~~JOB PLACEMENT - DRS VR COUNSELORS WORK WITH CUSTOMERS TO IDENTIFY JOB OPPORTUNITIES IN THE COMMUNITY, DEVELOP A RESUME AND PREPARE FOR INTERVIEWS. OTHER CUSTOMERS RECEIVE MORE INTENSIVE JOB PLACEMENT AND PREPARATION SERVICES THROUGH COMMUNITY REHABILITATION PROGRAM AGENCIES UNDER CONTRACT TO DRS.
On-the-Job Training and Evaluations - Many VR customers receive on-the-job training and evaluation services arranged by DRS counselors in conjunction with local employers. These services provide an opportunity to demonstrate job skills and learn the requirements of a specific job.
College and University Training - DRS assists many customers in pursuing a degree at a community college or at a university, based on the needs and abilities of the individual. Each year DRS assists about 3,000 individuals in attending college training.
Treatment and Restoration Services - VR funds may be used to purchase medical, surgical, or psychological services, as well as other therapeutic services, to help customers achieve greater functioning and reduce barriers to employment.
Supported Employment - Individuals with most significant disabilities often require a high level of support, both in preparation and on-the-job assistance, in order to achieve and maintain employment. Supported employment provides a variety of supports, such as job coaching, to assist customers in meeting employment goals.
Assistive Technology - Many people with disabilities utilize a variety of technological devices to function in the world of work and increase their employment potential. The DRS VR program can assist customers with evaluation services and purchase of technology equipment that will meet their individual needs.
Transition Services - Students with disabilities benefit from work-based learning experiences and other pre-employment services designed to prepare them for post-school employment or additional training. (Page 164) Title II
While recognizing the global understanding of registered apprenticeships, the Apprenticeship Plus model expands this very successful model to address the youth population through Youth Apprenticeships, prepares all populations through Pre-Apprenticeships, and widens the scope to consider all work-based learning models as a means to prepare individuals with the new skills they need to succeed in the workforce through a career and not just a job. These “learn and earn” models are widely accepted by businesses as efficient and effective means to meet their talent needs. Working closely with The Governor’s Cabinet on Children and Youth, this committee assists in development of best practice models in registered apprenticeships, youth apprenticeship, pre-apprenticeships and work-based learning models of providing training and education across the state. (Page 172) Title II
In addition to the role of the EOMC, the state has participated in or funded initiatives through the one-stop system that expand access to services for individuals with disabilities and that focus on developing relationships by leveraging resources and enhancing employment opportunities for people with disabilities. One example is our Disability Employment Initiative Round V grant that focuses on career pathways for youth. Opportunity Youth are participating in sector-based training such as Information Technology through a connection between the school district and the one-stop system to make their existing “career pathways” systems fully inclusive of and accessible to individuals with disabilities. A significant improvement in this pilot is the development of an Individualized Career Development Plan (ICDP). The ICDP provides an overview of planned experiences for students participating in secondary school beginning at age 14½, or upon entry to high school. It also aligns with the Illinois Individualized Education Program (IEP) Transition Plan and Summary of Performance components to alleviate duplication of document development for students with disabilities and to provide comprehensive information about goals and avenues for meeting post-high school goals. It is important to note that the ICDP is a result of discussions between the Illinois State Board of Education (ISBE), and DCEO. Furthermore, ISBE adopted the ICDP for use by special education programs. (Page 199 ) Title II
DRS participates on the Council along with the State Board of Education and other state agencies involved in serving youth with disabilities. DRS also coordinates regional Transition Planning Councils, with school and community rehabilitation programs also participating. State law requires that transition planning begin at age 14 ½. DRS assists local schools in building a vocational focus as the student by DRS and provides financial support for students with disabilities during the high school years. Participation in DRS services for students in transition services, either through STEP or through another arrangement, is incorporated in the IPE during the time the student is in school. An IPE is developed no later than 90 days after the student has been certified as eligible for the VR program. Development of the IPE is coordinated with the development and of the student’s Individualized Education Program (IEP) and transition plan. (Page 300-301) Title IV
The agreement provides that DRS and the State Board of Education will cooperatively participate in planning, training, policy development, data collection, and resource identification and dissemination to improve transition planning for students with disabilities. Also, both parties agree to provide technical assistance to local education agency personnel regarding transition planning services for students with IEPs. Transition planning will facilitate the development and completion of IEPs and transition plans in coordination with the IPE for VR services.
C. ROLES AND RESPONSIBILITIES, INCLUDING FINANCIAL RESPONSIBILITIES, OF EACH AGENCY, INCLUDING PROVISIONS FOR DETERMINING STATE LEAD AGENCIES AND QUALIFIED PERSONNEL RESPONSIBLE FOR TRANSITION SERVICES;
The agreement describes the role of the State Board of Education to ensure that local education agencies engage students with disabilities and their families in transition planning when it is a mandated part of the IEP process. In addition ISBE will encourage school districts to annually submit a summary of each eligible student’s IEP transition goals and transition services resulting from the IEP team meeting to the appropriate local Transition Planning Committee (TPC). The agreement describes the role of DRS to include providing consultation and technical assistance to assist educational agencies in planning for pre-employment transition services and individualized transition services facilitating the transition of students from school to post—school activities and ensure that local DRS staff participate in IEP meetings where transition planning occurs. The agreement also addresses the financial responsibilities of each party. (Page 301) Title IV
DRS also worked with other WIOA partner agencies to develop a state integrated business services framework. The framework is designed to ensure that all businesses have a means of contacting a workforce business services representative, and that business services at the local and regional level are coordinated with each other and not duplicative. DRS acts as the consultant to local business teams on all disability-related matters. The activities discussed above are intended to have a positive impact on VR customers of all ages. Other activities focused specifically on transition age youth will be developed in consultation with other entities, including the Transition Advisory Councils, community rehabilitation program agencies, and service providers working with the WIOA Title I youth programs. For years DRS has relied on its Secondary Transitional Experience Program (STEP) to create work—based learning opportunities for students with disabilities. While this has been an effective practice, there is much less capacity for development of work—based learning opportunities for out—of—school youth with disabilities. DRS believes that the Title I experience in serving out—of—school youth provides a key opportunity for inclusion of youth with disabilities. As noted above, development of these opportunities will take place through a localized planning process and be focused on the growth sectors identified through regional planning. (Page 304) Title IV
In the current program year DRS has developed pre-employment transition services through contracts with community rehabilitation programs in order to provide work-based learning experiences for students with disabilities. These contracts are limited in scope but to the extent they are successful DRS will consider expanding them to other geographic areas of the state. DRS has begun exploring other relationships with employers for development of work—based learning experiences. One is through cooperative relationship with the state Department of Commerce, the Title I agency in Illinois. DRS has agreed to partner in development of youth projects that will include a variety of work—based learning experiences in selected industry sectors across the state. In addition, the new business engagement process being developed by DRS is expected to result in additional opportunities for work—based learning experiences for students and youth with disabilities. This process is targeted at high—growth industry sectors and is designed to respond to needs identified by businesses. This activity will be accomplished in conjunction with the integrated business services effort developed by core workforce partners in Illinois. (Page 305) Title IV
As appropriate, describe the procedures and activities to coordinate the designated State unit's comprehensive system of personnel development with personnel development under the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act.
Coordination of the CSPD and Individuals with Disabilities Education Act Relationship to IDEA: DRS staff provide services annually to thousands of young people with disabilities, most of whom receive services under the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act. Approximately 10,000 young people participate in the Secondary Transitional Experience Program (STEP), which provides work experience during the high school years. The Next Steps program provides advocacy training to parents of students with disabilities. Part of the Next Steps training program includes providing information on the importance of transition planning. DRS staff who work with high school students participate in training offered by the Illinois State Board of Education and its Transition Systems Change project. DRS maintains an administrative liaison position with the State Board to facilitate communication about transition issues, including available training options. Also, DRS has staff who serve on the Education of Students with Disabilities Advisory Committee. There is no direct connection between DRS training efforts and the personnel development plan under IDEA. DRS staff are closely involved in the statewide network of Transition Planning Councils (TPCs), which consist of rehabilitation and education professionals, as well as employers and school administrators. The purpose of the TPCs is to facilitate transition from school to work and to identify local issues that affect transition. DRS staff are involved with the schools in their communities and frequently attend training events sponsored by schools. (Page 314) Title IV
The FAC serves as a primary source of information on the need for supported employment services for individuals with most significant disabilities. The STEP committee has served as an important source of input on the need for expansion of pre-employment transition services in various areas of the state. In the last two years several new STEP contracts have been developed with local school districts through input provided through this mechanism. The STEP group reports regularly on issues and concerns relating to working with employers to establish work-based learning experiences for students. Statistical Analysis The most fundamental statistic relating to service needs is the lack of population growth in Illinois. The population has dropped by 80,415 or 0.62 percent from 2014 to 2017, ranking third lowest in the nation during that time period. To some extent Illinois is experiencing population change similar to other states in that the number of residents in rural areas is declining while the population of older residents is growing. Population change varies greatly by race and ethnicity. The white, non-Hispanic population dropped by 3.4 percent between 2010 and 2016, a reduction of nearly 270,000 people. The African American population was generally unchanged in that time period, increasing by less than one percent. The Latino population increased by 7.3 percent in that time period, roughly by 150,000 people. The largest increase was for the Asian population, which grew by 20 percent or about 117,000 people. (Pages 315-316) Title IV
While additional needs assessment data have yet to be analyzed, DRS believes it has an accurate picture of transition and pre-employment transition needs for students with disabilities. This is based on prior needs assessment surveys and data gathered from transition age students in the 2017 VR customer satisfaction survey. As noted above, DRS relies on ongoing relationships with STEP schools as an information source, expanding services when additional needs are identified. DRS also worked with the Illinois Network of Centers for Independent Living to respond to needs identified by their member agencies. In the current program year DRS has contracted with eight CILs to provide pre-employment transition services to students with disabilities, focusing on self-advocacy training as well as job readiness training, particularly in the area of independent living skills training. DRS also developed contracts with community rehabilitation programs to provide work-based learning experiences to students with disabilities in the Chicago area. These projects are being evaluated to determine whether additional projects should be established elsewhere in the state. (Page 318) Title IV
Data from the 2017 survey for transition age students indicate a need for a variety of work-based learning experiences during the high school years, as well as improved coordination of services around the time an individual leaves high school. Many respondents had positive comments about the pre-employment transition services they received while in high school, as well as individualized transition services during and after high school. However a common theme was the need for better communication about services available after high school and how those can lead to successful employment. Comments reflected less of a concern about a lack of services so much as concerns about making the various services work more effectively together. (Page 319) Title IV
In addition DRS continues to develop its relationship with the Chicago Public Schools, the third largest school district in the United States. DRS anticipates that enrollment, particularly of minority youth, with be greatly increased through these efforts. A recent focus of activity has been on working with community rehabilitation agencies to identify work—based learning opportunities for CPS students. This has been an aspect of transition services in Chicago that was developing at a slow rate and it was determined that additional resources were needed. DRS intends to pursue opportunities to work with local workforce boards to increase participation of youth with disabilities in work—based learning experiences targeted at out—of—school youth. There is a substantial overlap between the DRS population of youth with disabilities and the Title I population defined as out—of—school youth. Employer engagement efforts directed at creation of work—based learning experiences for young people should benefit those in both service categories to the greatest extent possible. DRS has three approaches to expanding the number of business partnerships. The first is continuation of participation in the National Employment Team (the NET), an effort coordinated by the national CSAVR team. (Page 329) Title IV