~~Improve the skills of jobseekers and workers through access to education and training leading to industry-recognized credentials through the use of career pathways, apprenticeships, and other strategies.
e) Encourage paid work-based learning experiences for youth so they may explore career options, develop the universal interpersonal and customer service skills needed in the workplace, and become self-reliant through employment as adults.
2) We value the contributions that all individuals, including those with significant barriers to employment, as defined by WIOA, can make to the Kansas economy. Our goals are to:
a) Vigorously represent the ability of qualified jobseekers with significant barriers to employment to meet the workforce needs of Kansas employers.
b) Ensure the local workforce development systems provide physical and programmatic access to and opportunities for the employment, education, training, and support services for individuals, particularly those with barriers to employment. (Page 28) Title I
Local plans will be required to discuss how core partners will coordinate to prevent duplication and/or conflicts about which program serves particular individuals, including coordinating to ensure that supportive services and work supports are provided. Because the nature of individual needs will vary from individual to individual, the team recognizes that many of these decisions will need to be made on a case-by-case basis, requiring regular communication among core partner staff. We anticipate that general tendencies will emerge (out-of-school youth will be more likely to receive Title I funded work-based learning, while Pre-Employment Transition Services, or PETS, under Title IV, may be more likely to serve in-school youth). These decisions will also be shaped by individual program requirements (PETS can only serve youth with disabilities, for example). (Page 42) Title I
KRS has built its capacity to provide Pre-ETS through the addition of 20 transition specialists to local VR offices. Each of the four regions also has a Pre-ETS Manager, and KRS employs a Statewide Manager as well. KRS has also established service provider agreements with all five of the Local Workforce Development Boards, numerous Centers for Independent Living and the Kansas Youth Empowerment Academy pertaining to specific components of Pre-ETS. A major emphasis is paid work-based learning experiences. Such experiences allow students to gain an early attachment to employment as the avenue to self-reliance, explore career options and develop the soft skills that are necessary for long-term employment success. Other services offered through services providers include self-advocacy training, post-secondary education, and workplace readiness training. (Page 189) Title I
Offer training and technical assistance to districts and local VR offices on coordinating the transition planning process. Topics in this area may include but are not limited to: inviting KRS counselors to IEP meetings; providing information about VR in the IEP development process; and educating VR counselors about district procedures related to transition planning and services for employment and postsecondary education goals for students with IEPs.
• Collaborate on the State Performance Plan and/or strategic plans developed by each party to facilitate the goals of this agreement and give priority to effective transition services for youth with disabilities resulting in improved post-secondary education and competitive, integrated employment outcomes.
• Use available inter-agency forums, conferences and expertise to develop a coordinated approach to facilitate achievement of the goals of this agreement.
• Share student/consumer data and state-level data, to the extent allowed by law, to evaluate the effectiveness of the education and VR services provided.
• Share federal and state monitoring practices and findings for effective program and policy evaluation.
• Participate in technical assistance and advisory opportunities to support the goals of this agreement. (Page 190) Title II
The Individual Plan for Employment is used as the basis for referral to one of the providers. It also describes the criteria, specific to each consumer, for determining that job performance is stable, determining how and when progress will be evaluated, and describing how extended ongoing support services will be provided. After the consumer reaches stability on the job, the consumer, service provider and VR counselor work together to finalize the plan for extended ongoing supports. This allows the plan to be specific and customized according to the consumer’s current work situation and support needs. As a result, the ongoing support section of the IPE may be amended, with the consumer’s agreement, in order to reflect the most current information available. (Page 194) Title II
KRS will continue to develop, implement and maintain a professional development system for new and experienced staff. A priority focus area will be to address effective communication strategies to assure consumer engagement and progress toward employment, and development and implementation of effective Individual Plans for Employment (IPEs). Other areas of focus continue to be informed choice; understanding the purpose and intent of the VR program; linkages between eligibility, rehabilitation needs, consumer goals and priorities, and services provided; development of effective progress measures; time and caseload management techniques; financial accountability cultural competence; accountable decision-making; expertise related to disability populations served (specifically persons who are blind or visually impaired, persons with Autism Spectrum Disorders, persons with mental illness, and persons with head injury); leadership development; use of comparable benefits; basic benefits counseling issues surrounding employment; use of Kansas specific labor market trends and demands; and, effective career counseling and guidance related to employment as the avenue to self-reliance. (Page 208) Title II
In November 2009 (Program Year 2009), KRS implemented a comprehensive Performance Management System. This system established consistent counselor performance standards related to quality and policy compliance reflected through case reviews; timeliness for eligibility and IPE development; the number of new IPEs developed; the number of consumers rehabilitated; and the rehabilitation rate. Competencies related to professional conduct, timely responses to consumer and other inquiries, and effective caseload management are also included in this performance management process. Consistent standards were also established for supervisors and administrators. (Page 208) Title II
Multiple services means more than one service as listed on the IPE. Support services (maintenance, transportation, personal assistance, and services to family members) may not be counted toward multiple services. Routine counseling and guidance to facilitate participation in the VR process may not be counted toward multiple services. Core services which are not provided by KRS but which are necessary for achievement of the employment outcome may be counted toward multiple services.
Extended period of time means at least four months between Status 12 and closure. (Page 244) Title IV
An order of selection gives priority to persons with the most significant disabilities when there are insufficient resources to provide vocational rehabilitation services to all eligible individuals who apply. After eligibility has been determined, each consumer is assigned to a category group. The consumer will be assigned to the highest priority category for which he or she is qualified, and a rationale will be documented in the case file. If the consumer’s circumstances change or new information is acquired, the category designation can be changed. Depending on available resources, all categories may be served. However, if there is a need to close one or more categories for services:
• Kansas Rehabilitation Services (KRS) will set aside sufficient funds to purchase services necessary to determine eligibility. Applications for services will be accepted without restriction.
• The closure will not affect individuals who already have final Individualized Plans for Employment (IPEs). IPE services will continue.
• Persons who need post-employment services will not be affected. (Page 247) Title IV
VR counselors participate, within available resources, in Individual Education Plan meetings for transition-aged youth with disabilities to assure that they have information about VR services and how to apply. (Page 252) Title IV
• Federal regulations require that eligibility for VR services be determined no later than 60 days from the data of application, unless the applicant agrees to a time extension. The statewide average in Kansas is only 28 days (as of 2-28-2018).
• Federal regulations require that an Individual Plan for Employment be developed no later than 90 days from the date of eligibility, unless the client agrees to a time extension. The statewide average in Kansas from application to IPE development is only 64 days (as of 2-28-2018). Page 258 title IV
Indicator 2.8: Annual number of persons served (status 02-24 +32). PY 2016: 10,149
Indicator 2.9: Annual contribution to IPE costs through comparable benefits and services. A data source has not been established for this indicator.
Indicator 2.10: Annual contribution to IPE costs through comparable benefits and services provided through one-stop workforce centers. A data source has not been established for this indicator.
Indicator 2.11: Rehabilitation rate of persons referred to placement or supported employment providers. (Page 260) Title IV
Given the limited number of VR staff, educators were asked at what age it would be when it would be most important for VR to participate in IEP meetings. The majority of educators indicated ages 17 (46.8%) and 16 (27.7%) would be the most important ages for VR to participate in IEP meetings.
The following question was posed: “To assist your students to be successful in post-secondary education or direct entry into the workforce, which of the following pre-employment transition services are most important?”
Rank of Most Important Pre-Employment Transition Services
567. Work-based learning experiences
568. Workplace readiness training
569. Instruction in self-advocacy
570. Job exploration counseling
571. Counseling on opportunities for enrollment in comprehensive transition or post-secondary education programs at institutions of higher education (Page 229) Title IV
KRS will offer opportunities for training and technical assistance for school personnel to learn and understand the needs of students and youth pursuing employment rather than services only, to establish and implement the soft skills and employment preparedness skills needed by employers and how and when to complete a referral to the VR program. In addition to these strategies, KRS will work collaboratively to assure Title I youth services are readily available to students and youth with disabilities to enjoy work-based learning, pre-apprenticeships, career exploration and coaching, etc. KRS will also:
• Recruit additional service providers to expand access to supported employment services statewide.
• Continue ongoing collaborative meetings with sources of long-term support, including HCBS waiver services and managed care organizations.
• Enhance data collection related to referral sources, consumers served by multiple agencies and programs, extended services and outcomes.
• Create a service provider agreement to expand the availability of highly qualified benefits counselors so That consumers have accurate information about employment incentives. (Page 250) Title IV
A priority target population for End-Dependence Kansas is youth transitioning from school to work. End-Dependence Kansas, coupled with outreach for Pre-Employment Transition Services and Section 511 services to divert youth from direct entry into sub-minimum wage work, will expand supported employment opportunities for youth with the most significant disabilities. Significant training and technical assistance will be focused on improved communication with students and youth with disabilities encouraging competitive integrated employment. Also, in cooperation with the Kansas Department of Education, KRS will offer opportunities for training and technical assistance for school personnel to learn and understand the needs of students and youth pursuing employment rather than services only, to establish and implement the soft skills and employment preparedness skills needed by employers and how and when to complete a referral to the VR program. In addition to these strategies, KRS will work collaboratively to assure Title I youth services are readily available to students and youth with disabilities to enjoy work-based learning, pre-apprenticeships, career exploration and coaching, etc. (Page 249-250) Title IV
- Increase recruitment and enrollment to increase the number of active participants. This focus will include reaching out to community organizations and other senior service providers to provide information on the SCSEP program and its’ benefits.
- Focus participant training towards employment skills acquisition as guided by IEP, TAD and assessment results based on labor market needs. Training will include short-term training classes, education and WORKReady! Certification. SCSEP will also insure that participants are receiving the job notification list that is generated by the One-Stop so that participants are better informed about area job openings.
- Increase follow-up contact with participants exited for unsubsidized employment to address employment and life issues to help maintain employment.
- Insure all most-in-need measures are accurately and timely entered into SPARQ.
- Create host agency skill development training and tracking to be reviewed with participant and agency quarterly based on each individuals IEP. (Page 301) Title IV