in Mobile. When participating in Project SEARCH, the student actually goes to the employment site each day as opposed to going to the school. The LEA provides a classroom teacher(s) to provide employment instruction in the morning, and the students go to assigned internships the remainder of the day. Internships include patient escort, food service, central sterilization, pharmacy, maintenance, grounds keeping, and other settings at the business. No funds from other participating agencies are used to match federal money drawn down by ADRS. State Unit approval is obtained before services are initiated. All services are provided in accordance with the agency’s approved State Plan.  (Page 174) Title II

Referrals for transition services and pre-employment transition services are carried out in a number of ways. Students can be referred by the LEA’s, special education teachers, 504 coordinators, doctors, mental health professionals, parents, teachers, transition counselors assigned to the schools, or can be self-referred. Once referred to the VR counselors assigned to the school, the counselors work with educational officials to obtain pertinent documentation necessary for pre-employment transition services or transition services. Students may receive pre-employment transition services beginning in the 9th grade or age 16-21 (or younger if decided in the IEP). Students can be served as eligible or potentially eligible consumers. Students who require intensive services will require an application, be determined eligible within the required 60- day period (unless for specific, documented reason an extension is necessary) and a plan for transition services will be written within 90 days. It is expected that all students requiring VR services to be successful in competitive integrated employment will have a plan before they exit high school. We anticipate that many of our students served under potentially eligible will apply for services and become VR consumers in their 11th grade year. All pre-ets services for students ages 16-21 or in the 9th grade (younger if stipulated in their IEP) that are not served under potentially eligible, will have pre-ets services included in their IPEs. (Page 179) Title II

Smart Work Ethics Training (SWE) — SWE is a social skills curriculum that addresses communication skills and work place behaviors (attitude, work ethic, image and appearance, interpersonal skills, teamwork, time management, accountability) needed to obtain and maintain successful competitive employment. This curriculum is provided to the student in the LEA by a certified trainer from a Community Rehabilitation Program. • Jointly—Funded Pre-Employment Transition Specialist — ADRS is committed to providing jointly funded Pre-ETS specialist in local education agencies to assist with the provision of pre—employment transition services. This is accomplished through cooperative agreements with local education agencies (ADRS pays 75% LEA pays 25%). The jointly funded pre-employment transition specialist provide pre—employment transition services that are not typically or customarily provided by the LEA. These pre—employment transition services are designed to increase the likelihood of independence and inclusion of students with disabilities, including those with significant disabilities, in communities, as well as, maximize opportunities for these students for long term competitive integrated employment. (Page 180) Title II

Team (SITT). SITT is a multidisciplinary group of 37 representatives from 22 state agencies (ADRS, ALSDE, Alabama Department of Mental Health and Alabama Department of Postsecondary Education) and organizations providing services for students and young adults with disabilities. The purpose of this group is to develop a better understanding of each agency’s role and responsibilities in service delivery for Alabama’s students and young adults with disabilities, and to seek and implement new and better ways of providing secondary special education and transition services. At the local level, the ADRS has procedures in place to ensure the agency is actively involved in the transition of students with disabilities from school to work. The agency has a counselor assigned to each high school to act as transition counselor. The counselor visits the school on a regularly scheduled basis to meet with teachers and guidance counselors in order to provide vocational rehabilitation information and to receive referrals of students with disabilities in need of rehabilitation services. The VR counselor meets with the student and parents in order to explain rehabilitation services to enable a student’s informed choice regarding these services. School records and other information needed to serve a student as a potentially eligible consumer or needed for eligibility determination is obtained. Once eligibility is determined efforts are made to begin determining rehabilitation needs and a vocational goal. (Page 181) Title II

The new MOU between ALSDE and ADRS addresses transition planning and development of the IEP under scope of services for both ALSDE and ADRs collaboratively and individually. A revised agreement has been sent to SDE and is awaiting the new superintendent’s signature. This replaces the agreement on file dated 5/6/2016.

ADRS emphasizes best practices in providing services to students in order to provide a seamless transition from school to post school activities. As stated earlier, ADRS has transition counselors designated to each LEA who work closely with the special education and career and technical education teachers in the development of the IEP for those students/consumers with whom the ADRS is involved and attend IEP Team meetings and/or provide input that will assist in making decisions about services that will be provided by the ADRS, such as assistive technology, career exploration or work experience opportunities. ADRS emphasizes best practices in providing services to students in order to provide a seamless transition from school to post school activities. (Page 182)

The MOA clarifies that nothing under the Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act reduces the obligation of the LEA to pay for, or provide transition services that are considered special education services, or related services necessary for assuring a free and appropriate education for students. The agreement also states that all expenditures identified by the LEA and VR for provision of pre-employment transition services that are new, having a VR focus of preparing students with disabilities to access careers that will lead to long term competitive integrated employment, and are not duplicative of services provided by the LEA, be the responsibility of ADRS. It also clarifies in the memorandum of agreement, that expenditures approved by the VR Counselor for transition services that are provided to VR students with disabilities, eligible for VR services, that are vocational in nature and support and lead to the achievement of the employment goal in the IEP, will be the financial responsibility of the DSU. (Page 183) Title II

Individuals with Intellectual Disabilities: The top vocational rehabilitation needs identified among individuals with intellectual disabilities were: Community Inclusion, Fair Wages, Employment Supports and Benefits. Agency outcomes in FY 2014 through 2016 for persons with intellectual disabilities for both rehabilitation rate and weekly wage were significantly lower than the agency norm. VR program data examined over a six- year span indicate that the majority of VR consumers with an intellectual disability were in need of supported employment services. Many publications acknowledge the importance of school to work transition outcomes, that early exposure to a wide range of work-based learning experiences plays a large part in later outcomes for individuals with intellectual disabilities. Regarding those who have already made the transition from secondary education, it will be important for VR to monitor and address the need to offer VR services to those individuals who are currently being served within day programs. (Page 207) Title II

Findings from the 2017 CSNA indicate that Alabama’s Youth with Disabilities are affected by disproportionately high dropout rates, markedly lower rates of enrollment and completion of postsecondary education, and significantly higher rates of unemployment or underemployment. These observations are borne out by data from the Alabama Department of Education, the Census Bureau, as well as ADRS’s own program statistics and survey research. Recently published findings from the National Longitudinal Transition Study demonstrated that Youth with an Individualized Education Plan are more likely than their peers to be socioeconomically disadvantaged, experience difficulty completing typical tasks independently, and find themselves the object of bullying. Youth with an IEP were found to be suspended at higher rates and to lag their peers in planning and taking steps to obtain postsecondary education and jobs (Lipscomb et al., 2017). Furthermore, Youth with autism, deaf-blindness, intellectual disability, multiple disabilities, and orthopedic impairments appear to be at highest risk for challenges making a successful transition from high school. (Page 209) Title II

It is fortunate that prior to new WIOA requirements for students with disabilities, ADRS had enjoyed a long and productive relationship with the Alabama State Department of Education (ALSDE). ADRS maintains a formal Interagency Agreement with the ALSDE for the provision of transition services. At the state level, ADRS participates as an equal partner in the Alabama State Interagency Transition Team. At the local level, the ADRS has a counselor assigned to each high school to act as transition counselor. Furthermore, ADRS has for years been committed to the financial support of jointly funded positions, i.e. Pre-Employment Transition Specialists, in local education agencies to assist with the provision of transition services. Shortly after the final WIOA regulations were released in August of 2016, however, ADRS recognized the need for a comprehensive effort to build upon existing capacity and foster greater connections between ADRS staff and their Department of Education counterparts at the local level.  (Page 211) Title II

Additionally, we are continuing to collaborate with all our state entities to improve services for students and youth with most significant disabilities. We are working with the State Department of Education on improving Assistive Technology access in order to improve the transition from school to work, and entry to Post Secondary settings. We are working with Career and Technical Education to increase participation for students with more significant disabilities. (Page 218) Title II

Extended services for youth are included in policy and in the counselor resource manual however this has not been necessary. State office has been contacted in regard to several cases of youth needed extended services, but in these cases, we were able to access waiver services for extended supports. We do anticipate that extended services for youth will be necessary for individuals who do not receive waiver services, but to date we have not had to use this provision and have been able to access the waiver. ADRS’s allotment for FY 2018 for supported employment services for youth will include post-employment services and extended services for youth. VR currently spends about 3 million on supported employment and almost 1 million additional dollars through contracts for all individuals with most significant disabilities so easily expends its allotment requirements for youth. Additionally, this year we will be adding 3 new youth programs through Project SEARCH for out of school youth with more significant disabilities. (Page 220) Title II

Engage Alabama is a collaborative effort of the ADRS, Alabama State Department of Education, Alabama Council on Developmental Disabilities and Alabama Disabilities Advocacy Program to develop and provide an app for students with disabilities to improve the student’s knowledge of transition services; assist the student in identifying and utilizing strategies to improve transition services and increase the student’s capability to better advocate for transition service through the student led IEP process. Students may access Engage Alabama via the internet at engageal.com, or by going to the Apple Store or Google Play store where students can download the app at no charge. Once all questions in the app are answered a transition plan will be generated that the student may print and share with his/her family and IEP case manager prior to the IEP meeting. This plan will serve as a self-advocacy tool to assist the student in successfully leading his/her IEP meeting, in discussing transition goals and what is needed for the students to reach those goals. Students may access this app as often as need during the school year to make any necessary changes, but it is recommended that students access the app on an annual basis prior to his/her IEP meeting. It is important to note that while the Engage Alabama application was designed for use by students who are receiving services under an IEP, any student with a disability (including those that would meet the requirements for 504 services) may access the app to assist with identification of needed pre-employment transition services and to develop transition goals. (Page 230) Title II

The agency maintains an excellent service delivery system to consumers who are blind or have low vision. This service delivery system includes a network of Rehabilitation Counselors specializing in blindness, Vision Rehabilitation Therapists, Orientation and Mobility Specialists, Assistive Technology Specialists, Pre-Employment Transition Specialists, and Vision Rehabilitation Assistants who provide a wide range of services to individuals who are blind or have low vision. Additionally, there is a State Coordinator of Blind Services who oversees these services. (Page 223) Title II

ADRS, in Partnership with the Alabama Institute for Deaf and Blind, offers a Summer Work Experience Program. During the summer, students who are in high school or college have the opportunity to participate in this program. Vocational Rehabilitation Counselors, Business Relations Consultants, Job Coaches, and Pre-Employment Transition Specialists partner with local businesses to provide students with a paid work experience. Students who participate in the Summer Work Program can work up to six weeks, a maximum of 40 hours a week, and earn a minimum wage salary which is paid out of counselors’ case services budgets. The goal of this program is to offer students who are blind or have low vision a real-world work experience.

ADRS, in partnership with the Alabama Institute for Deaf and Blind and Central Alabama Community College, offers a Dual Enrollment Program. The Dual Enrollment Program is a comprehensive approach which provides a support system for students who are blind or have low vision or deaf or hard of hearing who are interested in earning a college degree. This Dual Enrollment Program involves the campuses of the Alabama School for the Deaf, the Alabama School for the Blind, and the EH Gentry Rehabilitation Facility. Students can attend classes on various Central Alabama Community College campuses. The goal of this program is to provide students with the appropriate assistance to ensure college success. (Page 224) Title II

Funded Pre-Employment Transition Specialist — ADRS is committed to providing jointly funded pre-ets specialists in local education agencies to assist with the provision of pre—employment transition services. The jointly—funded specialists provide pre—employment transition services which are not typically or customarily provided by the LEA. These pre—employment transition services are designed to increase the likelihood of independence and inclusion of students with disabilities, including those with significant disabilities, in communities, as well as, maximize opportunities for these students for competitive integrated employment. Currently, ADRS has 31 jointly funded pre-ets specialists in place through third—party cooperative agreements. (Page 229) Title II

ADRS will collaborate with local school systems to ensure students who are appropriate for supported employment services have access to providers prior to their exit from high school. Supported employment providers will be active in the local high schools to present information regarding their programs and services to parents, students, and staff. Students will also have the opportunity to participate in work- based learning and/or community—based assessments before they exit school in order to facilitate a seamless transition from school to employment. (Page 227) Title II

ADRS has committed additional staff to address the needs of people with the most significant disabilities in order to improve access to services. Additional staff members have been added to expand and improve supported employment services for this population. Pre-employment transition specialists have been added to serve students and youth for the general program and for the blind and deaf program.

The Alabama Department of Rehabilitation Services strives to ensure that there is equitable access to the State VR Services Program and the State Supported Employment Services Program for all potentially eligible and eligible consumers. For participating in VR services all forms of auxiliary aids, as defined by the ADA, are provided to consumers based on individual needs including assistive technology. Our counselors for the deaf are required to possess an intermediate rating on the Sign Language Proficiency Interview (SLPI) ensuring that deaf consumers are commuted to in their native language. In addition, we have 11 full-time nationally certified sign language interpreters located in our offices statewide, as well as access to additional sign language interpreters through our partners and vendor network. Counselors and staff have access to language interpreters through a language line service, as well as language interpreters through our vendor system. In addition, correspondence and other print materials are provided in the consumers format of choice to include large print, braille, electronic, etc. (Page 236) Title II

State Grantee will work collaboratively to address issues ensuring host agency assignments are truly providing skills training to meet the needs of both participants and employers. Sub-grantees will continue to utilize the Individual Employment Plan (IEP), in partnership with the participant and host agency supervisor, ensuring community service employment assignments are providing skills training that meet the needs of the participant and host agency. Sub-grantees will monitor participants at least once every six months at their community service employment assignments. During those visits, sub-grantee staff will review and update the IEP with both the participant and host agency supervisor.

Sub-grantees will continue to monitor the training to ensure participants will be prepared for unsubsidized employment through the acquisition of transferable skills in demand by local employers. In addition, where applicable, sub-grantees, in partnership with participants, will develop IEPs that combine community service employment with other permissible training (e.g., classroom training or on- the- job experience (OJE) in the private for-profit sector) as funding permits. (Page 302) Title II

 

Career Pathways

~~Alabamians with disabilities must make informed choices regarding their vocational goal selection and subsequent career pathways in order to minimize barriers to employment and maximize success on the job. There are times when an individual with a disability may pursue a job goal for which, according to Alabama’s labor market demand, little opportunity of job growth exists. To address this issue, ADRS will provide professional staff with a labor market “dashboard” that will make it clear and easy to recognize which occupations within the state show the most promising future. Training will be provided to staff to enhance their ability to use current labor market information to facilitate the employment of individuals with disabilities into higher demand jobs. (Page 48) Title I

Apprenticeship

Consistent with the findings of the 2017 comprehensive statewide assessment, the established goals and priorities of this plan, and collaborative efforts between the SRC and SILC, innovation and expansion funds will be targeted to the following: 1. Ongoing support of the efforts of the State Rehabilitation Council and the State Independent Living Council. 2. Expansion and innovation of Work Based Learning opportunities for Students with Disabilities 3. Expansion and innovation of Individualized Placement Supports for persons with significant mental illness. 4. Expansion and innovation of participation in formalized apprenticeship among all VR consumers. (Page 235- 236) Title IV

Center for Technology, who is in the 11th or 12th grades, is eligible for or potentially eligible for Vocational Rehabilitation Services, and has received a referral from the VR Transition Counselor, Special Education Teacher and/or school administrator. Course curriculum will consist of instruction in the following areas Basic Computer Skills, Financial Literacy, Problem Solving, Manufacturing, Job Acquisition. Course curriculum will also include discussion of local high demand careers, labor market information and activities that may include community- based experiences. (Page 174) Title II

Work Incentives & Benefits

~~•Alabama Department of Economic and Community Affairs (ADECA): ADRS has an ongoing partnership with the ADECA. The agency has worked cooperatively to pursue grants to serve people with disabilities. • The Alabama Disability Advocacy Program (ADAP): ADAP is the Alabama arm of the Protection and Advocacy program for people with disabilities. ADAP makes referrals to Alabama’s toll- free number for information on the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) through ADRS which coordinates the service. • Statewide Independent Living Centers: ADRS is represented on the State Independent Living Council and works closely with Alabama’s three Independent Centers to coordinate services and referrals. • Governor’s Office on Disability (GOOD): GOOD serves as a clearinghouse for resources related to people with disabilities. ADRS maintains an ongoing relationship with the Governor’s Office in order to provide resources as needed. • Office of Federal Contract Compliance Programs (OFCCP): ADRS partners with OFCCP to provide affirmative action training to employers on issues related to hiring and retaining workers with disabilities. ADRS hosted a major conference for employers in conjunction with OFCCP staff to provide information to employers on the 503 Federal Hiring mandates. • Social Security Administration (SSA): The Agency maintains an excellent working relationship with the SSA. The ADRS employs a Social Security Specialist that stays abreast of Social Security issues and has given numerous presentations on the Ticket to Work, Work Incentives Improvement Act, and other SSA initiatives to ADRS staff, consumer groups, and partner organizations. (Page 177) Tile II

DVR coordinates with Human Resource Development (HRD) and Business Relations (BR) to determine the information and training needs for professional and para-professional staff to assist in obtaining and disseminating professional information. HRD meets with and/or surveys staff to identify areas directly and indirectly related to the field of vocational rehabilitation. Based on the information obtained from staff and administration, DVR seeks training programs, webinars, and presenters demonstrating expertise knowledge in disabilities, technical issues, and federal and state policies, procedures and guidelines. In turn, DVR, BR, and HRD utilize the gained knowledge to develop instructor-led training programs and videos and to evaluate/offer appropriate webinars to staff. DVR administration and staff attend national and state conferences, search professional internet sites, and review professional magazines, articles and federal and state guidelines to stay abreast of current trends in the field of vocational rehabilitation. Trainings, both formal and informal, are developed and presented regarding current trends to ensure that staff has up-to-date knowledge to provide services to consumers. Some of the topics of vocational rehabilitation knowledge provided to professional and para-professional staff include orientation for new counselors, orientation for new DVR supervisors, ethics in relation to vocational rehabilitation services and practices, social media/technology and ethics, WIOA guidelines, HIPPA, different aspects of various disabilities, mental health issues, (i.e., suicide, substance abuse, etc.), assistive technology, Social Security Administration and Work Incentives, labor market and work force trends/data, and leadership. (Page 200) Title II

Individuals with Disabilities who receive Social Security: To be eligible for Social Security Disability Insurance (DI) or Supplemental Security Income (SSI), a person must be deemed unable to engage in substantial gainful activity (SGA) due to a significant and long-lasting health condition. Because of this requirement, once receiving benefits, those who may be willing and able to work are often afraid of losing their benefits if they earn too much. Others are confused by the complex program rules governing benefit receipt for beneficiaries who work. Still others are unaware of the various incentives that SSA provides to encourage beneficiaries to return to work. VR Customers on the roles of SSI/SSDI need guidance tailored to their unique circumstances. This guidance should come with persons who possess a deep knowledge of the relationship between SSA work incentives and the VR process. (Page 208) Title II

Benefits counseling services are provided to all eligible individuals. Services are provided based on the Social Security Administrations (SSA) prioritization protocol. Highest priority is given to those individuals currently working or have job offers pending. Individuals actively seeking employment with specific vocational goals are served followed by those in the early information gathering contemplative phase of employment goal development. Additionally, ADRS places individuals served through either SEARCH or DISCOVERY in the top priority. Individual of the highest priority are provided full intensive work incentive planning services, while others receive Information and Referral Services. At present, ADRS and SSA are in year 3 of the joint funded WIPA benefits counseling program and has provided information and referral services to 3,627 individuals —786 have been referred for intensive long- term work incentive benefits counseling services. (Page 228) Title IV

ADRS began received grant funds from the Social Security Administration in 2000. The initial program the Benefits Planning and Outreach (BPAO) program provided basic Information and referral services to SSDI and/or SSI beneficiaries and recipients. The BPAO program eventually expanded to include intensive and long- term work incentive planning services in 2007—the Work Incentive Planning and Assistant (WIPA) program supported 2.5 staff serving 29 central and southern counties. A break in SSA funding for WIPA nationally in 2012. ADRS utilized SSA reimbursement funds to continue services to individuals in Alabama. When SSA funding returned nationally in 2015, ADRS and SSA entered into an agreement that utilizes joint funding to expand and continue WIPA benefits counseling services. This braided funding supports 6 SSA trained and certified benefits specialist providing services to all 67 counties. Benefits counselors provide both Information and Referral as well as intensive Work Incentive Counseling Services to all individuals receiving SSDI and or SSI. Counselors assist individuals with disabilities, their families and other team members in the development and maintenance of a variety of work. (Page 228) Title II

Benefits counseling services are provided to all eligible individuals. Services are provided based on the Social Security Administrations (SSA) prioritization protocol. Highest priority is given to those individuals currently working or have job offers pending. Individuals actively seeking employment with specific vocational goals are served followed by those in the early information gathering contemplative phase of employment goal development. Additionally, ADRS places individuals served through either SEARCH or DISCOVERY in the top priority. Individual of the highest priority are provided full intensive work incentive planning services, while others receive Information and Referral Services. At present, ADRS and SSA are in year 3 of the joint funded WIPA benefits counseling program and has provided information and referral services to 3,627 individuals —786 have been referred for intensive long- term work incentive benefits counseling services.

Additionally, as a result of the expansion of the WIPA benefits counseling program, a cooperative program was developed with the Alabama Department of Mental Health in 2017 to support 5 additional benefits specialists specifically charged with serving individuals on the Intellectual Disabilities (ID) or the Living at Home (LAH) waivers. The staff supported by the ADRS DMH cooperative agreement are not bound to the SSA prioritization protocols and therefore, individuals in pre-vocational or contemplative phases of employment goal setting are all eligible for intensive work incentive planning as well as Information & Referral services. (228) Title II

.

Employer / Business Engagement

~~Alabama Business Leadership Employment (ABLE) Network: The 501c3 conglomerate of Alabama businesses that advocate for the employment of individuals with disabilities uses the ADRS business relations program as their lead resource for disability in the workplace issues, while co—sponsoring numerous training events for employers. They also serve as an advisor to ADRS on disability issues and resources for employers. • Federal Office of Personnel Management (OPM): Representatives from a variety of Federal agencies throughout Alabama that function under the OPM work directly with the ADRS business relations consultants to implement Federal hiring mandates, Schedule A recruitment, accommodations, and employee retention impacting workers with disabilities in the Federal sector. • Department of Veterans Affairs: Vocational Rehabilitation and Employment (VR&E) program. ADRS collaborates with the VR&E program at the national and state level to serve and place into employment veterans completing the VR&E program, providing customized services through ADRS specialty counselors, rehabilitation technology specialists for accommodations, and for return to work assistance. ADRS does not have a written agreement with the VA. (Page 177-178) Title II

ADRS is committed to a “dual customer” approach in working with employers to identify competitive integrated employment opportunities and career exploration opportunities for the consumers we serve. While doing so, ADRS also focuses on developing effective working relationships with business to address their disability related issues in the workplace from outreach and recruitment, to accommodations, to education, to resources linkages and more via the development and delivery of appropriate products and services to meet the needs of business as specified in the WIOA proposed regulations and beyond. To accomplish the above, ADRS has a business relations unit, “READI-Net” (Resources for Employment and Disability Information Network), led by a State Office Administrator of Business Relations and staffed by specially trained Business Relations Consultants (BRCs), in a classification separate from Vocational Rehabilitation Counselor. The Administrator serves as the ADRS representative with full oversight of collaborative relationships with businesses developed by any VR staff or other VR agencies in The NET (VR’s National Employment Team) that wish to establish or grow their partnership with Vocational Rehabilitation in Alabama. At the state level, the Administrator is the lead liaison to workforce partners, community organizations and other agencies that establish partnerships with business and is the “reviewing supervisor” of the business relations consultants. At the local level, the BRCs are charged with establishing and maintaining effective relationships with business to create employment opportunities for individuals with disabilities or to assist business with retention of workers whose job is affected by illness, injury or disability. BRCs develop and deliver other disability-related services needed by business and are accountable for the quality and effectiveness of those services. They simultaneously assist consumers (youth and adults) with job readiness preparation (through group or one-on-one sessions), job development, job search, job retention and follow-up. In addition, ADRS works with a network of community-based organizations on customized placement services for consumers, necessitating coordination with employers. (Page 188-189) Title II

Through the above - mentioned programs, employer services and partnerships, ADRS will also coordinate with employers in order to facilitate the provision of transition services for students and youth with disabilities. ADRS will also coordinate with employers to provide pre-employment transition services to students with disabilities. ADRS will accomplish this by working with employers to arrange work-based learnings experiences for students with disabilities. These work-based learning experiences will include setting up worksite tours, job shadowing and mentoring opportunities, paid and unpaid internships, apprenticeships and other learning experiences within business and industry sectors. ADRS will also involve employers in informational interviews and other mentoring activities in order to provide instruction in self-advocacy for students receiving pre-employment transition services. Lastly, employers will be used to provide information about in-demand industry sectors and occupations as well as labor market information, which can be used in providing job exploration counseling to students with disabilities receiving pre-employment transition services. (Page 190) Title II

Expand and leverage new employer and state agency partnerships to achieve Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act common performance measure outcomes. ADRS should build upon the existing business engagement activities, as well as state partnerships facilitated by the Alabama Workforce Development Board, to promote labor exchange between ADRS participants and employers seeking talent; with an emphasis on in-demand occupations.
• Enhance career guidance competencies of VR counselors by fostering knowledge of local labor-market information and in-demand careers. Having access to accurate and up-to-date labor market data, as well as information and guidance about career and training opportunities, can help individuals make better decisions about training and lead to better outcomes. (Page 234) Title II

These services are centered around Career Exploration, Work Base Learning, Counseling on Post-Secondary Education opportunities, Workplace Readiness, and Self-Advocacy. The agency will increase opportunities for College Preparation training and the agency will work with public schools statewide in order to plan vocational services and increase VR counselors’ presence in the schools. In order to ensure that individuals with disabilities have access to services offered through career centers, we will collaborate with workforce partners by having regular workforce meetings and by assuring the agency is represented on all local workforce boards. The agency will continue to assist consumers with gaining the skills necessary to compete for in demand jobs through collaboration with technical schools, universities, and partnerships with agencies such as the Alabama Industrial Development Training (AIDT).
 
3. EFFECTIVELY SERVING EMPLOYERS The agency will effectively serve employers through business services provided through its long-standing Business Relations Program called READI-Net. In order to improve the performance of the state in respect to this performance accountability measure, the READI-Net program will continue to provide disability resources, information and services to businesses in order to meet their disability and employment-related needs. The READI-Net program will also continue to develop new and innovative services for businesses. These new and innovative services will be driven by specific input from long-term ADRS business customers who serve as advisors to ADRS through the VR State Rehabilitation Council’s Business Relations Committee, through the ABLN - Alabama Business Leadership Network, which is the state chapter of the U.S. Business Leadership Network, and through Business Roundtable Events. The input gained from these business customers will be used to develop strategic plans with businesses which will facilitate the customization of business services in order to assist businesses with their outreach, recruitment, hiring and retention needs, as well as, staff training needs, affirmative action planning, metric and record keeping, and customized, company specific, disability-related services. The agency will work in collaboration with the Core Workforce Partners to record and report on the required measurements of Retention and Repeat business. (Page 232) Title II

Services provides a Supported Employment Administrator and two Supported Employment Specialists to monitor supported employment services and provide training and technical assistance. Each supported employment provider operates under a milestone/outcome—based program to ensure quality outcomes and appropriate employment options based on individual choice. Consumers are offered the opportunity to participate in community—based assessments to facilitate an informed decision regarding their employment goal. Job development is provided on an individual basis to locate employment based on the consumer’s interests, skills, limitations and community living needs. Job coaching is also provided at the work site to ensure that the individual has the necessary training, skills and supports to work. Once the consumer is stable in the workplace, extended services are planned and implemented to protect the long—term success of the job. Consumer and employer satisfaction regarding the services provided are measured at the time of employment and again before case closure. Extended services are a continuation of ongoing support services provided to individuals with the most significant disabilities. These extended supports are provided at the completion of stabilization, during the successful rehabilitation Milestone and beyond ADRS case closure. The option for Discovery and Customized Employment, or for Person Centered Profiles along with assessments are available to consumers to maximize success for individuals in supported employment. Supported Self-employment is also available for individuals wanting to start their own business. (Page 244) Title II

Data Collection

No disability specific information found regarding this element.

Subminimum Wage (Section 511)

~~• Regulations on Section 511 and Limitations on Use of Sub-Minimum Wage
The process of re-allocating our resources with the CRP program has already begun with Pre-Employment Transition Services and so far is considered a success. Of the total CRP set-aside dollars authorized to date in FY 17, 33% is for Pre-ETS service. Of all the consumers who had an authorization in the set aside, 44% of these were students with disabilities. The provision of Pre ETS through CRPs is an essential component of the department’s plan to meet the needs of students with disabilities. In order to continue at this pace and to provide the services our consumers need to become better equipped to work, the method of payment for services provided by the CRP needs to transition from a performance or outcome based system as in STEPS I, II, and III to a service based system as we have done with Pre-ETS. It is proposed that these services be phased in as the CRP becomes prepared to provide them and meet the demands of the counselors. However, most of the CRP’s are already equipped to or are providing these services.

Very strict guidelines have been included in WIOA related to the definition of competitive integrated employment. While VR and its CRP partners have had a focus on competitive employment for many years, this new interpretation states that persons who do not have a goal of competitive integrated employment are not eligible for VR and we cannot provide services which will lead to employment in a non-integrated environment. The Rehabilitation Services Administration (RSA) has gone further to define a non-integrated setting as employment with organizations that exist to employ persons with disabilities, including Ability One and other programs under the Javits—Wagner—O’Day Act. While VRS has no choice but to adhere to the current federal interpretation of this new definition, there remains an understanding of the value of a work experience on future vocational success. While not suitable any longer as a long- term rehabilitation goal, utilization of such opportunities for transitional employment, skill attainment, and work adjustment remain a viable option for person with disabilities. (Page 210) Title II
 
The restrictions placed on access to sub-minimum wage and the expansion of supported employment opportunities are significant but not particularly new in the VR program. Sheltered employment at below minimum wage has not been a suitable outcome for VRS for almost 20 years. WIOA simply made it much more difficult for a person to by-pass VR and select sub-minimum wage employment. Most of the traditional community rehabilitation partners in the state have relinquished their Department of Labor (DOL) sub-minimum wage certificates in favor of paying at least the minimum wage in what was traditionally called “sheltered employment”. With supported employment, the law places an emphasis on providing services to youth with disabilities and for providing extended supports for a longer period of time before the ongoing support is transitioned from VR to another provider. (Page 210) Title II

ADRS works very closely at ADMH and we have been able to access their waiver for youth seeking employment requiring extended supports, through this collaborative effort. ADMH set aside reserve waiver slots for youth in project SEARCH who needed extended supports beyond what was typically provided. We seek their assistance and work closely with their department, when we have individuals (including youth) seeking employment that will need extended supports. Because of this relationship, we have not yet needed to fund extended supports. Additionally, because our secondary systems are no longer referring to 14Cs, we are getting more referrals for students at a younger age that we feel like will need extended services. We do anticipate that we will use extended service funded by VR dollars. (Page 239-240) Title II

Continued collaboration with the Alabama Department of Mental Health on moving consumers from facility- based services to community based, competitive integrated employment. This includes making sure counselors have a better understanding of Medicaid waivers, SS implications, including work incentives and providers who don’t contract with VR know about our application and eligibility process, supported employment services, the availability of benefit planners and section 511 of WIOA. SE Specialists have been working with providers known to VR to provide career counseling, information and referral, and benefits counseling to those in subminimum wage employment. This includes information on the supported employment providers in their area. We have also worked with school systems in our state to provide documentation and instruction on limitations and requirements for youth entering subminimum wage employment. VR, in collaboration with the State Department of Education, developed procedures and documentation for both the LEAs and VR. This in addition to efforts to reach students at a younger age should greatly encourage competitive, integrated employment as a first option for students and youth with more significant disabilities. Documentation collected from individuals currently in sub-minimum wage employment suggests the median age is over 50. (Page 242-243) Title II

Equal Opportunity and Nondiscrimination (Section 188)

In 2005, a team of persons with disabilities and others reviewed each Alabama Career Center for physical and programmatic accessibility using a survey checklist developed under Section 188 of WIA. A re-survey of Career Centers (including satellite centers) is being done in FY 2016 to check physical and programmatic accessibility of facilities, services, technology and materials using a DOL survey checklist developed under Section 188 of WIOA and a policy checklist. (Page 110) Title I

This requirement provides some assurance that CRP’s address issues like ADA accessibility, accountability, safety, staff qualifications, accommodations, and affirmative action in hiring persons with disabilities and address any special communication needs of consumers. Currently, the CRP Administrator meets with CRP staff to discuss services and formulate an agreement that establishes agreed upon fees, referrals, and employment goals for each CRP. This information is shared with local counselors so that appropriate referrals and service authorizations can be made to the CRPs. The department continues to work cooperatively with CRPs statewide to improve services at the local level. There is a continuous need for services. The development and establishment of new programs will change with the assessment of consumer needs. Based on an assessment of the capacity and effectiveness of vocational rehabilitation services currently provided by CRPs statewide, a number of trends appear to be taking place: • Increased emphasis on serving individuals that are considered underserved, individuals with the most significant disabilities, and individuals residing in rural areas of the state. (Page 184- 185) Title I 

Individuals with Major Physical Impairments: The top vocational rehabilitation needs identified among individuals with major physical impairments were: Accessibility, Transportation, Assistive Technology, Housing, and Medical Care & Supplies. Many persons with physical limitations made their voices heard in the 2017 SRC Unmet Needs Survey and also at SRC Public Forums held around the state. Transportation and accessibility remain formidable barriers for wheelchair users, often presenting a more daunting challenge than work itself. Many told us of ongoing health care needs that are expensive and impossible to manage without proper medical benefits. Others emphasized the challenges they face finding accessible, affordable housing. (Page 207-208) Title II

The agency maintains a very productive relationship with the Workforce Development System of Alabama. First, the Commissioner of the agency sits on the Statewide Workforce Development Board. Consequently, the agency has a voice at the table to advocate for the needs and issues of individuals with disabilities. The agency has counselors stationed on a permanent basis in One—Stop Career Centers in several of the larger cities in the state. These staff members receive referrals and also provide advice and information to other staff in the One—Stop Career Centers on how to serve individuals with disabilities. The agency will have numerous staff participate in the state Workforce Conference, when conducted, involving all partners and other service providers related to the Statewide Workforce Investment System. The agency sits on the planning council of this conference so that various breakout sessions related to the needs of individuals with disabilities are included on the agenda. The agency is currently working in collaboration with the Career Centers and Workforce Development Partners on assessing all of the Career Centers in the state for accessibility. Recommendations will be made by the agency and the Workforce Development Core Partners will work together to ensure that the Career Centers continue to be accessible for all individuals with disabilities. (Page 233) Title II

Veterans

Department of Labor — Veterans Employment Training Service (VETS): ADRS collaborates at the state and local level with the Disabled Veterans Outreach Program (DVOP) and Local Veterans Employment Representatives (LVER) staff to assist wounded warriors in return to work or obtaining employment with Federal contractors and other businesses. This includes vets’ access to the ADRS RAVE (Retaining A Valued Employee) program. • Alabama Industry Liaison Group (ALILG): Represents Federal contractors’ compliance issues to include those tied to disability (Section 503 of the Rehab Act). ADRS is the lead provider of information, training and resources related to outreach, employment and retention of individuals with disabilities to ALILG businesses and ALILG routinely trains ADRS business relations consultants and participates in local, regional and state conferences sponsored by ADRS. Cooperative Agreements. (Page 177) Title II

Alabama will move ahead with plans under the Accelerate Alabama initiative that will include the services provided by Alabama Career Centers affiliated with the Americans Job Center network to include veterans and eligible persons with resources and emphasis for technical training and higher education. 2. Increase business services outreach to Federal defense contractors and subcontractors, such as URS Group Inc. of Mobile for work on the Air Force’s KC—46C; Northrop Grumman of Huntsville for research and development services in support of integrated missile defense; Boeing Co. for work on Army helicopters; L—3 Coleman Aerospace of Huntsville from the Missile Defense Agency. 3. Expand the AIDT training and job opportunities listing on the Alabama Job Link (AJL) https://joblink.alabama.gov/ada/ to increase priority referral of veterans and eligible persons to jobs and job training. 4. Increase employer outreach in the automotive manufacturing sector which employs many Recently Separated Veterans and pays the highest average wages of any manufacturing industry in Alabama — nearly $75,000. 5. Encourage more veterans to enroll in the State’s workforce Job—driven training, in trade, manufacturing, and shipbuilding apprenticeship programs offered through the Alabama Industrial Development Training to increase the entered employment rate of Recently Separated Veterans and long term unemployed, older veterans. 6. Expand innovative partnerships such as the initiative of the Alabama Career Center in Mobile, American Job Center affiliate that is training veterans in the welding training and certification program under a joint—venture by AIDT with the ship building industry. Historically, veterans who complete training are placed in well—paying and stable jobs. (Page 284) Title II

DVOPs will facilitate intensive services under a strategy of case management to veterans with special employment and training needs due to a SBE, as defined by current VPL guidance. These services may include any combination of services listed below, but at a minimum, an assessment of employability and a written employment plan are required in a program of case management. All services are to be documented including, assessment, career guidance, and coordination with supportive services, referrals to job training, and referral of “Job Ready” clients to career center job placement specialists. • DVOPs prioritize services to veterans with SBEs who are economically and educationally disadvantaged, veterans enrolled as clients in a program of vocational rehabilitation administered by the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs, veterans who are homeless, and other veterans identified as needing individual assistance and case management as determined by the Assistant Secretary for Veterans Employment and Training Services. • DVOPs develop and promote apprenticeship and OJT positions for veterans with SBEs. • DVOPs provide technical assistance to community—based organizations for employment and training services to veterans with SBEs. • DVOPs provide vocational and career guidance to veterans with SBEs. • DVOPs provide ES case management to veterans with significant obstacles and challenges to employment. (Page 286) Title II

Development Training (AIDT) program, and other training providers to locate and refer veterans to job—driven training and apprenticeship programs AIDT program. Veterans having a SBEs will be referred to DVOPs for intensive services. DVOPs will also be assigned to orientation sessions hosted by the U.S. Department of Veteran Affairs, Vocational Rehabilitation and Employment (VR&E) to assist potential VR&E clients to make good choices in their Chapter 31 occupational and career training.

LVER Staff LVER duties will be assigned in accordance with 38 U.S.C. § 4104, as amended by the VOW to Hire Heroes Act, Public Law 112—56, the Special Grant provisions of the JVSG, and VPL 03—14 and 04—14, to exclusively benefit veterans and eligible persons by promoting the advantages of hiring veterans to employers, employer associations, and business groups, as well as those duties that facilitate employment, training, and placement services furnished to veterans through the career center within the American Job Center (AJC) network of providers. (Page 287) Title II

The Alabama Career Centers in the statewide American Job Center network as a key member in the Alabama Veterans Executive Network (AlaVetNet) will assist in the implementation of the Long Range Plan with the Alabama Business Council, Small Business Administration and the Alabama Community College System to consolidate and streamline job—driven training for veterans and separating military service members based on the needs of business and industry and the recommendations from employers, veteran employee mentoring programs, and feedback from a series of Regional Employer Summits being planned for 2015.

The statewide American Job Center network as a partner with public and private agencies in the AlaVetNet will encourage bridge training with community colleges and will work with the Alabama National Guard to offer all veterans to participate Alabama National Guard’s Civilian Job Training program. (Page 294) Title II

This award is for Local Veterans Employment Representatives (LVER), Disabled Veterans Outreach Program (DVOP) representatives and the State’s workforce development employees who provide services to veterans under the Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act (WIOA) and the Wagner—Peyser Act. As defined in the Alabama Labor Administrative Code, § 480—2—1—.03, the Commissioner of the Alabama Department of Labor is responsible for the awarding of cash awards only to eligible recipients, and for the administration of the awards program, pursuant to law and the Special Provisions of the JVSG. (Page 294) Title II

Moreover, local career center managers will develop outreach activities to locate Covered Persons under Veterans’ Priority. Managers or designated representatives will review special reports generated by AJL for the purpose of identifying veterans and Covered Persons who may be contacted and made aware of their priority in services and training. Career Center managers will develop local service strategies and training goals for veterans and Covered Persons entitled to Veterans’ Priority, in consultation with their partner agencies and training providers, to encourage maximum utilization of services and training by veterans and Covered Persons. All Alabama Workforce Development regions have implemented Veterans’ Priority in the State WIA and Wagner—Peyser Plan of Service. Disabled Veterans Outreach Program (DVOP) representatives and Local Veterans Employment Representatives (LVERs) shall complement Priority of Service provided by the AJC to veterans and Covered Persons, as mandated under Title 38 U.S.C., Chapter 41, and in accordance with the general and special provisions of the Jobs For Veterans State Grant (JVSG), and applicable regulations, policies, and directive guidance for JVSG from the Assistant Secretary, Veterans Employment and Training (ASVET), including Veterans Program Letters addressing DVOP—LVER Roles and Responsibilities. (Page 298) Title II 

AJCs will promote job—driven apprenticeship training to veterans under the GoBuildAlabama initiative offered through unions and the Alabama Construction Recruitment Institute. Established by the Alabama Legislature to increase outreach to unemployed and under—employed, and expand the involvement of community leaders, employers, labor unions, training programs, and veterans’ organizations, the GoBuildAlabama program is an excellent opportunity for veterans to enter OJT and apprenticeship in the trades, in addition to employment and training programs funded under WIOA. • LVERs will maintain current information on employment and training opportunities. • LVERs will plan and participate in job fairs and employer summits to promote veterans. • LVERS will encourage streamlining of credentialing and licensing for veterans with military training comparable to the requirements of credentialing agencies and entities.

Outreach to Employers on Behalf of Veterans • LVERs as team members of Business Service Units will develop employer relations contact plans for career centers in the AJC network, to include identifying federal contractors and recruit jobs for all veterans from local employers. • LVERS will establish, maintain, or facilitate regular contact with employers to develop employment and training openings for all veterans. • LVERS will monitor job listings by federal contractors and encourage the referral of qualified veterans who may not have been referred to those job by the Alabama Job Link automated notification/referral system. (Page 288) Title IV

Veterans with SBEs will be provided a comprehensive Assessment of Employability, addressing barriers to employment and a written Individual Employment Plan (IEP) outlining the individual’s employability planning. Locating Priority Group Veterans Veterans in priority groups will be located in the data system by developing special reports and search capabilities of the AJL system. Career Center/AJC staff members will outreach to veterans who may benefit from DVOP services. DVOPs will outreach to homeless shelters, community agencies that provide services to homeless individuals, and will participate in special events for disabled and homeless veterans, such as Homeless Veterans Stand Downs. Employment Service Case Management by DVOP Specialists

Standard DVOP case management practices will include: 1. Assisting veteran—clients in development of job objectives and a resume. 2. Identifying significant barriers or challenges to employment. 3. Referring or assisting veteran—clients to appropriate supportive services. 4. Determining veteran—clients’ economic need. 5. Identifying training or educational goals. 6. Documenting contacts with employers on behalf of individual clients. 7. Maintaining current contact information. 8. Documenting job referrals and job development for employment, internship, or on—the—job—training (OJT) opportunities for individual clients. (Page 296) Title II

Behavioral / Mental Health

~~One industry sector that is not addressed in the Accelerate Alabama plan is Health Care. The fact that the baby boomers are hitting retirement age, and also that people are living longer, is beginning to have a large impact on the health care system. Additionally, there are many more specialized jobs in health care, than in the past, due to the fact that health care costs have risen and so has demand for health care. While hospitals have experienced small, but steady, growth every year since 2000, most of the growth in health care employment comes from industries that provide more focused care. Industries such as outpatient care centers, home health care services, and specialized health practitioners have doubled in employment since 2000. In addition, employment in residential disability, mental health, and substance facilities have grown 226.0 percent since the turn of the century. (Page 16) Title I.

The Agency has considered this recommendation and rejects it at this time as peer employment specialists are employed by the Alabama Department of Mental Health and their provider agencies and trained and certified through the Department. Additionally, ADRS has partnered with the Alabama Department of Mental Health to provide Individualized Placement and Support (IPS) supported employment, which is an initiative to reach out to individuals with mental illness and co-occurring substance abuse, and provide an integration of services, including peer support services, in order achieve competitive integrated employment outcomes.

Recommendation: The VR general consumer satisfaction survey should include SAIL clients.
Agency Response: The Agency accepts this recommendation and will implement it as soon as possible. (Page 171) Title I

Alabama Department of Mental Health is responsible for providing services to individuals with developmental disabilities, and ADRS works collaboratively in our state to increase competitive integrated employment, particularity for individuals with more significant disabilities. Initiatives such as Project SEACH, that currently serves over 100 individuals with significant disabilities at ten different locations throughout the state, the GATE project which is a collaborative effort to move individuals served through the waivers in day programs into community based, integrated employment opportunities through development of training sites embedded in employment opportunities in the communities, and conjoint trainings for job coaches working through both entities, community based rehabilitation partners, school personnel, jointly funded school personnel, skills training instructors, IPS staff and other community providers. We have a current cooperative agreement in place that outlines the roles and responsibilities of partners, over view and function as well as the state level shared objectives. This agreement is for both the DD and MI/SA divisions of the department. In 2017, ADRS entered into a cooperative agreement with the Alabama Department of Mental Health to provide benefits counseling services to individuals receiving Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) or Supplemental Security Income (SSI), are currently being served or on a waiting listfor either the Living at Home (LAH) or the Intellectual Disabilities (ID) waivers. Information and Referral as well as intensive benefits counseling services are provided by trained certified benefits specialists to any individuals whether the individual is currently employed, has a job offer or is in the contemplative stages of employment planning. Staff supported through the ADRS DMH cooperative agreement work in collaboration with other ADRS WIPA benefits counseling staff. The cooperative agreement targets 100 individuals annually. (Page 191) Title II

Continued collaboration with the Alabama Department of Mental Health on moving consumers from facility - based services to community based, competitive integrated employment. This includes making sure counselors have a better understanding of Medicaid waivers, SS implications, including work incentives and providers who don’t contract with VR know about our application and eligibility process, supported employment services, the availability of benefit planners and section 511 of WIOA. SE Specialists have been working with providers known to VR to provide career counseling, information and referral, and benefits counseling to those in subminimum wage employment. This includes information on the supported employment providers in their area. We have also worked with school systems in our state to provide documentation and instruction on limitations and requirements for youth entering subminimum wage employment. VR, in collaboration with the State Department of Education, developed procedures and documentation for both the LEAs and VR. This in addition to efforts to reach students at a younger age should greatly encourage competitive, integrated employment as a first option for students and youth with more significant disabilities. Documentation collected from individuals currently in sub-minimum wage employment suggests the median age is over 50. (Page 243) Title II

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

These services have been identified by our business customers and ADRS received input from our business customers in developing these services so that their needs would be met. One area is customized, but varied training related to disability issues, for example, Disability etiquette and Disability bias training; Awareness of specific disabling conditions; and Emergency Preparedness for employees with disabilities. With Federal legislation and specific mandates for compliance around disability matters, ADRS also provides relevant training on the successful methodology and resources for implementation. Retaining valued workers whose job is affected by illness, injury or disability has been a major concern by business and ADRS has customized stay-at-work and return-to-work services to increase the likelihood of that worker with a disability keeping their job. And finally, in looking at generic personnel issues related to the workforce, ADRS provides services to address personnel processes, job descriptions, website accessibility, targeted recruitment, and the use of the ADRS rehabilitation technology specialist team and, of course, the statewide Business Relations Consultants that provide all those services at the local level. (Page 76) Title I

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

Policies and Initiatives

Displaying 1 - 10 of 47

Home and Community Based Waivers – 2020 - 01/07/2020

“Individuals who are elderly and/or disabled may qualify for home and community- based services through one of these waiver programs.  These services are to protect the health, safety, and dignity of those individuals who are at risk of institutional care and will allow them to receive full Medicaid coverage in addition to the services provided by the specific waiver in the community setting.  Individuals who are disabled may first apply for SSI or disability benefits through the Social Security Administration in order to determine if they meet disability requirements.  Aged or disabled individuals must meet the specific eligibility requirements for each waiver listed below to receive the waiver services.”

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

Southeast AlabamaWorks! Local Workforce Development Board (SAW) Request for Proposals (RFP) for the selection of program operators to provide Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act (WIOA) funded Youth Workforce Development Services for program year 2019 - 04/02/2020

~~Alabama Department of Commerce’s (ADC) Workforce Development Division, Governor’s Local Workforce Areas (GLWA) and the Southeast AlabamaWorks! Local Workforce Development Board is issuing this Request for Proposals (RFP) for occupational youth services programs to serve out-of-school youth ages 16 – 24 (with barriers to employment as identified by WIOA) and in-school youth ages 16 – 21. Special consideration will be given to youth programs that provide linkages to Pre-Apprentice or Registered Apprenticeship programs

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

Chart of Alabama HCBS Waiver Services - 02/02/2020

~~This is a chart of the details of the HCBS waivers in Alabama.

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

AL-APSE 2020 Conference July 8-10, 2020 - 01/01/2020

~~Location: Renaissance Montgomery Hotel & SpaThe Alabama APSE conference is scheduled for July 8-10, 2020 in Montgomery at the Renaissance Hotel & Spa. The event will conclude at noon on Friday the 10th. 

Systems
  • Other
Topics
  • School-to-Work Transition

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

~~“AIDS Alabama, Inc. was awarded a statewide 2019 CMS Navigator Cooperative Agreement serving “Left behind”1populations, low-income and vulnerable populations, particularly those individuals with disabilities. There are no Sub-awardee/Subrecipient Contracted Organizations. They will partner with East Alabama Medical Center, AIDS Alabama South, The Right Place, and Unity Wellness Center.  For more information, please contact the designated project lead.

Contact:Matthew PagnottiPhone: (205) 324-9822Email: matthew.pagnotti@aidsalabama.org

Systems
  • Other
Topics
  • Cross-Agency Collaboration / Partnerships

Alabama Department of Mental Health - 06/08/2019

~~“MissionServe • Empower • Support

VisionPromoting the health and well-being of Alabamians with mental illnesses, developmental disabilities and substance use disorders

ValuesCore values are the basis on which the members of Alabama Department of Mental Health staff make decisions, plan strategy, and interact with each other and those we serve.”

More information about the services provided by the Alabama Dept. of Mental Heath is available by accessing its website

Systems
  • Department of Mental Health
Topics
  • Mental Health

HB570: Eliminating Legal Barriers to Apprenticeships (ELBA)17 Act -8-33, 25-8-35, and 25-8-43 am'd. - 05/31/2019

“ENROLLED, An Act,

Relating to apprenticeships; to provide that an individual who completes an apprenticeship may be granted an occupational license in that trade if the individual also meets other requirements, including completion of any required examination with a passing score; to provide that if a licensing authority requires an examination for a license, the authority may not impose higher testing standards upon that individual than it does for any other applicant; and to amend Sections 25-8-33, 25-8-35, and 25-8-43, Code of Alabama 1975, to allow in-school youth apprentices to work in certain occupations under certain conditions.”

Systems
  • Other
Topics
  • School-to-Work Transition
  • Employer Engagement
  • Apprenticeship
  • Resource Leveraging

SB 295: Alabama Industry Recognized and Registered Apprenticeship Program Act - 05/30/2019

“ENROLLED, An Act,

To establish the Alabama Industry Recognized and Registered Apprenticeship Program Act; to establish the Alabama Office of Apprenticeship to certify certain registered  and industry recognized apprenticeship programs; to develop the Alabama Registered and Industry Recognized Apprenticeship  Program; to provide incentives to employers who hire  apprentices; to offer a nationally recognized state  apprenticeship credential; to amend Sections 40-18-422, 40-18-423, and 40-18-424 of the Code of Alabama 1975, relating to the Apprenticeship Tax Credit Act of 2016; to increase the per capita apprenticeship tax credit from $1,000 to $1,250, increase the aggregate apprenticeship tax credit from  $3,000,000 to $7,500,000, provide a $500 per capita incentive  tax credit for hiring in school youth apprentices; to extend  the apprenticeship tax credit through 2025; and to clarify  that the State Department of Education shall continue to be  the eligible agency to receive and administer career and technical education funding under the Perkins Act.”

Systems
  • Other
Topics
  • School-to-Work Transition
  • Employer Engagement
  • Apprenticeship
  • Resource Leveraging

Employer Services - 05/24/2019

~~This page highlighting Alabama’s AJCs has a collection of organizations and programs for employment services including for veterans.

Systems
  • Other
Topics
  • Employer Engagement

AlabamaWorks! - 05/16/2019

~~AlabamaWorks stands for opportunity, innovation, accountability and inclusion with the vision of a better future for Alabama in which communities, business, and industry are supported in a collaborative process to build prosperity through the opportunity of meaningful work and a growing economy. Our mission is to recruit, train, and empower a highly skilled workforce driven by business and industry needs and to be the competitive advantage for Alabama’s economic growth. Whether you’re an employer, a job seeker or a student, AlabamaWorks is the springboard for your success and promises to provide profitability and economic growth by creating opportunities for success and an improved quality of life for Alabamians.”

Systems
  • Other
Topics
  • Employer Engagement
Citations
Displaying 1 - 3 of 3

HB570: Eliminating Legal Barriers to Apprenticeships (ELBA)17 Act -8-33, 25-8-35, and 25-8-43 am'd. - 05/31/2019

“ENROLLED, An Act,

Relating to apprenticeships; to provide that an individual who completes an apprenticeship may be granted an occupational license in that trade if the individual also meets other requirements, including completion of any required examination with a passing score; to provide that if a licensing authority requires an examination for a license, the authority may not impose higher testing standards upon that individual than it does for any other applicant; and to amend Sections 25-8-33, 25-8-35, and 25-8-43, Code of Alabama 1975, to allow in-school youth apprentices to work in certain occupations under certain conditions.”

Systems
  • Other
Topics
  • School-to-Work Transition
  • Employer Engagement
  • Apprenticeship
  • Resource Leveraging

SB 295: Alabama Industry Recognized and Registered Apprenticeship Program Act - 05/30/2019

“ENROLLED, An Act,

To establish the Alabama Industry Recognized and Registered Apprenticeship Program Act; to establish the Alabama Office of Apprenticeship to certify certain registered  and industry recognized apprenticeship programs; to develop the Alabama Registered and Industry Recognized Apprenticeship  Program; to provide incentives to employers who hire  apprentices; to offer a nationally recognized state  apprenticeship credential; to amend Sections 40-18-422, 40-18-423, and 40-18-424 of the Code of Alabama 1975, relating to the Apprenticeship Tax Credit Act of 2016; to increase the per capita apprenticeship tax credit from $1,000 to $1,250, increase the aggregate apprenticeship tax credit from  $3,000,000 to $7,500,000, provide a $500 per capita incentive  tax credit for hiring in school youth apprentices; to extend  the apprenticeship tax credit through 2025; and to clarify  that the State Department of Education shall continue to be  the eligible agency to receive and administer career and technical education funding under the Perkins Act.”

Systems
  • Other
Topics
  • School-to-Work Transition
  • Employer Engagement
  • Apprenticeship
  • Resource Leveraging

Alabama SB 226 ABLE Act - 06/04/2015

"The Achieving a Better Life Experience (ABLE) Act of 2014 established Section 529A of the Internal Revenue Code of 1986, as amended, to allow families and individuals to save for disability-related expenses of a disabled individual in a federal tax-advantaged account...This bill would include ABLE in the legislative intent...to provide for the ABLE Program; provide for definitions relating to the ABLE Program; would provide for the  income tax exemption eligible to the ABLE Program; and provide appropriations for Fiscal Year 2015 for development and implementation of the ABLE Program."

"The Legislature of Alabama intends to establish a qualified ABLE Program in this state which will encourage and assist Alabama individuals and families in saving private funds for the purpose of supporting Alabama citizens with disabilities." 

Systems
  • Other
Topics
  • Asset Development / Financial Capability
Citations

No Executive Orders have been entered for this state.

Displaying 1 - 10 of 16

Alabama Department of Mental Health - 06/08/2019

~~“MissionServe • Empower • Support

VisionPromoting the health and well-being of Alabamians with mental illnesses, developmental disabilities and substance use disorders

ValuesCore values are the basis on which the members of Alabama Department of Mental Health staff make decisions, plan strategy, and interact with each other and those we serve.”

More information about the services provided by the Alabama Dept. of Mental Heath is available by accessing its website

Systems
  • Department of Mental Health
Topics
  • Mental Health

Employer Services - 05/24/2019

~~This page highlighting Alabama’s AJCs has a collection of organizations and programs for employment services including for veterans.

Systems
  • Other
Topics
  • Employer Engagement

AlabamaWorks! - 05/16/2019

~~AlabamaWorks stands for opportunity, innovation, accountability and inclusion with the vision of a better future for Alabama in which communities, business, and industry are supported in a collaborative process to build prosperity through the opportunity of meaningful work and a growing economy. Our mission is to recruit, train, and empower a highly skilled workforce driven by business and industry needs and to be the competitive advantage for Alabama’s economic growth. Whether you’re an employer, a job seeker or a student, AlabamaWorks is the springboard for your success and promises to provide profitability and economic growth by creating opportunities for success and an improved quality of life for Alabamians.”

Systems
  • Other
Topics
  • Employer Engagement
Citations

Supported Employment: Working for People with Significant Disabilities - 08/01/2018

~~“Supported employment (SE) is a customer-driven approach that assesses individuals with the most-significant disabilities and assists eligible individuals in obtaining competitive, integrated employment.The program is offered by Vocational Rehabilitation Service (VRS), a division of the Alabama Department of Rehabilitation Services (ADRS), in collaboration with several partners throughout the state.  SE uses Milestones to Employment (MTE) in connecting employers with valuable employees who care about their job. MTE involves up to four milestone steps:Milestone 1 – Situational assessment and/or discoveryMilestone 2 – Job search/job placementMilestone 3 – Job coachingMilestone 4 – Long-term follow-up” 

Systems
  • Department of Rehabilitation Services
Topics
  • Employer Engagement

Engage Alabama: Secondary Transition Best Practices for Positive Student Outcomes - 07/06/2018

~~The objectives of this presentation are: “Provide participants with a brief overview of the letter and spirit of the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA) as it applies to transition. Demonstrate the use of transition tools and resources, assessments, data, and the transition component of the Individualized Education Program (IEP) to develop compliant and effective transition services. Practice using planning, preparation and data analysis to determine appropriate and relevant IEP content for transition. 

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

Governor Ivey Announces Funding for New Behavioral Health Services - 04/06/2018

~~“Governor Kay Ivey announced on Friday that Alabama has set aside $11 million in its recently passed budgets for the Alabama Department of Mental Health to expand behavioral health services for Medicaid-eligible children and youth. When combined with federal matching funds, the money is expected to generate more than $36 million in total spending during the 2019 fiscal year, which begins October 1.

The funding will expand services provided at home or in the community to two groups of young people. One group is children and youth with severe emotional disturbance. The other group is children and youth with autism spectrum disorder.

For both groups, these services will be designed to help recipients manage the behavioral aspects of their condition. For example, for both groups, the state will fund therapy teams to work with an affected young person and his or her family members to develop a behavior plan and provide home-based services that reflect the young person’s unique diagnosis and circumstances.

For this reason, the funding is expected to produce savings in other areas of public spending. In the short term, these services should reduce the number of crises experienced by the affected children and youth, thereby reducing the demands on schools and emergency services. Over the longer term, the services should reduce spending on residential mental health treatment.”

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

Mastering the Maze: The Special Education Process 1: Referral through IEP Implementation (Draft) - 03/01/2018

~~“Employment/Occupation/Career Goal l (Select or write the most appropriate goal for the student):• Student will reach college and career readiness by potentially earning an industry career credential. • Student will be prepared to participate in competitive integrated employment with no need for support based on successful completion of career exploration, community-based work, and/or cooperative education experience. • Student will be prepared to participate in competitive integrated employment with time-limited support based on successful completion of career exploration, community-based work experience and/ or cooperative education experience. • Student  will  be  prepared  to  participate  in  supported  employment  which  will  include  community-based assessment, job development, job coaching, and extended support needed to meet his/her  employment needs based on successful completion of school-based work experiences, community-based career exploration, and application for supported employment services.”

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

IT’s My Job It’s My Life!: Employment First for Alabamians with Disabilities - 11/15/2017

~~“The Alabama Disabilities Advocacy Program (ADAP) is part of the nationwide federally-funded protection and advocacy system. Our mission is to provide quality, legally-based advocacy services to Alabamians with disabilties to protect, promote, and expand their rights. …

In the past year ADAP staff has visited sheltered workshops across the state. We observed activities and talked with people with disabilities. Over and over, those people told us they want to work. They want real jobs and they want to make real wages. It is time to listen to what they are telling us and put “Employment First”.

Systems
  • Other

ADRS Business Relations Program - 09/01/2017

~~“WELCOME TO READI-Net....your Resource for Employment And Disability Information

The Alabama Department of Rehabilitation Services (ADRS) recognizes that business is an important customer and is committed to helping Alabama businesses find solutions to disability-related issues such as:•locating a talent pool of skilled candidates•retaining a valued employee whose job is affected by illness, injury or disability•accessing no-cost resources to save your company time and money and to address your “hot issues”•finding ways to make your business accessible to customers and employees with disabilities •linking your company to multi-state resources.” 

Systems
  • Department of Rehabilitation Services
Topics
  • Employer Engagement

‘Transition Unlimited,’ Unified Statewides Transition Efforts - 02/03/2017

~~“A collaboration between ADRS and Auburn University to improve transition services to students is currently being implemented in every high school in the state. The Alabama pre-employment transition services (Pre-ETS) initiative – dubbed “Transition Unlimited” – is designed to build capacity and connect services to appropriately implement transition services throughout the state. Its goal is to provide guidance to local education agencies (LEAs) in the development of Pre-ETS action plans to better meet the needs of students with disabilities.”

Systems
  • Department of Rehabilitation Services
  • Other
Topics
  • School-to-Work Transition
Displaying 1 - 7 of 7

Southeast AlabamaWorks! Local Workforce Development Board (SAW) Request for Proposals (RFP) for the selection of program operators to provide Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act (WIOA) funded Youth Workforce Development Services for program year 2019 - 04/02/2020

~~Alabama Department of Commerce’s (ADC) Workforce Development Division, Governor’s Local Workforce Areas (GLWA) and the Southeast AlabamaWorks! Local Workforce Development Board is issuing this Request for Proposals (RFP) for occupational youth services programs to serve out-of-school youth ages 16 – 24 (with barriers to employment as identified by WIOA) and in-school youth ages 16 – 21. Special consideration will be given to youth programs that provide linkages to Pre-Apprentice or Registered Apprenticeship programs

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

AL-APSE 2020 Conference July 8-10, 2020 - 01/01/2020

~~Location: Renaissance Montgomery Hotel & SpaThe Alabama APSE conference is scheduled for July 8-10, 2020 in Montgomery at the Renaissance Hotel & Spa. The event will conclude at noon on Friday the 10th. 

Systems
  • Other
Topics
  • School-to-Work Transition

Etowah County Project SEARCH - 05/10/2019

~~“Project SEARCH is a free unique business-led transition program for young adults ages 18-24 who are currently experiencing life with a disability. It provides individuals who want to work a chance to explore careers and develop transferable job skills through an internship at Gadsden Regional Medical Center (GRMC) in Gadsden, AL. Project SEARCH places young adults in real-world situations where they learn all aspects of gaining and maintaining a job. This process of immersion facilitates the teaching and learning of new work skills on a real job-site. “

Systems
  • Other
Topics
  • School-to-Work Transition

“Our Partners": Alabama Council on Developmental Disabilities - 04/20/2017

~~This page is a list of the ACDD’s network and state agency partners

Systems
  • Other
Topics
  • Cross-Agency Collaboration / Partnerships

Housing First, Inc. - 02/27/2017

~~“It is the mission of Housing First, Inc. to secure resources and assets, which lead to community planning to end homelessness through  advocacy and community collaboration. It is our vision that every man, woman, and child will have the opportunity to have suitable, safe, and adequate housing.Today, Housing First, Inc. provides direct service to homeless clients through programs funded by HUD and the Veterans Administration (VA).”   

Systems
  • Other
Topics
  • Cross-Agency Collaboration / Partnerships

Alabama Department of Social Services State Partners: Alabama Department of Mental Health

"ADSS currently partners on several ventures with the ADMH, to include ADRC development and advisory, consumer-directed and person-centered system change, Chronic Disease Self-Management programs, pre-and post-disaster planning and assistance, the Alzheimer’s/Dementia Related Disorders State Plan and Employment First Workforce development. The Council of Developmental Disabilities is housed within the ADMH and operates under Public Law 106-402 and a Governor’s Executive Order. …… ADSS is a member of the DD Council and staff of the DD Council actively participates in cross training, resource development and advice for ADRC development.”

Systems
  • Department of Mental Health
  • Department of Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities
  • Other
Topics
  • Cross-Agency Collaboration / Partnerships
  • Resource Leveraging

Alabama Pathways to Employment

Pathways to Employment is a collection of stepping stones. These opportunities are housed not in one state agency but in many. To make it easier for families and individuals, they are now all in one place.   There is no perfect path. But there are many opportunities available to assist Alabamians with disabilities in finding a path to employment.  
Systems
  • Department of Rehabilitation Services
  • Department of Mental Health
  • Department of Workforce Development
  • Department of Education
  • Medicaid Agencies
Topics
  • School-to-Work Transition
  • Mental Health
  • Home and Community Based Services (HCBS)
Displaying 1 - 7 of 7

Alabama Disability Employment Initiative - 11/01/2017

The Disability Employment Initiative (DEI) is a three-year federal grant-funded program that improves education, training, employment opportunities, and employment outcomes for people with disabilities who are unemployed, underemployed, and/or receiving Social Security disability benefits. In 2013, Alabama was awarded a Round 4 DEI grant from the U.S. Department of Labor’s Employment Training Administration. This grant ended in 2015.

Systems
  • Department of Rehabilitation Services
  • Department of Mental Health
  • Department of Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities
  • Department of Workforce Development
  • Department of Education
  • Medicaid Agencies
  • Other
Topics
  • Self-Employment
  • School-to-Work Transition
  • Mental Health
  • Asset Development / Financial Capability
  • Employer Engagement
  • Cross-Agency Collaboration / Partnerships
  • Data Sharing

Alabama Medicaid Money Follows the Person - 10/24/2012

Alabama received a Medicaid Money Follows the Person grant in October 2012. Alabama received $3.4 million in the first year and up to $28 million over the four-year project to support the successful transition of 625 individuals from an institutional setting to community living. The majority of the funds provide Home and Community-Based Services for Medicaid-eligible individuals who are elderly or have disabilities and who choose to transition from nursing facilities or a state-operated psychiatric hospital Grant funds will cover the upfront costs associated with transitioning each individual as well as the administrative costs of operating the program and will be paid during the first year of each person’s transition.

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

Alabama Employment First

~~Employment First, Real Jobs, Real Wages.One in five people living in the United States have some type of disability. Alabama ranks near the bottom in competitive employment opportunities for people with significant disabilities. Employment First is a declaration of both philosophy and policy, stating that employment is the first priority and preferred outcome of people with disabilities.  

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

Alabama Governor’s Youth Leadership Forum

Started in 1999, the Alabama Governor's Youth Leadership Forum is an innovative, intensive, five-day career leadership training program for high school juniors and seniors with disabilities throughout Alabama. Program activities focus on career planning, leadership development, technology resources and information on disability history to assist young people with disabilities in reaching their maximum potential.

Systems
  • Department of Rehabilitation Services
Topics
  • School-to-Work Transition

Alabama VR Transition Services

Vocational Rehabilitation Service (VRS) places substantial emphasis on assisting youth with disabilities in the transition from school to post school activities.  Transition services are a coordinated set of activities that lead to employment. A vocational rehabilitation counselor works with youth and their families to assess their needs and plan individualized services to meet their chosen vocational goal.  Every public high school in Alabama has a vocational rehabilitation counselor assigned to provide transition services.

Systems
  • Department of Rehabilitation Services
  • Department of Education
Topics
  • School-to-Work Transition
  • Employer Engagement

Alabama Teen Transition Clinic

The Teen Transition Clinic is a team clinic for youth with special health care needs from ages 12-21 who are eligible for Children's Rehabilitation Service and are beginning to plan for transition to adulthood. Young adults who participate in the clinic discuss their goals and explore their options for the future. The clinic team, including the young person and family, collaborates to address issues and problems in planning for the future.   This clinic is a partnership among CRS, Vocational Rehabilitation Service (VRS), the State of Alabama Independent Living (SAIL) Service, and other community providers.  
Systems
  • Department of Rehabilitation Services
Topics
  • School-to-Work Transition
  • Cross-Agency Collaboration / Partnerships

Alabama Project GATE

Alabama has piloted the Gaining Access To Employment project, a collaborative effort between the state’s Department of Mental Health/Developmental Disabilities (MH/DD) and its Department of Vocational Rehabilitation (VR). Through this project, known as Project GATE, the two agencies work together to help local service providers use funds to support integrated employment opportunities. MH/DD and VR have a long history of partnering, including joint efforts on a supported employment workgroup, due to the strong relationships between colleagues at each department.

Systems
  • Department of Rehabilitation Services
  • Department of Mental Health
  • Department of Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities
Topics
  • Customized Employment
  • Employer Engagement
  • Segregated Day & Employment Services
  • Provider Transformation
  • Cross-Agency Collaboration / Partnerships
Displaying 1 - 2 of 2

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

~~“AIDS Alabama, Inc. was awarded a statewide 2019 CMS Navigator Cooperative Agreement serving “Left behind”1populations, low-income and vulnerable populations, particularly those individuals with disabilities. There are no Sub-awardee/Subrecipient Contracted Organizations. They will partner with East Alabama Medical Center, AIDS Alabama South, The Right Place, and Unity Wellness Center.  For more information, please contact the designated project lead.

Contact:Matthew PagnottiPhone: (205) 324-9822Email: matthew.pagnotti@aidsalabama.org

Systems
  • Other
Topics
  • Cross-Agency Collaboration / Partnerships

Alabama’s Transition Engagement Series #1 - 06/16/2017

~~“Alabama’s Transition Engagement Series #1 – Helping Students Achieve Post-School Outcomes: A Handbook for Engaging Secondary Transition Professionals is a handbook designed for Special Education professionals who serve students with disabilities from 14 to 21 years of age.  Its purpose is to provide teachers, paraprofessionals and special education coordinators with (1) the information they need to understand transition and its legal requirements under the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA) and the Alabama Administrative Code (AAC): (2) to provide teachers with the necessary skills to plan, to assess, to write an appropriate and relevant Individualized Education Program (IEP), and conduct an IEP Team meeting for students of transition age; and (3) to provide information on the following topics: Interagency Collaboration, Family and Student Engagement, Program Structures,  Community-Based Work Training,  Transition Leadership Groups, Transition for Significant Disabilities, and Preparing for Graduation.”

Systems
  • Department of Education
Topics
  • School-to-Work Transition
Displaying 1 - 3 of 3

EEOC Sues Two Hawk Employment Agency - 02/22/2016

A temporary employment agency violated federal law when it asked an applicant illegal medical questions during its application process and then refused to hire the applicant because of her responses to those illegal medical inquiries, the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) charged in a lawsuit filed today. In addition, the suit alleges that Two Hawk failed to retain employment applications as required by federal law.

Systems
  • Other

University of Alabama at Birmingham ADA Settlement - 02/10/2016

This Agreement resolves an investigation and compliance review of physical accessibility for individuals with disabilities at UAB under title II of the Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990, 42 U.S.C. §§ 12131 - 12134 (ADA), and the Department of Justice's implementing regulation, 28 C.F.R. Part 35, including the 1991 Standards for Accessible Design, 28 C.F.R. Part 35 (2011) at Appendix D  (1991 Standards), and the ADA 2010 Standards for Accessible Design, 28 C.F.R. § 35.104  (2010 Standards as the requirements set forth in appendices B and D to 36 C.F.R. part 1191 and the requirements contained in subpart D of 28 C.F.R. part 35) (collectively the Standards).

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

“Alabama Disabilities Advocacy Program v. SafetyNet Youthcare, Inc.“ - 12/12/2014

~~“On October 14, 2014 the United States filed a Statement of Interest in Alabama Disabilities Advocacy Program v. SafetyNet Youthcare, Inc., a case in which the defendant denied access to the local protection and advocacy organization. The Statement of Interest expresses the United States' view that facilities must permit access under the Protection and Advocacy for Individuals with Mental Illness Act to all residents regardless of whether the facility characterizes some residents as having a less serious mental health disorder than others.On December 12, 2014, the United States District Court for the Southern District of Alabama granted summary judgment in favor of the local protection and advocacy organization. The court held that defendant's denial of access violated the Protection and Advocacy for Individuals with Mental Illness Act, 42 U.S.C. §§ 10801 – 10851 (2012). The court issued a permanent injunction prohibiting the defendant from denying the protection and advocacy organization reasonable access to defendant's programs.” 

Systems
  • Other
Displaying 1 - 9 of 9

Home and Community Based Waivers – 2020 - 01/07/2020

“Individuals who are elderly and/or disabled may qualify for home and community- based services through one of these waiver programs.  These services are to protect the health, safety, and dignity of those individuals who are at risk of institutional care and will allow them to receive full Medicaid coverage in addition to the services provided by the specific waiver in the community setting.  Individuals who are disabled may first apply for SSI or disability benefits through the Social Security Administration in order to determine if they meet disability requirements.  Aged or disabled individuals must meet the specific eligibility requirements for each waiver listed below to receive the waiver services.”

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

Chart of Alabama HCBS Waiver Services - 02/02/2020

~~This is a chart of the details of the HCBS waivers in Alabama.

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

Public Hearings Set for Medicaid’s Plan First Section 1115 Demonstration Waiver Extension Application - 07/31/2018

~~“Alabama Medicaid conducted public hearings and public notice in accordance with the requirements in 42 C.F.R. 431.408.  The following describes the actions taken by Alabama Medicaid to ensure the public was informed and had the opportunity  to provide input on the proposed waiver.  Alabama Medicaid published long and short versions of public notice of the Agency’s intent to submit a Section 1115 Demonstration Proposal to require unemployed and under-employed able-bodied POCRs to become gainfully employed, or participate in employment related activities such as job search, training, education, vocational or volunteer opportunities to enhance their chances of full employment. “

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

Proposed Section 1115 Demonstration - Work Requirements - 02/27/2018

~~“From 2013 through the current date, the able‐bodied Parent or Caretaker Relative  (POCR) eligibility group has more than doubled from 31,889 to more than 74,000. This has been  during a time of steady economic growth and job creation in the state reflected in the current 3.5  percent unemployment rate, the lowest in Alabama’s history. Thus, in keeping with the overall policy initiatives of the State, Alabama Medicaid’s stewardship of limited resources, and the  original Medicaid program design, Alabama Medicaid is proposing a work requirement for the  able‐bodied POCR eligibility group.  Currently, both the Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF) and the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) programs in Alabama contain certain work requirements for individuals participating in those programs.  Alabama Medicaid plans to utilize the resources that have been successful in these programs to assist Medicaid recipients in gaining the tools necessary to become more self‐sufficient.” 

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

Alabama Medicaid State Plan - 05/17/2017

The Medicaid State Plan outlines the organization and function of the Alabama Medicaid Agency.  Amendments to the State Plan (SPAs) are required when changes to amount, duration or scope of services, or eligibility requirements are proposed.

Systems
  • Medicaid Agencies

Alabama Medicaid State Plan (Proposed) Amendments - 04/28/2017

Amendments to the State Plan (SPAs) are required when changes to amount, duration or scope of services, or eligibility requirements are proposed.  This resource provides the current  proposed amendments. 

Systems
  • Medicaid Agencies

Alabama HCBS Transition Plan - 02/21/2017

Describes Alabama’s process for ensuring compliance with home and community-based setting requirements.

Systems
  • Department of Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities
  • Medicaid Agencies
Topics
  • Home and Community Based Services (HCBS)
  • Segregated Day & Employment Services

Alabama Home and Community- Based Waiver for Persons with MR (0001.R07.00) - 10/01/2014

The waiver provides day hab, personal care, prevocational, residential hab, respite, supported employment, adult companion, behavior therapy, community specialist services, crisis intervention, environmental accessibility adaptations, OT, PT, skilled nursing, specialized medical equipment, specialized medical supplies, speech/language therapy for individuals w/MR ages 3 - no max age

 

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

Alabama Medicaid Money Follows the Person - 10/11/2012

Alabama received a Medicaid Money Follows the Person grant in October 2012.

"Alabama will receive $3.4 million in the first year and up to $28 million over the four year project in the form of an enhanced matching rate to support the successful transition of 625 individuals from an institutional setting to community living, according to Wettingfeld. The project will not require new costs to the state, but rather a shifting of some current expenditures from institutional based programs to community based programs.

The majority of the expenditures will go to provide Home and Community-Based Services for Medicaid-eligible individuals who are elderly or have disabilities and who choose to transition from nursing facilities or a state-operated psychiatric hospital (only applies to recipients under 21 or over 65 for this type of facility). Most are expected to transition to one of Medicaid’s seven HCBS waiver programs or to a PACE program. Grant funds will cover the upfront costs associated with transitioning each individual as well as administrative costs of operating the program and will be paid during the first year of each person’s transition."

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

States - Phablet

Snapshot

The state motto of Alabama is "We Dare Defend Our Rights," including the rights of individuals with disabilities to have real employment opportunities at competitive wages. 

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 Alabama's VR Rates and Services

2019 State Population.
0.31%
Change from
2018 to 2019
4,903,185
2019 Number of people with disabilities (all disabilities, ages 18-64).
-3.99%
Change from
2018 to 2019
401,368
2019 Number of people with disabilities who are employed (all disabilities, ages 18-64).
8.35%
Change from
2018 to 2019
132,656
2019 Percentage of working age people who are employed (all disabilities).
11.86%
Change from
2018 to 2019
33.05%
2019 Percentage of working age people who are employed (NO disabilities).
12.25%
Change from
2018 to 2019
74.62%

State Data

General

2019
Population. 4,903,185
Number of people with disabilities (all disabilities, ages 18-64). 401,368
Number of people with disabilities who are employed (all disabilities, ages 18-64). 132,656
Number of people without disabilities who are employed (ages 18-64). 1,867,058
Percentage of working age people who are employed (all disabilities). 33.05%
Percentage of working age people who are employed (NO disabilities). 74.62%
State/National unemployment rate. 3.00%
Poverty Rate (all disabilities). 21.60%
Poverty Rate (NO disabilities). 14.30%
Number of males with disabilities (all ages). 363,930
Number of females with disabilities (all ages). 401,088
Number of Caucasians with disabilities (all ages). 535,010
Number of African Americans with disabilities (all ages). 200,257
Number of Hispanic/Latinos with disabilities (all ages). 15,428
Number of American Indians/Alaska Natives with disabilities (all ages). 5,974
Number of Asians with disabilities (all ages). 5,816
Number of Hawaiians/Pacific Islanders with disabilities (all ages). N/A
Number of persons of two or more races with disabilities (all ages) 14,164
Number of persons of some other race alone with disabilities (all ages) 3,587

 

SSA OUTCOMES

2019
Number of SSI recipients with disabilities who work. 4,176
Percentage of SSI recipients with disabilities who work relative to total SSI recipients with disabilities. 2.70%
Old Age Survivor and Disability Insurance (OASDI) recipients/workers with disabilities. 219,981

 

MENTAL HEALTH OUTCOMES

2019
Number of mental health services consumers who are employed. 7,218
Number of mental health services consumers who are part of the labor force (employed or actively looking for employment). 18,345
Number of adults served who have a known employment status. 40,979
Percentage of all state mental health agency consumers served in the community who are employed. 17.60%
Percentage of supported employment services evidence based practices (EBP). 0.40%
Percentage of supported housing services evidence based practices (EBP). 0.50%
Percentage of assertive community treatment services evidence based practices (EBP). 1.50%
Percentage of medications management evidence based practices (EBP). N/A
Number of evidence based practices (EBP) supported employment services. 283
Number of evidence based practices (EBP) supported housing services. 329
Number of evidence based practices (EBP) assertive community treatment services. 916
Number of evidence based practices (EBP) medications management. N/A

 

WAGNER PEYSER OUTCOMES

2016
Number of registered job seekers with a disability. 3,087
Proportion of registered job seekers with a disability. N/A

 

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. 52
Total number of people with a disability that is a substantial barrier to work who entered unsubsidized employment. 22
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. 42.00%
Incidence rate of people with a disability that is a substantial barrier to work who entered unsubsidized employment per 100,000 individuals in the general state population. 0.45

 

VR OUTCOMES

2019
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. 40.00%
Number of employment network (EN) and vocational rehabilitation (VR) tickets assigned. 5,983
Number of eligible ticket to work beneficiaries. 330,493
Total number of ID closures using supported employment services with or without Title VI-B funds expended (VI-C prior to 2002). 405
Total number of ID competitive labor market closures. 485

 

IDD OUTCOMES

2018
Dollars spent on day/employment services for integrated employment funding. $1,228,277
Dollars spent on day/employment services for facility-based work funding. $4,373,956
Dollars spent on day/employment services for facility-based non-work funding. $56,498,502
Dollars spent on day/employment services for community based non-work funding. $354,651
Percentage of people served in integrated employment. 17.00%
Number of people served in community based non-work. 135
Number of people served in facility based work. 407
Number of people served in facility based non-work. 4,215
Number supported in integrated employment per 100,000 individuals in the general state population. 16.86

 

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). 83.65%
Percent of children with IEPs aged 6 through 21 served inside the regular class less than 40% of the day (Indicator 5b). 7.23%
Percent of children with IEPs aged 6 through 21 served in separate schools, residential facilities, or homebound/hospital placements (Indicator 5c). 2.51%
Percent of youth with IEPs aged 16 and above with an IEP that includes appropriate measurable postsecondary goals (Indicator 13). 99.77%
Percentage of youth who are no longer in secondary school, had IEPs in effect at the time they left school, and were enrolled in higher education within one year of leaving high school (Indicator 14a). 26.37%
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). 60.02%
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). 70.50%
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). 33.65%

 

ABILITYONE/JWOD PROGRAM

2014
Number of overall agency blind and SD hours. 1,613,485
Number of overall total blind and SD workers. 1,408
Number of AbilityOne blind and SD hours (products). 297,988
Number of AbilityOne blind and SD hours (services). 882,262
Number of AbilityOne blind and SD hours (combined). 1,180,250
Number of AbilityOne blind and SD workers (products). 196
Number of AbilityOne blind and SD workers (services). 610
Number of AbilityOne blind and SD workers (combined). 806
AbilityOne wages (products). $2,732,728
AbilityOne wages (services). $11,470,273

 

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

2020
Number of 14(c) certificate-holding businesses. 0
Number of 14(c) certificate-holding school work experience programs (SWEPs). 0
Number of 14(c) certificate-holding community rehabilitation programs (CRPs). 2
Number of 14(c) certificate holding patient workers. 0
Total Number of 14(c) certificate holding entities. 2
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). 92
Reported number of people with disabilities working under 14(c) certificate holding patient workers. 0
Total reported number of people with disabilities working under 14(c) certificate holding entities. 92

 

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

~~ADRS does not currently have a written agreement regarding services to American Indians. • Department of Youth Services (DYS): Alabama has a Department of Youth Services. This Department is established to work with delinquent youth. The expectation is that the services of DYS will prevent delinquent youth from eventually advancing to the adult correctional system. ADRS has a specialist who is very actively involved with DYS. This individual receives referrals on a regular basis from DYS and forwards those referrals to the appropriate field staff. ADRS has a written agreement with the ADYS • Department of Mental Health (DMH): The Agency maintains an ongoing relationship with DMH. ADRS serves numerous consumers with mental illness. ADRS works on cooperative initiatives to ensure services are provided to eligible consumers. ADRS maintains a relationship with the DMH Division of Substance Abuse and a network of residential aftercare service providers. ADRS is working extensively with the DMH to expand and improve the ADRS supported employment program. This includes efforts in the areas of Employment First, extended supports, and collaborating on grants. ADRS has a cooperative agreement with ADMH. (Page 176) Title II

The Alabama Department of Rehabilitation Services continues to stay abreast of national issues regarding community rehabilitation facilities through its attendance and participation in conferences of state and national significance including Alabama Association of Rehabilitation Facilities (AARF), Alabama Association of People Supporting Employment First (AL—APSE), Council of State Administrators of Vocational Rehabilitation (CSAVR), and National Rehabilitation Association (NRA). Collaborative efforts between ADRS Computer Services and the CRP section have recently developed computer- generated reports that assist the CRP section in tracking targeted CRP goals and outcomes such as numbers of individuals successfully employed, cost per successful closure, and average wage. (Page 186) Title II

The Alabama Department of Education, the Social Security Administration, and the Department of the Department of Veterans Affairs. This training is currently being offered twice a year in a collaborative effort between the Alabama Department of Rehabilitation Services and the Alabama Department of Mental Health. APSE (Association for People Supporting Employment First) is sponsoring, and our state Chapter of APSE are also participating in CESP National Certification (National Certification for Employment Support Professionals). Project SEARCH, a statewide initiative to improve transition services for students with most significant disabilities began in Alabama in FY 2012 with two pilot sites. Alabama now has 11 Project SEARCH sites and we will continue to work to expand this transition program in our state. All sites have a state team member assigned to them to help with implementation and fidelity. Trainings take place throughout the year and the teacher and job coach both attend national SEARCH training as well. Cooperative Agreements between the Local School Systems (LEA’s) or Post-Secondary education (for youth programs) Alabama Department of Rehabilitation Services, the Alabama Council for Developmental Disabilities, the Alabama Department of Mental Health, the Supported Employment Community Rehabilitation Program and the local employer supporting the program are in place for all 11 sites. (Page 187) Title II

Alabama Department of Mental Health, Alabama State Department of Education, Alabama Medicaid, Alabama Department of Economic and Community Affairs and the Alabama Department of Post—Secondary Education continue to work towards Employment First legislation. Individualized Placement and Support (IPS) Supported Employment is an evidence- based approach to supported employment for individuals with serious mental illness. IPS, based on zero exclusion, competitive employment in the community, mental health treatment and employment services being integrated, benefits planning is included, job search occurs rapidly, employment specialist develop relationships with employers in their communities, job supports are continuous, and consumer preferences are honored. In 2014, Alabama applied for and was among 7 states that received a grant from the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) to implement IPS Supported Employment at 2 sites in the state. The grant is for 5 years during which time we will be looking at sustainability and expansion. Currently IPS is being implemented at Chilton Shelby in West Alabama (rural site) and Alapointe in Mobile County (urban site). (Page 187) Title II

Certificate Based Job Coach Training is collaboration between our agency, the Alabama Department of Mental Health, the Department of Education, the Council for Developmental Disabilities, and Alabama APSE (Association of Persons Supporting Employment First). This training ensures consistency of service delivery for supported employment providers and provides access to the latest marketing and training techniques. Training is provided by Virginia Commonwealth University’s Rehabilitation Research and Training Center on Workplace Supports. We offer this training twice a year to SE Job Coaches, School Job Coaches, Job Coaches employed by the Department of Mental Health and other community job developers and job coaches. This year, job coaches specializing in sensory impairments also participated in this training as we work to collaborate more closely with the Alabama Institute for the Deaf and Blind (AIDB) and their AIDB regional center staff located throughout the state. • Alabama Department of Rehabilitation Services, Alabama Council for Developmental Disabilities, Alabama Department of Mental Health, Alabama State Department of Education, Alabama Medicaid, Alabama Department of Economic and Community Affairs and the Alabama Department of Post—Secondary Education have been working to secure Employment First legislation and continue to participate in the Employment First Leadership Mentoring Program Community of Practice through Office of Disability Employment Policy (ODEP). These partners will continue to collaborate with human service agencies that work with people with disabilities and the workforce investment/development agencies to support the concept of Employment First. Additionally, several partners are participating in the Vision Quest training, offered through ODEP, to assist Alabama with options to infuse integrated employment into the Medicaid waiver, State Plan Options and increased collaboration to better serve consumers as they move towards integrated, community- based employment options. ADRS will collaborate with local school systems to improve transition services; ensuring students who are appropriate for SE services have access to community based Supported Employment providers while still in high school. SE providers will be active in the local high schools to present information regarding their programs to parents, students and staff. Students will also have the opportunity to participate in community- based assessments or begin the Discovery Profile before they exit school, to facilitate a seamless transit ion to Supported Employment Services. 2. •The GATE program (Gaining Access to Employment) is a training program that takes consumers from sheltered work or day habilitation and fully immerses them in industry training. This collaboration between the Alabama Department of Rehabilitation Services and Alabama Department of Mental Health began in North Alabama and now has 5 sites. The GATE program braids funding utilizing from both ADRS and ADMH (Medicaid waiver). Adults, who are long term consumers of day programs are trained in competitive integrated employment settings using job coaches for support during their internships. Consumers are paid wages while they intern, primarily in manufacturing settings. (Page 220) Title II

The agency has a state specialist overseeing the expansion and effectiveness of the agency’s supported employment efforts. Two additional specialists have been hired to assist with the growth and expansion of supported employment in Alabama in the last 2 years. This growth includes eleven 11 project SEARCH sites, the continuation of the GATE Project, IPS SE for individuals with serious mental illness and co-occurring substance abuse, and expansion of the Connections program for individuals with Autism. We are currently collaborating with the LEAs and training rehabilitation transition counselors on provision of services to students at an earlier age while in the secondary setting. This should increase participation of students with more significant disabilities and provide those services earlier. We currently have jointly funded pre-ets specialists contracts with secondary education for students with most significant disabilities. ADRS will collaborate with local school systems to develop and implement a transition initiative; ensuring students who are appropriate for SE services have access to providers prior to their exit from high school. SE providers will be active in the local high schools to present information regarding their programs to parents, students and staff. Students will also have the opportunity to participate in community— based assessments before they exit school, to facilitate a seamless transition. Many students with most significant disabilities are participating in our summer JET program which includes work -based learning emphasizing social skills acquisition, career exploration and paid work experience.

Training on Certificate Based Job Coach Training in collaboration with the Alabama Department of Mental Health, the Department of Education, and the Council for Developmental Disabilities, and Alabama APSE (Association of Persons Supporting Employment First), The Network on Employment continues. This training ensures consistency of service delivery for supported employment providers and provides access to the latest marketing and training techniques. Training is provided by Virginia Commonwealth University’s Rehabilitation Research and Training Center on Workplace Supports. (Page 226) Title II

ADRS continues to seek methods to increase participation of individuals with all types of disabilities in supported employment programs. Initiatives for improving transition services for students with more significant disabilities are being implemented. Since WIOA students with more significant disabilities are being referred and receiving services at a much earlier age. SE providers are providing Pre-Employment Transition Services to these students with an emphasis on work- based learning. We are procuring additional pre-employment transition specialist (jointly funded) to increase the likelihood of competitive integrated employment for students with more significant disabilities and expansion of innovative opportunities and collaborations including student led enterprises, participation in work- based learning at a younger age, and successful programs like Project SEARCH. We will continue to work with career and technical education to develop innovative programs that address internship and apprentice opportunities as well as certifications in employment areas, especially in high demand areas for our state. We will continue to work with Workforce development to identify and provide services to youth in the area, especially underserved youth and those with more significant disabilities. All these identified entities are a part of our Employment First efforts in Alabama. We are currently submitting 3 RFP’s for collaborations with Workforce Boards, Post-Secondary Education, and Alabama One-Stop Centers for internships and services to youth through expansion of Project SEARCH to youth in their areas. (Page 241-242) Title II.

Efforts continued to collaborate closely with Alabama APSE (Association of Persons Supporting Employment First)—The Network on Employment, Alabama Department of Mental Health, and the Alabama Council for Developmental Disabilities (DD Council), to provide training to staff, pre-employment transition specialist, skills training instructors, SE providers, IPS staff and other employment staff in Alabama that serve individuals with disabilities. Customized employment and Discovery are included in this training. ADRS continues to expand services within the state to increase opportunities for individuals to access to supported employment services. All counties in Alabama all have trained supported employment providers to serve consumers in their area. Many of our community rehabilitation programs provided paid summer work experiences that include job exploration, work place readiness, instruction in self-advocacy, in demand jobs in their areas, and paid work place paid work experience with employers in their local areas. Two additional staff members were hired as Rehabilitation Specialists for Supported Employment to assist the counselors and providers with quality supported employment and to provide training as needed to both groups. Additionally another state office specialist was hired to assist the statewide transition specialist. The addition of these specialists will help to assure that we are providing quality services to students, youth, and adults with more significant disabilities that require supported employment. We continue to include Discovery and customized employment in our bi-annual training with staff to assure better job matches, and more opportunities for internships and training to consumers requiring SE. The following initiatives have been implemented:

Continual training and consultation by state office staff on Supported Employment, Milestones, Discovery, Person Centered Profile Development, WIOA, IPS Supported Employment, Self-Employment, Pre-Employment Transition Services and Project SEARCH for transition students.
(Page 242) Title II
 
 Collaboration continues with Alabama Association of Persons Supporting Employment First (AL—APSE) and Alabama Department of Mental Health to offer bi-annual job coach training to new job coaches, job developers, pre-employment transition specialists, skills training instructors, IPS staff, mental health staff and case managers. This training is conducted by Virginia Commonwealth University and provides instruction on best practices, innovative strategies and customized employment. For the last two years Alabama Institute for the Deaf and Blind sent local and regional staff personnel who serve those with sensory impairments.

We continue to provide the GATE Project for provider agencies who have consumers in sheltered work who are seeking employment in their communities. GATE was recognized by ICI (Institute for Community Inclusion) as an innovative strategy to move consumers from segregated employment to competitive integrated employment. It is a partnership with our agency, the Department of Mental Health and local employers. This program is embedded in the workplace and gives the opportunity for those who will require extra time and additional supports and training to learn a job. This unique program braids funds from the two agencies to secure the supports and training needed. (Page 243) Title I

Customized Employment

~~Supported Employment (SE) is available in Alabama for individuals with the most significant disabilities who require intensive support services, and extended support services for an appropriate and successful employment outcome. These services are provided in all regions of the state by 38 approved community—based organizations. Supported Employment services are available to individuals regardless of their disability. Currently, the primary disabilities served include persons with significant intellectual disabilities, severe mental illness, cerebral palsy, autism spectrum disorders, visual and hearing impairments, severe orthopedic impairments, traumatic brain injury, and other most significant disabilities. The Alabama Department of Rehabilitation Services currently utilizes a Milestones service and payment process. Milestones, a service and outcome- based payment system, has significantly improved the quality of supported employment throughout the state, while proving to be more cost effective for the Agency. Providers of supported employment are paid for successful outcomes achieved by individuals participating in supported employment. The Milestones program segments the rehabilitation process into four distinct areas: (1) Determination of Needs/Person Centered Profiles (including Assessments) and the Discovery Process, (2) Hire, (3) Job Retention/Coaching and (4) Closure. Extended supports including natural supports are available at the job site, and are provided for the duration of the employment. Providers of long- term supports are required to document twice monthly contact with each consumer successfully working in the community, and to maintain this documentation in case files for the duration of that consumer’s job. ADRS can fund extended supports to youth for up to 4 years or until they reach the age of 25 and are no longer considered a youth. If VR is funding extended services the case must remain open until the individual is receiving these supports funded through another source. To ensure the highest quality of services, training is provided throughout the year to address issues related to supported employment, including the provision of extended services, customized employment and supported self-employment. In this cooperative arrangement with the Alabama Department of Mental Health and the Alabama Department of Rehabilitation Services, in collaboration with AL—APSE/ the Alabama Council on Developmental Disabilities and the Department of Education training and educational activities continue to be offered twice a year to improve the consistency of service delivery by job coaches, pre-employment transition specialist, skills training instructors, AIDB staff, IPS staff and others in the community that offer employment services to individuals with most significant disabilities. Customized employment training is also provided. This training is coordinated by ADRS and the ADMH and offered by Virginia Commonwealth University’s Rehabilitation Research and Training Center on Workplace Supports. We currently have a cooperative agreement with the Alabama Department of Mental Health that includes both the DD Division of the Department and the MI/SA Division. This agreement gives and Overview of both Departments including their purpose, changes reflected in WIOA, the Legal basis for the agreement, Overview of the Departments and the Responsibilities of the Partners, Eligibility, Plan Development, Referral Process for the Departments, State level shared objectives, Responsibilities and Implementation including extended services to individuals with most significant disabilities.  (Page 186) Title II

Yet another perspective on the needs of individuals with the most significant disabilities was available by examining the services most often anticipated for MSD individuals by counselors during the eligibility determination process. From 2014 to 2016, 24,122 individuals were determined eligible and assigned an eligibility category using the agency’s Functional Limitations Priority Assessment (FLPA). 5,681 of these individuals were determined to the Most Significant Disability group. More often than those in other eligible categories, persons deemed MSD were anticipated to require Supported Employment Services, Customized Employment Services, Job Readiness Training, and Rehabilitation Technology and/or Devices. Supported Employment was anticipated for 3,181 of the 5,681 individuals in the MSD category, 56%. (Page 204) Title IV

The Alabama Department of Rehabilitation Services (ADRS) remains committed to the provision of quality services to individuals with the most significant disabilities through the provision of supported employment services. ADRS provides supported employment services through a collaborative/partnership effort with 38 service providers statewide in FY 2017. These providers cover all counties in the state. These providers offer services to individuals with a variety of significant disabilities without restrictions regarding disability type. The SE providers are distributed throughout the state in order to ensure maximum availability to those in need of supported employment to obtain or maintain competitive integrated employment or advancement in employment. Service providers receive funds for the provision of supported employment through an outcome based payment system. Providers must submit evidence that each milestone has been achieved. Some milestones include consumer and employer satisfaction surveys. Consumer satisfaction is designed to reflect satisfaction with the job or identify any consumer concerns or issues. The employer satisfaction survey is designed to reflect the consumer’s job performance, stability and training needs. Supported employment funds are distributed to each provider agency based on the milestone achieved by each individual served. Job skills training is provided to individuals on site at the work setting. Supported employment services include placement in competitive integrated employment settings for the maximum number of hours possible and is based on the strengths, resources, priorities, concerns, abilities, interests and informed choice of the individual. In FY 2017, the SE program: had 1019 consumers’ complete situational assessments and/or the Discovery process. We closed 541 consumers in competitive integrated employment. These consumers worked an average of 23 hours a week and made an average of $8.30 an hour. This represents an increase of 15% from the previous year in consumers served. (Page 241) Title II

Each supported employment provider operates under a milestone/outcome—based program to ensure quality outcomes and appropriate employment options based on individual choice. Consumers are offered the opportunity to participate in community—based assessments to facilitate an informed decision regarding their employment goal. Job development is provided on an individual basis to locate employment based on the consumer’s interests, skills, limitations and community living needs. Job coaching is also provided at the work site to ensure that the individual has the necessary training, skills and supports to work. Once the consumer is stable in the workplace, extended services are planned and implemented to protect the long—term success of the job. Consumer and employer satisfaction regarding the services provided are measured at the time of employment and again before case closure. Extended services are a continuation of ongoing support services provided to individuals with the most significant disabilities. These extended supports are provided at the completion of stabilization, during the successful rehabilitation Milestone and beyond ADRS case closure. The option for Discovery and Customized Employment, or for Person Centered Profiles along with assessments are available to consumers to maximize success for individuals in supported employment. Supported Self-employment is also available for individuals wanting to start their own business. (Page 244) Title II

Blending/ Braiding Resources

~~No disability specific information found regarding this element.

Disability Employment Initiative (DEI)

~~Extended service provision is provided to youth with the most significant disabilities in a variety of ways. This includes the Medicaid waiver, state dollars set aside to support youth in Project SEARCH, contract service provision to SE vendors, grant dollars for IPS and DEI, fund raising, and private pay. Extended services not to exceed four years.

Financial Literacy /Economic Advancement

~~The Alabama Department of Rehabilitation Services entered into this agreement to mutually serve students with disabilities in the Pike County and Troy City Boards of Education through cooperatively funding the professional services of one full-time nine- month instructor, housed at Charles Henderson High School and Troy/Pike Center for Technology. Instruction will be provided in an integrated classroom setting with peers who are not identified as students with disabilities, and will focus on the area of pre-employment transition services. These pre-employment transition services, which are not typically or customarily provided by the LEA, will be provided in a group setting in a classroom or the community. The instruction of pre-employment transition services provided will be in the areas of: job exploration counseling, work-based learning experiences, counseling on opportunities for enrollment in comprehensive transition or postsecondary educational programs, workplace readiness training and instruction in self-advocacy. This instruction is designed to prepare students with disabilities to enter long terms competitive integrated employment in high demand careers by identifying and exploring career interests, as well as, increasing individual independence, self-sufficiency and inclusion of students with disabilities in their communities. Students served by this program include any student with a disability enrolled at Charles Henderson High School and Troy/Pike Center for Technology, who is in the 11th or 12th grades, is eligible for or potentially eligible for Vocational Rehabilitation Services, and has received a referral from the VR Transition Counselor, Special Education Teacher and/or school administrator. Course curriculum will consist of instruction in the following areas Basic Computer Skills, Financial Literacy, Problem Solving, Manufacturing, Job Acquisition. Course curriculum will also include discussion of local high demand careers, labor market information and activities that may include community- based experiences. (Page 173-174) Title II

School to Work Transition

~~The yet to be determined workforce development areas provide career services, client assessment, case management, referral to Individual Training Accounts, on-the-job training (OJT), customized training, and work- based learning. They also provide specialized employment and training activities for youth, including basic education, GED programs, occupational skills training, and work- based learning activities.
The Alabama Workforce System (AWS) includes the following programs and entities operated through the following agents. (Page 50) Title I

• PROJECT SEARCH: Project SEARCH is a one—year internship program for students with disabilities in the last year of high school or with out of school youth. It is targeted for students and youth whose goal is competitive employment. The program takes place in a healthcare, government, or business setting where total immersion in the workplace facilitates the teaching and learning process as well as the acquisition of employability and marketable work skills. Students participate in up to three (3) internships to explore a variety of career paths. The students work with a team that includes their family, special education teacher and skills training instructor to create an employment goal, and to support the student during this important transition from school to work. The program is a cooperative arrangement between the employer, the Alabama Department of Rehabilitation Services, the Alabama State Department of Education, the Alabama Council for Development Disabilities the Alabama Department of Mental Health, the local school systems (or post-secondary education for youth) and most importantly the employers. The program is currently available in the following counties: Montgomery, Birmingham, Huntsville, Tuscaloosa, Shelby, Etowah, Marshall, Baldwin, Calhoun and two (2) programs in Mobile. When participating in Project SEARCH, the student actually goes to the employment site each day as opposed to going to the school. The LEA provides a classroom teacher(s) to provide employment instruction in the morning, and the students go to assigned internships the remainder of the day. Internships include patient escort, food service, central sterilization, pharmacy, maintenance, grounds keeping, and other settings at the business. No funds from other participating agencies are used to match federal money drawn down by ADRS. State Unit approval is obtained before services are initiated. All services are provided in accordance with the agency’s approved State Plan.  (Page 174) Title II

Referrals for transition services and pre-employment transition services are carried out in a number of ways. Students can be referred by the LEA’s, special education teachers, 504 coordinators, doctors, mental health professionals, parents, teachers, transition counselors assigned to the schools, or can be self-referred. Once referred to the VR counselors assigned to the school, the counselors work with educational officials to obtain pertinent documentation necessary for pre-employment transition services or transition services. Students may receive pre-employment transition services beginning in the 9th grade or age 16-21 (or younger if decided in the IEP). Students can be served as eligible or potentially eligible consumers. Students who require intensive services will require an application, be determined eligible within the required 60- day period (unless for specific, documented reason an extension is necessary) and a plan for transition services will be written within 90 days. It is expected that all students requiring VR services to be successful in competitive integrated employment will have a plan before they exit high school. We anticipate that many of our students served under potentially eligible will apply for services and become VR consumers in their 11th grade year. All pre-ets services for students ages 16-21 or in the 9th grade (younger if stipulated in their IEP) that are not served under potentially eligible, will have pre-ets services included in their IPEs. (Page 179) Title II

Smart Work Ethics Training (SWE) — SWE is a social skills curriculum that addresses communication skills and work place behaviors (attitude, work ethic, image and appearance, interpersonal skills, teamwork, time management, accountability) needed to obtain and maintain successful competitive employment. This curriculum is provided to the student in the LEA by a certified trainer from a Community Rehabilitation Program. • Jointly—Funded Pre-Employment Transition Specialist — ADRS is committed to providing jointly funded Pre-ETS specialist in local education agencies to assist with the provision of pre—employment transition services. This is accomplished through cooperative agreements with local education agencies (ADRS pays 75% LEA pays 25%). The jointly funded pre-employment transition specialist provide pre—employment transition services that are not typically or customarily provided by the LEA. These pre—employment transition services are designed to increase the likelihood of independence and inclusion of students with disabilities, including those with significant disabilities, in communities, as well as, maximize opportunities for these students for long term competitive integrated employment. (Page 180) Title II

Team (SITT). SITT is a multidisciplinary group of 37 representatives from 22 state agencies (ADRS, ALSDE, Alabama Department of Mental Health and Alabama Department of Postsecondary Education) and organizations providing services for students and young adults with disabilities. The purpose of this group is to develop a better understanding of each agency’s role and responsibilities in service delivery for Alabama’s students and young adults with disabilities, and to seek and implement new and better ways of providing secondary special education and transition services. At the local level, the ADRS has procedures in place to ensure the agency is actively involved in the transition of students with disabilities from school to work. The agency has a counselor assigned to each high school to act as transition counselor. The counselor visits the school on a regularly scheduled basis to meet with teachers and guidance counselors in order to provide vocational rehabilitation information and to receive referrals of students with disabilities in need of rehabilitation services. The VR counselor meets with the student and parents in order to explain rehabilitation services to enable a student’s informed choice regarding these services. School records and other information needed to serve a student as a potentially eligible consumer or needed for eligibility determination is obtained. Once eligibility is determined efforts are made to begin determining rehabilitation needs and a vocational goal. (Page 181) Title II

The new MOU between ALSDE and ADRS addresses transition planning and development of the IEP under scope of services for both ALSDE and ADRs collaboratively and individually. A revised agreement has been sent to SDE and is awaiting the new superintendent’s signature. This replaces the agreement on file dated 5/6/2016.

ADRS emphasizes best practices in providing services to students in order to provide a seamless transition from school to post school activities. As stated earlier, ADRS has transition counselors designated to each LEA who work closely with the special education and career and technical education teachers in the development of the IEP for those students/consumers with whom the ADRS is involved and attend IEP Team meetings and/or provide input that will assist in making decisions about services that will be provided by the ADRS, such as assistive technology, career exploration or work experience opportunities. ADRS emphasizes best practices in providing services to students in order to provide a seamless transition from school to post school activities. (Page 182)

The MOA clarifies that nothing under the Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act reduces the obligation of the LEA to pay for, or provide transition services that are considered special education services, or related services necessary for assuring a free and appropriate education for students. The agreement also states that all expenditures identified by the LEA and VR for provision of pre-employment transition services that are new, having a VR focus of preparing students with disabilities to access careers that will lead to long term competitive integrated employment, and are not duplicative of services provided by the LEA, be the responsibility of ADRS. It also clarifies in the memorandum of agreement, that expenditures approved by the VR Counselor for transition services that are provided to VR students with disabilities, eligible for VR services, that are vocational in nature and support and lead to the achievement of the employment goal in the IEP, will be the financial responsibility of the DSU. (Page 183) Title II

Individuals with Intellectual Disabilities: The top vocational rehabilitation needs identified among individuals with intellectual disabilities were: Community Inclusion, Fair Wages, Employment Supports and Benefits. Agency outcomes in FY 2014 through 2016 for persons with intellectual disabilities for both rehabilitation rate and weekly wage were significantly lower than the agency norm. VR program data examined over a six- year span indicate that the majority of VR consumers with an intellectual disability were in need of supported employment services. Many publications acknowledge the importance of school to work transition outcomes, that early exposure to a wide range of work-based learning experiences plays a large part in later outcomes for individuals with intellectual disabilities. Regarding those who have already made the transition from secondary education, it will be important for VR to monitor and address the need to offer VR services to those individuals who are currently being served within day programs. (Page 207) Title II

Findings from the 2017 CSNA indicate that Alabama’s Youth with Disabilities are affected by disproportionately high dropout rates, markedly lower rates of enrollment and completion of postsecondary education, and significantly higher rates of unemployment or underemployment. These observations are borne out by data from the Alabama Department of Education, the Census Bureau, as well as ADRS’s own program statistics and survey research. Recently published findings from the National Longitudinal Transition Study demonstrated that Youth with an Individualized Education Plan are more likely than their peers to be socioeconomically disadvantaged, experience difficulty completing typical tasks independently, and find themselves the object of bullying. Youth with an IEP were found to be suspended at higher rates and to lag their peers in planning and taking steps to obtain postsecondary education and jobs (Lipscomb et al., 2017). Furthermore, Youth with autism, deaf-blindness, intellectual disability, multiple disabilities, and orthopedic impairments appear to be at highest risk for challenges making a successful transition from high school. (Page 209) Title II

It is fortunate that prior to new WIOA requirements for students with disabilities, ADRS had enjoyed a long and productive relationship with the Alabama State Department of Education (ALSDE). ADRS maintains a formal Interagency Agreement with the ALSDE for the provision of transition services. At the state level, ADRS participates as an equal partner in the Alabama State Interagency Transition Team. At the local level, the ADRS has a counselor assigned to each high school to act as transition counselor. Furthermore, ADRS has for years been committed to the financial support of jointly funded positions, i.e. Pre-Employment Transition Specialists, in local education agencies to assist with the provision of transition services. Shortly after the final WIOA regulations were released in August of 2016, however, ADRS recognized the need for a comprehensive effort to build upon existing capacity and foster greater connections between ADRS staff and their Department of Education counterparts at the local level.  (Page 211) Title II

Additionally, we are continuing to collaborate with all our state entities to improve services for students and youth with most significant disabilities. We are working with the State Department of Education on improving Assistive Technology access in order to improve the transition from school to work, and entry to Post Secondary settings. We are working with Career and Technical Education to increase participation for students with more significant disabilities. (Page 218) Title II

Extended services for youth are included in policy and in the counselor resource manual however this has not been necessary. State office has been contacted in regard to several cases of youth needed extended services, but in these cases, we were able to access waiver services for extended supports. We do anticipate that extended services for youth will be necessary for individuals who do not receive waiver services, but to date we have not had to use this provision and have been able to access the waiver. ADRS’s allotment for FY 2018 for supported employment services for youth will include post-employment services and extended services for youth. VR currently spends about 3 million on supported employment and almost 1 million additional dollars through contracts for all individuals with most significant disabilities so easily expends its allotment requirements for youth. Additionally, this year we will be adding 3 new youth programs through Project SEARCH for out of school youth with more significant disabilities. (Page 220) Title II

Engage Alabama is a collaborative effort of the ADRS, Alabama State Department of Education, Alabama Council on Developmental Disabilities and Alabama Disabilities Advocacy Program to develop and provide an app for students with disabilities to improve the student’s knowledge of transition services; assist the student in identifying and utilizing strategies to improve transition services and increase the student’s capability to better advocate for transition service through the student led IEP process. Students may access Engage Alabama via the internet at engageal.com, or by going to the Apple Store or Google Play store where students can download the app at no charge. Once all questions in the app are answered a transition plan will be generated that the student may print and share with his/her family and IEP case manager prior to the IEP meeting. This plan will serve as a self-advocacy tool to assist the student in successfully leading his/her IEP meeting, in discussing transition goals and what is needed for the students to reach those goals. Students may access this app as often as need during the school year to make any necessary changes, but it is recommended that students access the app on an annual basis prior to his/her IEP meeting. It is important to note that while the Engage Alabama application was designed for use by students who are receiving services under an IEP, any student with a disability (including those that would meet the requirements for 504 services) may access the app to assist with identification of needed pre-employment transition services and to develop transition goals. (Page 230) Title II

The agency maintains an excellent service delivery system to consumers who are blind or have low vision. This service delivery system includes a network of Rehabilitation Counselors specializing in blindness, Vision Rehabilitation Therapists, Orientation and Mobility Specialists, Assistive Technology Specialists, Pre-Employment Transition Specialists, and Vision Rehabilitation Assistants who provide a wide range of services to individuals who are blind or have low vision. Additionally, there is a State Coordinator of Blind Services who oversees these services. (Page 223) Title II

ADRS, in Partnership with the Alabama Institute for Deaf and Blind, offers a Summer Work Experience Program. During the summer, students who are in high school or college have the opportunity to participate in this program. Vocational Rehabilitation Counselors, Business Relations Consultants, Job Coaches, and Pre-Employment Transition Specialists partner with local businesses to provide students with a paid work experience. Students who participate in the Summer Work Program can work up to six weeks, a maximum of 40 hours a week, and earn a minimum wage salary which is paid out of counselors’ case services budgets. The goal of this program is to offer students who are blind or have low vision a real-world work experience.

ADRS, in partnership with the Alabama Institute for Deaf and Blind and Central Alabama Community College, offers a Dual Enrollment Program. The Dual Enrollment Program is a comprehensive approach which provides a support system for students who are blind or have low vision or deaf or hard of hearing who are interested in earning a college degree. This Dual Enrollment Program involves the campuses of the Alabama School for the Deaf, the Alabama School for the Blind, and the EH Gentry Rehabilitation Facility. Students can attend classes on various Central Alabama Community College campuses. The goal of this program is to provide students with the appropriate assistance to ensure college success. (Page 224) Title II

Funded Pre-Employment Transition Specialist — ADRS is committed to providing jointly funded pre-ets specialists in local education agencies to assist with the provision of pre—employment transition services. The jointly—funded specialists provide pre—employment transition services which are not typically or customarily provided by the LEA. These pre—employment transition services are designed to increase the likelihood of independence and inclusion of students with disabilities, including those with significant disabilities, in communities, as well as, maximize opportunities for these students for competitive integrated employment. Currently, ADRS has 31 jointly funded pre-ets specialists in place through third—party cooperative agreements. (Page 229) Title II

ADRS will collaborate with local school systems to ensure students who are appropriate for supported employment services have access to providers prior to their exit from high school. Supported employment providers will be active in the local high schools to present information regarding their programs and services to parents, students, and staff. Students will also have the opportunity to participate in work- based learning and/or community—based assessments before they exit school in order to facilitate a seamless transition from school to employment. (Page 227) Title II

ADRS has committed additional staff to address the needs of people with the most significant disabilities in order to improve access to services. Additional staff members have been added to expand and improve supported employment services for this population. Pre-employment transition specialists have been added to serve students and youth for the general program and for the blind and deaf program.

The Alabama Department of Rehabilitation Services strives to ensure that there is equitable access to the State VR Services Program and the State Supported Employment Services Program for all potentially eligible and eligible consumers. For participating in VR services all forms of auxiliary aids, as defined by the ADA, are provided to consumers based on individual needs including assistive technology. Our counselors for the deaf are required to possess an intermediate rating on the Sign Language Proficiency Interview (SLPI) ensuring that deaf consumers are commuted to in their native language. In addition, we have 11 full-time nationally certified sign language interpreters located in our offices statewide, as well as access to additional sign language interpreters through our partners and vendor network. Counselors and staff have access to language interpreters through a language line service, as well as language interpreters through our vendor system. In addition, correspondence and other print materials are provided in the consumers format of choice to include large print, braille, electronic, etc. (Page 236) Title II

State Grantee will work collaboratively to address issues ensuring host agency assignments are truly providing skills training to meet the needs of both participants and employers. Sub-grantees will continue to utilize the Individual Employment Plan (IEP), in partnership with the participant and host agency supervisor, ensuring community service employment assignments are providing skills training that meet the needs of the participant and host agency. Sub-grantees will monitor participants at least once every six months at their community service employment assignments. During those visits, sub-grantee staff will review and update the IEP with both the participant and host agency supervisor.

Sub-grantees will continue to monitor the training to ensure participants will be prepared for unsubsidized employment through the acquisition of transferable skills in demand by local employers. In addition, where applicable, sub-grantees, in partnership with participants, will develop IEPs that combine community service employment with other permissible training (e.g., classroom training or on- the- job experience (OJE) in the private for-profit sector) as funding permits. (Page 302) Title II

 

Career Pathways

~~Alabamians with disabilities must make informed choices regarding their vocational goal selection and subsequent career pathways in order to minimize barriers to employment and maximize success on the job. There are times when an individual with a disability may pursue a job goal for which, according to Alabama’s labor market demand, little opportunity of job growth exists. To address this issue, ADRS will provide professional staff with a labor market “dashboard” that will make it clear and easy to recognize which occupations within the state show the most promising future. Training will be provided to staff to enhance their ability to use current labor market information to facilitate the employment of individuals with disabilities into higher demand jobs. (Page 48) Title I

Apprenticeship

Consistent with the findings of the 2017 comprehensive statewide assessment, the established goals and priorities of this plan, and collaborative efforts between the SRC and SILC, innovation and expansion funds will be targeted to the following: 1. Ongoing support of the efforts of the State Rehabilitation Council and the State Independent Living Council. 2. Expansion and innovation of Work Based Learning opportunities for Students with Disabilities 3. Expansion and innovation of Individualized Placement Supports for persons with significant mental illness. 4. Expansion and innovation of participation in formalized apprenticeship among all VR consumers. (Page 235- 236) Title IV

Center for Technology, who is in the 11th or 12th grades, is eligible for or potentially eligible for Vocational Rehabilitation Services, and has received a referral from the VR Transition Counselor, Special Education Teacher and/or school administrator. Course curriculum will consist of instruction in the following areas Basic Computer Skills, Financial Literacy, Problem Solving, Manufacturing, Job Acquisition. Course curriculum will also include discussion of local high demand careers, labor market information and activities that may include community- based experiences. (Page 174) Title II

Work Incentives & Benefits

~~•Alabama Department of Economic and Community Affairs (ADECA): ADRS has an ongoing partnership with the ADECA. The agency has worked cooperatively to pursue grants to serve people with disabilities. • The Alabama Disability Advocacy Program (ADAP): ADAP is the Alabama arm of the Protection and Advocacy program for people with disabilities. ADAP makes referrals to Alabama’s toll- free number for information on the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) through ADRS which coordinates the service. • Statewide Independent Living Centers: ADRS is represented on the State Independent Living Council and works closely with Alabama’s three Independent Centers to coordinate services and referrals. • Governor’s Office on Disability (GOOD): GOOD serves as a clearinghouse for resources related to people with disabilities. ADRS maintains an ongoing relationship with the Governor’s Office in order to provide resources as needed. • Office of Federal Contract Compliance Programs (OFCCP): ADRS partners with OFCCP to provide affirmative action training to employers on issues related to hiring and retaining workers with disabilities. ADRS hosted a major conference for employers in conjunction with OFCCP staff to provide information to employers on the 503 Federal Hiring mandates. • Social Security Administration (SSA): The Agency maintains an excellent working relationship with the SSA. The ADRS employs a Social Security Specialist that stays abreast of Social Security issues and has given numerous presentations on the Ticket to Work, Work Incentives Improvement Act, and other SSA initiatives to ADRS staff, consumer groups, and partner organizations. (Page 177) Tile II

DVR coordinates with Human Resource Development (HRD) and Business Relations (BR) to determine the information and training needs for professional and para-professional staff to assist in obtaining and disseminating professional information. HRD meets with and/or surveys staff to identify areas directly and indirectly related to the field of vocational rehabilitation. Based on the information obtained from staff and administration, DVR seeks training programs, webinars, and presenters demonstrating expertise knowledge in disabilities, technical issues, and federal and state policies, procedures and guidelines. In turn, DVR, BR, and HRD utilize the gained knowledge to develop instructor-led training programs and videos and to evaluate/offer appropriate webinars to staff. DVR administration and staff attend national and state conferences, search professional internet sites, and review professional magazines, articles and federal and state guidelines to stay abreast of current trends in the field of vocational rehabilitation. Trainings, both formal and informal, are developed and presented regarding current trends to ensure that staff has up-to-date knowledge to provide services to consumers. Some of the topics of vocational rehabilitation knowledge provided to professional and para-professional staff include orientation for new counselors, orientation for new DVR supervisors, ethics in relation to vocational rehabilitation services and practices, social media/technology and ethics, WIOA guidelines, HIPPA, different aspects of various disabilities, mental health issues, (i.e., suicide, substance abuse, etc.), assistive technology, Social Security Administration and Work Incentives, labor market and work force trends/data, and leadership. (Page 200) Title II

Individuals with Disabilities who receive Social Security: To be eligible for Social Security Disability Insurance (DI) or Supplemental Security Income (SSI), a person must be deemed unable to engage in substantial gainful activity (SGA) due to a significant and long-lasting health condition. Because of this requirement, once receiving benefits, those who may be willing and able to work are often afraid of losing their benefits if they earn too much. Others are confused by the complex program rules governing benefit receipt for beneficiaries who work. Still others are unaware of the various incentives that SSA provides to encourage beneficiaries to return to work. VR Customers on the roles of SSI/SSDI need guidance tailored to their unique circumstances. This guidance should come with persons who possess a deep knowledge of the relationship between SSA work incentives and the VR process. (Page 208) Title II

Benefits counseling services are provided to all eligible individuals. Services are provided based on the Social Security Administrations (SSA) prioritization protocol. Highest priority is given to those individuals currently working or have job offers pending. Individuals actively seeking employment with specific vocational goals are served followed by those in the early information gathering contemplative phase of employment goal development. Additionally, ADRS places individuals served through either SEARCH or DISCOVERY in the top priority. Individual of the highest priority are provided full intensive work incentive planning services, while others receive Information and Referral Services. At present, ADRS and SSA are in year 3 of the joint funded WIPA benefits counseling program and has provided information and referral services to 3,627 individuals —786 have been referred for intensive long- term work incentive benefits counseling services. (Page 228) Title IV

ADRS began received grant funds from the Social Security Administration in 2000. The initial program the Benefits Planning and Outreach (BPAO) program provided basic Information and referral services to SSDI and/or SSI beneficiaries and recipients. The BPAO program eventually expanded to include intensive and long- term work incentive planning services in 2007—the Work Incentive Planning and Assistant (WIPA) program supported 2.5 staff serving 29 central and southern counties. A break in SSA funding for WIPA nationally in 2012. ADRS utilized SSA reimbursement funds to continue services to individuals in Alabama. When SSA funding returned nationally in 2015, ADRS and SSA entered into an agreement that utilizes joint funding to expand and continue WIPA benefits counseling services. This braided funding supports 6 SSA trained and certified benefits specialist providing services to all 67 counties. Benefits counselors provide both Information and Referral as well as intensive Work Incentive Counseling Services to all individuals receiving SSDI and or SSI. Counselors assist individuals with disabilities, their families and other team members in the development and maintenance of a variety of work. (Page 228) Title II

Benefits counseling services are provided to all eligible individuals. Services are provided based on the Social Security Administrations (SSA) prioritization protocol. Highest priority is given to those individuals currently working or have job offers pending. Individuals actively seeking employment with specific vocational goals are served followed by those in the early information gathering contemplative phase of employment goal development. Additionally, ADRS places individuals served through either SEARCH or DISCOVERY in the top priority. Individual of the highest priority are provided full intensive work incentive planning services, while others receive Information and Referral Services. At present, ADRS and SSA are in year 3 of the joint funded WIPA benefits counseling program and has provided information and referral services to 3,627 individuals —786 have been referred for intensive long- term work incentive benefits counseling services.

Additionally, as a result of the expansion of the WIPA benefits counseling program, a cooperative program was developed with the Alabama Department of Mental Health in 2017 to support 5 additional benefits specialists specifically charged with serving individuals on the Intellectual Disabilities (ID) or the Living at Home (LAH) waivers. The staff supported by the ADRS DMH cooperative agreement are not bound to the SSA prioritization protocols and therefore, individuals in pre-vocational or contemplative phases of employment goal setting are all eligible for intensive work incentive planning as well as Information & Referral services. (228) Title II

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Employer / Business Engagement

~~Alabama Business Leadership Employment (ABLE) Network: The 501c3 conglomerate of Alabama businesses that advocate for the employment of individuals with disabilities uses the ADRS business relations program as their lead resource for disability in the workplace issues, while co—sponsoring numerous training events for employers. They also serve as an advisor to ADRS on disability issues and resources for employers. • Federal Office of Personnel Management (OPM): Representatives from a variety of Federal agencies throughout Alabama that function under the OPM work directly with the ADRS business relations consultants to implement Federal hiring mandates, Schedule A recruitment, accommodations, and employee retention impacting workers with disabilities in the Federal sector. • Department of Veterans Affairs: Vocational Rehabilitation and Employment (VR&E) program. ADRS collaborates with the VR&E program at the national and state level to serve and place into employment veterans completing the VR&E program, providing customized services through ADRS specialty counselors, rehabilitation technology specialists for accommodations, and for return to work assistance. ADRS does not have a written agreement with the VA. (Page 177-178) Title II

ADRS is committed to a “dual customer” approach in working with employers to identify competitive integrated employment opportunities and career exploration opportunities for the consumers we serve. While doing so, ADRS also focuses on de