Maine

States - Big Screen

The state of Maine knows that Employment First is "The Way Life Should Be" for all people with disabilities who dream of having a successful career in their community.

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 Maine’s VR Rates and Services

2019 State Population.
0.43%
Change from
2018 to 2019
1,344,212
2019 Number of people with disabilities (all disabilities, ages 18-64).
-5.37%
Change from
2018 to 2019
108,204
2019 Number of people with disabilities who are employed (all disabilities, ages 18-64).
0.28%
Change from
2018 to 2019
42,532
2019 Percentage of working age people who are employed (all disabilities).
5.37%
Change from
2018 to 2019
39.31%
2019 Percentage of working age people who are employed (NO disabilities).
-0.3%
Change from
2018 to 2019
82.53%

General

2017 2018 2019
Population. 1,335,907 1,338,404 1,344,212
Number of people with disabilities (all disabilities, ages 18-64). 112,442 114,014 108,204
Number of people with disabilities who are employed (all disabilities, ages 18-64). 39,424 42,411 42,532
Number of people without disabilities who are employed (ages 18-64). 567,638 574,146 574,540
Percentage of working age people who are employed (all disabilities). 35.06% 37.20% 39.31%
Percentage of working age people who are employed (NO disabilities). 81.58% 82.78% 82.53%
State/National unemployment rate. 3.30% 3.40% 3.00%
Poverty Rate (all disabilities). 20.90% 23.00% 19.90%
Poverty Rate (NO disabilities). 9.10% 9.40% 9.10%
Number of males with disabilities (all ages). 112,477 109,726 109,258
Number of females with disabilities (all ages). 106,195 109,923 106,332
Number of Caucasians with disabilities (all ages). 208,147 208,759 203,581
Number of African Americans with disabilities (all ages). 1,379 2,236 2,340
Number of Hispanic/Latinos with disabilities (all ages). 3,181 3,992 2,622
Number of American Indians/Alaska Natives with disabilities (all ages). 2,564 1,593 2,600
Number of Asians with disabilities (all ages). 1,308 1,969 1,333
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) 4,946 4,428 5,149
Number of persons of some other race alone with disabilities (all ages) N/A 654 576

 

SSA OUTCOMES

2017 2018 2019
Number of SSI recipients with disabilities who work. 2,058 2,074 2,042
Percentage of SSI recipients with disabilities who work relative to total SSI recipients with disabilities. 5.70% 5.80% 5.70%
Old Age Survivor and Disability Insurance (OASDI) recipients/workers with disabilities. 57,062 55,900 54,497

 

MENTAL HEALTH OUTCOMES

2017 2018 2019
Number of mental health services consumers who are employed. 3,690 N/A N/A
Number of mental health services consumers who are part of the labor force (employed or actively looking for employment). 35,425 N/A N/A
Number of adults served who have a known employment status. 28,780 N/A N/A
Percentage of all state mental health agency consumers served in the community who are employed. 9.50% N/A N/A
Percentage of supported employment services evidence based practices (EBP). N/A N/A N/A
Percentage of supported housing services evidence based practices (EBP). N/A N/A N/A
Percentage of assertive community treatment services evidence based practices (EBP). N/A 8.80% 8.00%
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 N/A N/A
Number of evidence based practices (EBP) supported housing services. N/A N/A N/A
Number of evidence based practices (EBP) assertive community treatment services. N/A 751 722
Number of evidence based practices (EBP) medications management. N/A N/A N/A

 

WAGNER PEYSER OUTCOMES

2013 2014 2015
Number of registered job seekers with a disability. 2,632 2,627 2,591
Proportion of registered job seekers with a disability. 0.04 0.03 0.04

 

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. 32 38 18
Total number of people with a disability that is a substantial barrier to work who entered unsubsidized employment. 20 27 12
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. 63.00% 71.00% 67.00%
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. 1.51 2.03 0.90

 

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. 22.00% 23.00% 24.00%
Number of employment network (EN) and vocational rehabilitation (VR) tickets assigned. 2,786 2,336 2,209
Number of eligible ticket to work beneficiaries. 84,476 83,557 82,311
Total number of ID closures using supported employment services with or without Title VI-B funds expended (VI-C prior to 2002). 78 108 130
Total number of ID competitive labor market closures. 77 105 117

 

IDD OUTCOMES

2015 2016 2017
Dollars spent on day/employment services for integrated employment funding. $3,853,000 $0 $3,372,224
Dollars spent on day/employment services for facility-based work funding. $0 $0 $0
Dollars spent on day/employment services for facility-based non-work funding. $0 $0 $0
Dollars spent on day/employment services for community based non-work funding. $54,750,000 $0 $60,138,416
Percentage of people served in integrated employment. 32.00% 0.00% 18.00%
Number of people served in community based non-work. 3,533 0 4,038
Number of people served in facility based work. 0 0 N/A
Number of people served in facility based non-work. 0 0 N/A
Number supported in integrated employment per 100,000 individuals in the general state population. 88.60 0.00 67.49

 

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). 56.69% 56.58% 56.41%
Percent of children with IEPs aged 6 through 21 served inside the regular class less than 40% of the day (Indicator 5b). 10.78% 10.88% 10.33%
Percent of children with IEPs aged 6 through 21 served in separate schools, residential facilities, or homebound/hospital placements (Indicator 5c). 3.13% 3.24% 3.07%
Percent of youth with IEPs aged 16 and above with an IEP that includes appropriate measurable postsecondary goals (Indicator 13). 88.96% 94.38% 95.12%
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). 26.30% 18.81% 17.27%
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). 68.87% 65.68% 71.21%
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). 96.16% 77.56% 80.91%
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). 42.57% 46.87% 53.94%

 

ABILITYONE/JWOD PROGRAM

2014
Number of overall agency blind and SD hours. 225,419
Number of overall total blind and SD workers. 484
Number of AbilityOne blind and SD hours (products). 169,951
Number of AbilityOne blind and SD hours (services). 55,468
Number of AbilityOne blind and SD hours (combined). 225,419
Number of AbilityOne blind and SD workers (products). 394
Number of AbilityOne blind and SD workers (services). 82
Number of AbilityOne blind and SD workers (combined). 476
AbilityOne wages (products). $1,766,990
AbilityOne wages (services). $899,291

 

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). 1 0 0
Number of 14(c) certificate holding patient workers. 0 0 0
Total Number of 14(c) certificate holding entities. 1 0 0
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). 41 0 0
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. 41 0 0

 

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

~~In Section C of the Unified State Plan, this has been updated as follows: • Department of Corrections and VR MOU — Procedural Guidance The Maine Department of Labor— Bureau of Rehabilitation Services and the Maine Department of Corrections (DOC) have worked together to establish procedural guidance on collaboration between the two agencies. Work thus far has resulted in two procedural directives outlining how the two agencies will work together to best meet the needs of individuals who are currently incarcerated or on probation and may be eligible for vocational rehabilitation services. In each of the larger offices a DVR staff member has been identified who serves as the liaison to the correctional agencies in their region. DVR corrections liaisons meet as a group on a quarterly basis with DOC staff to share updates and best practices. (Page 203) Title II

In June 2014, Maine’s legislature enacted the Employment First Maine Act (Sec. A-1. 26 MRSA c.3), which was a natural progression in Maine’s focus on competitive integrated employment as a valued outcome for the state’s citizens with disabilities. It set forth that the Departments of Health and Human Services, Labor, and Education must implement employment as a core component of services and supports provided and is the first and preferred service or support option offered to individuals with disabilities.
The Act also convened a time-limited coalition of interested parties, including employers, state agency representatives, advocacy organizations, and people with disabilities, to review and make recommendations regarding the improvement of the administration of employment services and the employment outcomes of people with disabilities. Before its sunset in October 2016, the Employment First Maine Coalition produced a report summarizing the work that was completed and identifying twenty-seven recommendations for consideration by the Governor, the Legislature and state agencies, primarily identifying strategies that encourage the employment of youth and adults with disabilities, engage the business community, and improve EFM performance measures. (Page 233) Title II

The Department of Health and Human Services, in conjunction with other State Agencies and partners, has begun to implement the recommendations that were developed by the Employment First Maine Coalition. The Offices of Substance Abuse and Mental Health, Child and Family Services, and Aging and Disability Services have committed to work together to ensure that the outcome of employment of people with disabilities is a strong focus of the services they provide. During the past year, DHHS has created new resources, developed additional employment services, and has begun to expand expectations that service providers all have a responsibility to promote employment as the first and preferred outcome. (Page 234) Title II

Objective: To increase the number of individuals with significant intellectual disabilities who access the available waiver employment support for long term employment support needs after closure from BRS.
Strategies:
b. Continue to work with the Maine Department of Health and Human Services to ensure that all individuals who have the waiver — but have not taken advantage of employment services — are aware of employment supports open to them through coordination between the two Departments
c. Continue to provide access and training to the BRIDGE —Career Exploration Workshop, appropriate for individuals with intellectual disabilities
Objective: Maine DVR will undertake efforts to continue to embrace and implement an “Employment First” philosophy during the next year as documented by a decrease of 5% in the statewide unemployment rate of people with intellectual disabilities. (Page 246) Title II
 

Customized Employment

~~Expanded use of technology to increase access to workforce development services; • Quality work experiences, including job placement assistance and ideally, quality sector/occupation specific pre—employment work experiences (e.g., apprenticeships, internships). With this customized approach, all participants, including the target populations, are able to access the programming and services necessary to become fully engaged in the workforce system. For example, by working with individuals using various tools, such as Discovering Personal Genius and Customized Employment, the Bureau of Rehabilitation Services will encourage some individuals with significant disabilities to consider self—employment as a viable option with appropriate supports. (Page 55) Title I

With the implementation of WIOA and reauthorization of the Rehabilitation Act, Maine DVR has revisited its personnel requirements and hiring practices. Maine DVR recognizes that the standards for rehabilitation counseling personnel outlined in WIOA represent the minimum standards for qualification. These standards require a minimum of attainment of a baccalaureate degree in a field of study reasonably related to vocational rehabilitation, to indicate a level of competency and skill demonstrating basic preparation in a field of study such as vocational rehabilitation counseling, social work, psychology, disability studies, business administration, human resources, special education, supported employment, customized employment, economics, or another field that reasonably prepares individuals to work with consumers and employers; and
(2) Demonstrated paid or unpaid experience, for not less than one year, consisting of -
(i) Direct work with individuals with disabilities in a setting such as an independent living center;
(ii) Direct service or advocacy activities that provide such individual with experience and skills in working with individuals with disabilities; or
(iii) Direct experience in competitive integrated employment environments as an employer, as a small business owner or operator, or in self-employment, or other experience in human resources or recruitment, or experience in supervising employees, training, or other activities; or
Maine DVR continues to give priority to applicants and staff who possess master’s degrees in counseling or a counseling—related degree, defined as Social Work, Psychology, Special Education, Rehabilitation and Counseling in alignment with WIOA’s alternative requirement of attainment of a master's or doctoral degree in a field of study such as vocational rehabilitation counseling, law, social work, psychology, disability studies, business administration, human resources, special education, management, public administration, or another field that reasonably provides competence in the employment sector, in a disability field, or in both business-related and rehabilitation-related fields. (Page 230) Title II

DVR has a close working relationship with our partners at DHHS Office of Aging and Disability Services and Mental Health Services we have developed a procedural directive which spells out how wavier services will fund career planning (specifically they fund Discovering Personal Genius© as the career planning model) and once Discovery is completed (waiver services will fund up to 50 hours), a referral is made to DVR who will work with the case manager and agency to proceed with job development and perhaps further exploration as needed. Then, when an individual has been successfully placed in a job and is stable and closed out successfully (may utilize extended services for this as needed), waiver funds will then pick up again and cover long term support services (usually job coaching) which will help the individual continue to remain stable on the job. (Pages 243-244) Title II
 

Blending/ Braiding Resources

~~Co—training with and for partners will be considered to best use resources and help system partners’ staffs to “be on the same page.” Blending and braiding training resources will be a guiding principle. All one—stop center staff will be trained and required to demonstrate competency in serving diverse populations and knowledge of related policies across the system and among partner agencies. One—stop center certification will depend on demonstrating that employees have achieved the required competencies in universal access. Policies: Existing policies will be reviewed and updated to reflect WIOA intent and to meet the standards articulated in the Section 188 Checklist. Universal access policies that will govern one—stop center certification will be developed in collaboration with the Bureau of Employment Services’ Division of Policy and Evaluation and the State Board Program Policy Committee. Examples of immediate policy priorities include assistive technology and equipment responsibility, website/social media accessibility, programmatic and physical accessibility of workshops and events, service animal protocols, customer flow for the employment network, prohibition of automatic referrals to vocational rehabilitation, alternative formats for required tests/assessments, and consistent use of equal employment and accommodations tag lines. Program participation rules governing required orientation workshops, the RESEA program, and other mandatory programs will be examined to ensure full accessibility, especially access to alternative formats and accommodations. (Page 98-99) Title I

A system of staff development for professionals and paraprofessionals within the designated State unit, particularly with respect to assessment, vocational counseling, job placement, and rehabilitation technology, including training implemented in coordination with entities carrying out State programs under section 4 of the Assistive Technology Act of 1998; and
In an effort to maximize training resources, staff often solicit local training resources to provide free or low cost workshops, attend trainings with a ‘train the trainer’ perspective to provide turn—around training to other staff, and share internal expertise through in—house training opportunities. In past years, DBVI has been successful at leveraging training funds through collaboration with Region I TACE center, Perkins School for the Blind training funds, and the Lovill Trust. (Page 316-317) Title IV
 

Disability Employment Initiative (DEI)

~~Goal 4 Maine DVR will partner with the larger workforce development system to improve opportunities and access for DVR clients as measured annually by documented collaborative activities, technical assistance, and training.
Objective: Maine DVR will continue to partner with Maine’s Disability Employment Initiative (DEI) Grant to include 50 non—VR CareerCenter customers with disabilities in Career Exploration Workshops Strategies in FFY 2016
Strategies: a. The DEI team will include one VR Rehabilitation Counselor I who will assist in piloting a jointly—delivered Career Exploration Workshop b. DVR will participate in DEI Integrated Resource Team meetings c. DVR will work with the DEI team and others in the Bureau of Employment Services to ensure accessibility in Maine’s CareerCenter network d. DVR will partner with DEI staff in the delivery of an asset development summit in FY 2016
Objective: DVR will work with the Maine Department of Labor’s Center for Workforce Research and Information to maintain a triennial snapshot of the employment status of people with disabilities in Maine as well as a webpage where disability data can be easily accessed. (Page 255) Title II

Staff from the VA Blind Rehab. program attended a DBVI training to present on their program so staff would gain a better understanding of how the two agencies can best serve consumers who are blind or have low vision. In addition, DBVI Director met with the Blindness Rehabilitation Outreach Specialist and the Vision Impairment Services Team Coordinator to refine a more streamlined referral process….
Objective: DBVI will partner with Maine’s Disability Employment Initiative (DEI) Grant to identify non—VR CareerCenter customers who are blind or have low vision who may require DBVI services.
Strategies: Maine DBVI will work with a designated point of contact with the Bureau of Employment Services. (Page 350) Title VI

In 2017, the DEI grant ended and MDOL chose not to pursue another round of funding. Even though the DEI grant has ended, DBVI will continue to work with Career Center staff to ensure referrals are made for DBVI services and to provide technical assistance for consumers who are blind or visually impaired.
Objective: To increase the number of DBVI clients achieving an employment outcome at one of the BRS Single Point of Contact businesses from one to three in the next year.
Strategies: DBVI will have direct representation on the business liaison teams utilizing the single point of entry approach and the Walgreen’s universal design model.
Update: The BRS Single Point of Contact position has been vacant. However, DBVI staff have been successful working with employers, such as the Iris Network, AAA, Cuddledown and Seafax Inc. to find competitive employment for consumers. (Page 351) Title VI
 

Financial Literacy /Economic Advancement

~~Use of Governor’s Set Aside Funding: Maine will utilize the Governor’s Set—Aside funds for required and allowable statewide employment & training activities to facilitate the successful transition and implementation of WIOA, Statewide employment & training activities include: o Rapid Response activities; o Providing assistance to State entities and agencies, local areas, and one—stop partners in carrying out the activities described in the State plan, including the coordination and alignment of data systems used to carry out the requirements of this Act; o Disseminating the State list of eligible providers of training services, including eligible providers of nontraditional training services and of apprenticeship programs, and information identifying eligible providers of on—the—job training, customized training, incumbent worker training, internships, paid or unpaid work experience opportunities, or transitional jobs; o Operating a fiscal and management accountability information system and carrying out monitoring and oversight of activities; o Implementing innovative programs and strategies designed to meet the needs of all Maine employ—ers, as well as developing strategies for effectively serving individuals with barriers to employment and for coordinating programs and services among one—stop partners; o Improving coordination of employment and training activities with child support services, programs that serve individuals with disabilities, adult education and literacy activities, including financial literacy and activities in the corrections system that assist ex—offenders in reentering the workforce; o Conducting research and demonstration projects related to meeting the employment and education needs of adult and dislocated workers in Maine. (Page 127) Title I

Documentation of ability to connect youth participants with all fourteen required youth service elements, either through direct provision or through partnerships, MOUs, or other methods, to include provision of: a. Tutoring and/or Study Skills; b. Access to drop out recovery programs or alternative education; c. Work-based learning; d. Occupational Skills Training; e. Education offered concurrently with and in the same context as occupational training; f. Leadership development; g. Adult Mentoring; h. Support Services; i. Follow-up Services; j. Comprehensive guidance and counseling; k. Financial Literacy; l. Entrepreneurial Skills/ Training; m. Career guidance and counseling, including provision of local and state labor market information and information about how to prepare to enter occupations that are in demand in the local area and in Maine; and n. Activities that prepare youth for entry into post-secondary education. M. Evidence of employment of professional staff, including requisite credentials and experience and demonstration of a commitment to staff development that prepares staff to deliver the services identified above. (Page 396) Title IV
 

School to Work Transition

~~(P) Evaluation and Reports of Progress: VR and Supported Employment Goals (Goal 1 Objective 3 d)
SRC: Is there a plan to renew this partnership? CNA and nursing positions seem to be in high demand. It would be advantageous for DOL to pursue this further.
(P) Evaluation and Reports of Progress: VR and Supported Employment Goals (Goal 2 Objective 1a)
SRC: Can you please provide more specific data on the impact of the CEW and days to plan? It seems that if people need to wait a month or possibly two to attend the CEW it may create a delay in developing an IPE. The CEW seems to have become the standard practice for career exploration. Please elaborate on other tools that can be used as an alternative rather than the CEW. (Page 201) Title II

AGENCY RESPONSE: Section C (Cooperative Agreements) states the following: DVR does support staff involvement in the USDA’s AgrAbility project. In Maine, the AgrAbility project is administered by Alpha One, Goodwill Industries of New England and the University of Maine. The liaison to the project ensures that DVR staff is knowledgeable about AgrAbility and related resources. Grant funding for AgrAbility is ending during 2014 and DVR anticipates development of a fee for service agreement for AgrAbility services.
(d) Coordination with Education Officials
SRC: Without exception, once a DVR client, DVR has 90 days to develop the IPE. This cannot be contingent on the student leaving school as implied in this section.
AGENCY RESPONSE: The language in this section comes from DVR’s current Memorandum of Understanding with the Maine Department of Education. The MOU will be updated following the issuance of new regulations under WIOA.
(d) Coordination with Education Officials
SRC: DVR should not be determining the appropriateness of a referral. The onus of long term support should be on DVR not the school. (Page 204) Title II

SRC: Can you please provide more specific data on the impact of the CEW and days to plan? It seems that if people need to wait a month or possibly two to attend the CEW it may create a delay in developing an IPE. The CEW seems to have become the standard practice for career exploration. Please elaborate on other tools that can be used as an alternative rather than the CEW.
AGENCY RESPONSE: Training has been completed with VRC’s that if the CEW is determined to be the best tool to use to assist with career exploration, then they can write a plan for employment that includes the use of the CEW and or other exploration. VR is also using Discovering Personal Genius™ in conjunction with DHHS, or paying for it as a stand alone service if that tool is determined to be the best fit. VR also regularly refers for on the job assessments which can be included as part of someone’s plan. (Page 213) Title II

Provide information on the formal interagency agreement with the state educational agency: DVR will assist in transition planning and in the development of student’s individualized education program (IEP). For students eligible for services with an agreed upon vocational goal, DVR is expected to develop an Individualized Plan for Employment (IPE) before the student leaves the school setting. In providing transition services, DVR will facilitate the use of available and appropriate community—based services. Services will be provided in the most cost effective manner. In recognition of the importance of promoting information sharing and in order to ensure an effective and timely system of referrals for DVR services, DVR requests that school personnel adopt the following process: When a student with an Individualized Education Program (IEP) begins the transition planning process prior to entering ninth grade, the student and his/her parents or guardians will receive general information about VR services. This information will introduce VR and will inform the parents/guardians when it is appropriate to make a VR referral. When the student to be referred is within two years of school graduation or exit, the services offered by VR should be re—introduced at the student’s IEP or 504 meeting. Both the student and the parents/guardians should have an opportunity to receive materials outlining VR services and to ask questions concerning the referral. (Page 220-221) Title II

When recruiting or hiring new staff, Maine DVR gives preference to qualified individuals who demonstrate a current understanding of the labor force and needs of individuals with disabilities. Maine DVR supports staff to obtain and practice 21st century skills through opportunities for training through the Technical Assistance Centers and state and local workforce development partners.  (Page 230-231) Title II

Since passage of WIOA and promulgation of the final rules, Maine DVR has worked to develop, adopt and implement procedural guidance, programming and training to support the identification and registration of students with disabilities who are eligible or potentially eligible for Pre-Employment Transition Services. Through previously established relationships with school districts and through outreach initiatives and pilot activities, Maine DVR has sought to offer Pre-Employment Transition Services across the state. According to data from the Maine Department of Education, during school year 2015-16, there were 9,3338 students with a disability enrolled in grades 9-12. An additional 2,993 students grades 9-12 were identified as having a 504 plan. This is a represents a small but significant increase over figures from the previous year. Maine DVR has targeted the problem of early exiters from VR services and is collecting data and implementing targeted initiatives for transition-age youth designed to engage youth with disabilities and get them involved in community-based work experiences -and other work-based learning sooner.  (Page 236) Title II

State Plan Estimates for FFY 20 19 & 20 During FFY 2016, DVR determined that it could no longer serve individuals in OOS Category 3 due to lack of resources. The projected number of clients to receive services after being found eligible is 10,000 of which 6,000 are expected to be served under an employment plan. Since open cases in Category 3 will continue to be served, they are included below. The expected services provision by priority category was as follows: Maine implemented an Order of Selection for Category 3 on January 18, 2016. . The projected numbers of clients to be served under an IPE is 6000 in FFY 2019. The proposed case service budget is $8,400,000. The expected services provision by priority category is as follows:
OOS Category 1 55% $4,620,000
OOS Category 2 40% $ 3,360,000
OOS Category 3 5% $ 420,000 (this reflects those already in Category 3 at the time of the OOS implementation) Maine DVR projects FFY 2019 closures goals to be the following
OOS 1 55% 550
OOS 2 40% 400
OOS 3 5 % 50 Total: 1000 The projected number of clients to receive services after being found eligible is 10,000. (Page 238) Title II

Assistive technology services and assistive technology devices are provided to individuals with disabilities as determined by each individual’s vocational goal, and appear as prescribed services on the respective individual’s signed IPE. DVR services include assistive technology and assistive technology devices if required for the individual’s IPE, necessary for the attainment of the individual’s employment goal. DVR works closely with Maine cohorts, Alpha One and ALLTECH, assistive technology organizations which provide assistive technology technical assistance services as well as assistive technology devices. (Page 250) Title II

Many changes designed to help youth and adults with disabilities access employment education, job training and support services, have been made, including:
• Establishing a much larger role for public vocational rehabilitation (VR) as youth with disabilities make the transition from school to adult life. Public VR funds in the amount of a 15% set-aside, must now be used for transition services, specifically pre-employment transitions services that include job exploration counseling, work-based learning experiences, counseling on post-secondary opportunities, workplace readiness training, and training on self-advocacy. Each local VR office must also undertake pre-employment transition coordination activities and they must involve schools and workforce development system in these activities.
• Focusing supported employment state grants to VR agencies on youth. Half the money the state receives under these grants will now have to be used to support youth up to age 24 with the most significant disabilities to achieve supported competitive integrated employment. (Page 258) Title II

Objective: To reduce the average time in plan development (status 10) from 300 days in FFY 2011 to 240 days in FFY 2012 to 210 days in FY 2013 to 180 days in FY 2014 & FY 2015.
Strategies: a. Increase use of the Career Exploration Workshop, which has been shown to decrease case length time.
REPORT ON PROGRESS: Time to plan continues to drop across the state. At the close of FFY 2017, time from eligibility to IPE across the state was at 92.6 days, a significant improvement over past years. This trend continues into FFY 2018. DVR continues to use the Career Exploration Workshop (CEW) as a powerful tool in assisting clients to clarify their career goals. The 2017 Customer Satisfaction Survey found that 25% of clients surveyed had participated in CEW and they had an 87% favorability rating of the CEW. In training delivered during FFY 17, the DVR Director and Assistant Director offered examples for staff on how usage of the CEW could support more timely plan development. During FFY 17, the CEW was modified to allow for delivery of core elements during a 2-day administration. This approach was done to also allow for more frequent administration in the field and in more off-site locations. The goal of this is to increase easy access to the CEW for VR clients. (Page 266) Title II

BRS supports staff involvement in the USDA’s AgrAbility project. In Maine, the AgrAbility project is administered by Alpha One, Goodwill Industries of New England and the University of Maine. The liaison to the project ensures that BRS staff is knowledgeable about AgrAbility and related resources. Grant funding for AgrAbility ended during 2014 and DBVI uses AgrAbility services on a fee for service basis when these services are applicable to a client’s IPE. (Page 301) Title II

The purpose of this collaboration with DOE is to promote and establish a process that results in an effective working relationship between state agencies on behalf of, and with youth with disabilities, in order to gain the greatest benefit from their respective programs and services. Specific areas of collaboration include: consultation, technical assistance, transition planning, roles and responsibilities, financial responsibilities of each agency and procedures for outreach and identification in order to better coordinate and facilitate the process of student transition.
The MOU defines and strengthens the relationships with DOE and calls for identification of students with disabilities, both in Special Education and regular programs, in order to plan their transition before graduation from high school. The agreement focuses upon the needs of the individual student and allows for flexibility and professional judgment to be exercised by personnel. It also spells out the roles of each agency in referral, outreach, and the provision of service. The blindness—specific curriculum services that are identified in the Individual Education Plan (IEP) and 504 plans facilitate the achievement of the employment goal, which is further developed in the Vocational Rehabilitation Individual Plan for Employment (IPE). DBVI, the student and parent(s) develop the IPE, utilizing the interests, strengths, and needs of the student. (Page 303-304) Title II

Supported Employment Program — The Division has remained committed to assuring that individuals with the most severe disabilities receive supported employment services when this is appropriate. An Individual Plan of Employment (IPE) is developed that describes the services provided, the need for extended services, if appropriate, and an assurance that the individual has been able to make an informed choice in the provision of these services and the goal itself. (Page 337) Title IV
 

Career Pathways

~~E. A description regarding how the Local Area will utilize work-based learning approaches through such programs as Registered Apprenticeship, On-the-Job Training, Customized Training, Industry and Sector Strategies, Integrated Education and Training strategies, Career Pathways initiatives, utilization of business intermediaries, and other business services and strategies designed to meet the needs of businesses ;
F. A description of how the Local Board will coordinate workforce development activities carried out in the Local Area with economic development activities carried out in the Local Area to promote entrepreneurial skills training and microenterprise services and training and placement of participants;
G. A description of how the Local Board will leverage and coordinate supportive services in the delivery of workforce development activities carried out in the Local Area, including how the Local Board will work with other providers to deliver supportive services to job seekers;
H. A description of how the Local Board intends to promote a greater business voice in the delivery of workforce development activities carried out in the Local Area. This description should include how the board will engage businesses on decisions regarding the type and content of training activities required of the local workforce;
I. A description of how the Local Board will promote and cultivate industry-led partnerships and career pathways in delivery of workforce training opportunities;
J. A description of the role of faith-based or community-based organizations in the local one-stop system. (Page 403) Title IV
 

Apprenticeship

The share of long term unemployed remains elevated FIGURE 5: LONG TERM UNEMPLOYED AS A PERCENT OF TOTAL UNEMPLOYED, 2003—2014 In an environment in which the labor force is shrinking, Maine does not have the luxury of tens of thousands of people being less than fully engaged in the workforce. The State Board’s committees for Older Workers, Women’s Employment Issues, Younger Workers, Veteran’s Employment, Apprenticeship and the Commission on Disability and Employment are charged with addressing many of these issues. Later in this plan, strategies to engage populations that tend to have lower labor participation rates including, but not limited to, people with disabilities, veterans, women, older workers, people without a high school diploma, ex— offenders, individuals with language barriers, female heads of households with dependent children and out of school youth are discussed. LABOR MARKET TRENDS Workforce conditions in Maine continue to improve, though there has been virtually no real economic growth for a decade. Underlying these seemingly contradictory statements is a rapidly advancing age structure of the population that is constraining growth and tightening the labor market at the same time. Through 2014, real gross domestic product (GDP) has been little changed since 2004, after relatively steady growth in previous decades. Meanwhile, the number of jobs is up since the 2010 post—recession low, but still nearly two percent short of the 2008 peak level. In the middle of 2015 the state has about the same number of jobs as in 2004. This situation is in stark contrast to the nation, which began reaching new highs in GDP in 2012 and in nonfarm payroll jobs in 2014. (Page 14) Title I

The SWDB has six constituent committees that make recommendations to the Board about service delivery or policy related to the cohort group they represent — Apprenticeship, Commission on Disability & Employment, Older Workers, Veterans, Women’s Employment Issues and Younger Workers. These committees meet four to eight times annually. The SWDB and the State Workforce Agency (SWA - Maine Department of Labor) will work together to establish and convene workgroups that focus on required implementation and service delivery components of WIOA. Some groups will complete their work and be dissolved while other will need to be on going for the foreseeable future. Service Providers and Local Workforce Development Board staff will be included on each workgroup as appropriate. The workgroups include; - Program Policy Committee (Ongoing) - WIOA State Plan Steering Committee - State Plan Implementation Committee - Staff Development / Cross Training - America’s Job Link Alliance (New database implementation) - One Stop Certification - Memorandums of Understanding - Priority of Service - Accessibility - Employer Outreach - Youth Service Delivery - Integrated Intake - Unemployment Insurance Linkages - Eligible Training Provider List (Page 33) Title I

Since passage of WIOA and promulgation of the final rules, Maine DVR has worked to develop, adopt and implement procedural guidance, programming and training to support the identification and registration of students with disabilities who are eligible or potentially eligible for Pre-Employment Transition Services. Through previously established relationships with school districts and through outreach initiatives and pilot activities, Maine DVR has sought to offer Pre-Employment Transition Services across the state. According to data from the Maine Department of Education, during school year 2015-16, there were 9,3338 students with a disability enrolled in grades 9-12. An additional 2,993 students grades 9-12 were identified as having a 504 plan. This is a represents a small but significant increase over figures from the previous year. Maine DVR has targeted the problem of early exiters from VR services and is collecting data and implementing targeted initiatives for transition-age youth designed to engage youth with disabilities and get them involved in community-based work experiences -and other work-based learning sooner. (Page 236) Title II

Work Incentives & Benefits

~~The OSOS system collects and dispatches the data required for current formula program performance reports. Reports are created for a variety of programs spanning formula and Wagner Peyser, to Trade and Apprenticeship. OSOS also collects data pertaining to the RESEA program, the Migrant and Seasonal Farmworker, Veterans, Ticket to Work, Work Opportunity Tax Credit and other state funded programs such as the Competitive Skills Scholarship Program, plus more. Major changes to OSOS are necessary to conform to the new WIOA requirements which is a major reason that Maine is as quickly as possible migrating to America’s Job Link Alliance (AJLA), which is expected to be fully WIOA compliant when all the rules are finalized. (Page 63) Title I

Through its collaboration with DHHS and specifically the coordination of Maine’s benefits counseling network DVR has been able to develop opportunities and overcome barriers to competitive integrated employment for individuals with visual impairments who are eligible for MaineCare, the State’s Medicaid program. DVR entered into the Ticket to Work Partnership Plus agreement with the Bureau of Employment Services in July 2014. The purpose of this agreement is to strengthen the partnerships within CareerCenters in the provision of vocational rehabilitation and employment and training services to individuals with disabilities seeking employment in Maine. This agreement expands service options and the overall capacity of Maine’s workforce investment activities and offers individuals the opportunity to achieve employment outcomes, decrease reliance on public benefits and increase personal economic assets and resources. (Page 225) Title II

Interagency Support of Benefits Counseling DBVI/DVR continue to work closely with many other state partners to ensure that Maine’s benefits counseling services remain available to beneficiaries of SSI/SSDI, and specifically, DBVI applicants and eligible clients. This allowed the services to remain intact while a resolution was determined on a federal level as to the continuation of this critical service in 2013. DBVI/DVR currently administer a single contract with Maine’s approved WIPA provider, Maine Medical Center’s Department of Vocational Services, which includes funding from four sources of state and federal funds, including from the Division of Vocational Rehabilitation, Division for the Blind and Visually Impaired, Office of Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services, and Office of Aging and Disability Services. The contract’s scope of work includes direct service provision of benefits counseling, training of VR counselors and case managers, and service capacity building through quarterly system development network meetings, which include representatives from the Disability Rights Center’s Protection and Advocacy for Beneficiaries of Social Security (PABSS) and the Bureau of Employment Services’ Disability Employment Initiative. (Page 300-301) Title II

BRS entered into the Ticket to Work Partnership Plus agreement with the Bureau of Employment Services in July 2014. The purpose of this agreement is to strengthen the partnerships within CareerCenters in the provision of vocational rehabilitation and employment and training services to individuals with disabilities seeking employment in Maine. This agreement expands service options and the overall capacity of Maine’s workforce investment activities and offers individuals the opportunity to achieve employment outcomes, decrease reliance on public benefits and increase personal economic assets and resources. (Pages 308-309) Title II

Due to these current restrictions and the fact that the success of the supported employment model, as a whole, will ultimately hinge on the ability of the system to continue to develop options for extended/long—term support, the Division focuses on greater utilization of natural supports and the various SSI/SSDI work incentives as well as trying to explore new ideas for extended support. The Ticket to Work and Work Incentives Act (TWWIA) offers additional support to persons in Supported Employment.
The Division participates in the state—funded Long—term Support Program, which allows us to purchase extended support for individuals who are blind or have low vision. In addition, DBVI receives state funds for extended support for individuals with brain injuries, who are also blind or visually impaired. Both of these appropriations are very limited in the number of people who can be supported. (Page 354) Title IV
.

Employer / Business Engagement

~~Maine’s Unified Plan emphasizes greater levels of integration, alignment and coordination among core programs and one—stop partners. As part of this initiative, Maine is currently piloting five integrated education and training (IET) pilots. IET is a proven training model that enhances learning comprehension by integrating classroom and occupation training and often compresses learning time frames. Based on identified local workforce needs, the pilot projects were developed with extensive employer engagement, as well as the involvement of support service providers and a variety of educational institutions. Maine Adult Education is playing the lead role in the delivery of these projects, but each partner has an appropriate role to play. Participants, many of whom are receiving public assistance, are being prepared for actual unfilled positions with local employers. Pilot projects are currently being delivered in northern Maine, Lewiston, St. John Valley, Western Maine and Bucksport/Ellsworth areas. (Page 18) Title I

DVR continued to assist the State Independent Living Council (SILC) to increase organizational capacity and member effectiveness by supporting SILC to maintain an Executive Director. During this past year the Executive Director resigned and the SILC is currently advertising for a new Executive Director/SPIL Coordinator .The SILC Executive Director will be responsible for conducting the work of the SPIL under the supervision and direction of the Maine SILC to accomplish tasks such as a) recruitment and management of members and volunteers b) establish and maintain partnerships with community members and organizations c) market and promote the Maine SILC d) increase and diversify the resources related to the six core areas of the SILC. Innovation and Expansion funds are used to support the activities and administration of the Division’s State Rehabilitation Council (SRC). The SRC meets monthly as a full council. The SRC has standing committees that meet regularly. These committees include, Policy/Regulations Group, Membership, Annual Meeting, Business committee, and the Executive Committee. The SRC collects information on consumer satisfaction and participated in the triennial consumer satisfaction survey. This year the SRC has increased its business outreach and employer engagement to better align with WIOA. For more information regarding the SRC, please visit www.mainesrc.org. (Page 263) Title II

 

Data Collection

SYSTEMS Core partners of this Unified Plan utilize the following case management and management information systems (MIS): Adult Education uses MaineSTARS, Vocational Rehabilitation utilizes AWARE, and Wagner—Peyser and formula program providers utilize the Maine Job Link (MJL) a product of America’s Job Link Alliance that combines case management, performance tracking and reporting and labor exchange job match services in one system. The aforementioned systems comply with current federal reporting requirements for each program. The data elements required for each program are being collected and will be used to support the coordinated implementation of Maine’s strategic objectives. MaineSTARS is a federally approved MIS system compliant with adult education’s National Reporting System. Local adult education programs are required to use MaineSTARS for all intake, demographic, assessment, and attendance data. At the state level, aggregate numbers are compiled in MaineSTARS and used to perform data matches against Maine Department of Labor employment data, high school equivalency completion data, and the National Student Clearinghouse database for postsecondary enrollment. The AWARE system collects and reports data required by the Rehabilitation Services Administration in the delivery of Vocational Rehabilitation services, as well as serving as a case management tool for the Division for the Blind and Visually Impaired and the Division of Vocational Rehabilitation. The system is maintained by its vendor, Alliance Enterprises, and has been updated to meet WIOA reporting requirements. The Maine Job Link (MJL) system collects and dispatches the data required for current formula program performance reports. Reports are created for a variety of programs spanning formula and Wagner Peyser, to Trade and Apprenticeship. (Page 64-65)

In response to this data analysis, after consulting with a stakeholder group, DVR and DBVI changed their CRP payment system. On October 1, 2016 the Divisions changed from the milestone payment system to a “hybrid” model that is a combination of a fee for service model and a bonus payment system for timely job placements and for SSI/SSDI recipients achieving Substantial Gainful Employment (SGA). DVR and DBVI continue to monitor expenditures and employment outcomes to inform a cost benefit analysis of the new payment model and make adjustments as necessary. (Page 265) Title II

Subminimum Wage (Section 511)

~~Limiting the use of sub-minimum wage. Section 511 is specifically intended to reduce the number of transition-age youth entering sheltered workshops and working for sub-minimum wage. The emphasis is on moving young people with significant disabilities into integrated community employment. The bill prohibits individuals with disabilities age 24 and younger from working in jobs paying less than the federal minimum of $7.25 per hour unless they first apply for and receive vocational rehabilitation services, among other requirements. There are exceptions but only for those already working for subminimum wage and cases where individuals may be deemed ineligible for vocational rehabilitation services. Section 511 also prohibits schools from contracting for services, training or work experiences that involve the use of sub-minimum wage.
• Requiring state VR agencies to have formal agreements with the state Medicaid systems, and the state intellectual and developmental disability (IDD) agency.
• Adding a definition of “customized employment” in federal statute, and an updated definition of “supported employment” that includes customized employment.
• Adding a definition for “competitive integrated employment” as an optimal outcome. (Page 259) Tile II

REPORT ON PROGRESS: During this last year DVR has partnered with DHHS on the implementation of the discovery model for individuals with significant disabilities “Discovering Personal Genius”. DVR and DHHS issued joint guidance on DPG and presented a webinar on that guidance in September 2015. Regular DPG training was offered for interested staff and providers. During FFY 2017, in keeping with Section 511, DVR met with 47 individuals with significant disabilities who were working in sub-minimum wage settings and shared information on opportunities for them to receive services from Maine DVR leading to competitive, integrated employment in the community. (Page 267-268) Title II

REPORT ON PROGRESS: The State ADA Coordinator who is housed in DVR, has surveyed for physical accessibility compliance and consults regularly with the Bureau of Employment Services on programmatic and physical accessibility issues in the CareerCenters.
Objective: Maine DVR will work with the Bureau of Labor Standards to support integrated competitive community—based employment of people with disabilities by a review and examination of organizations paying sub—minimum wage in Maine with the goal of reducing these certificates from 17 in FY 2011 to 15 in FY 2012 to 13 in FY 2013
Strategies: a. DVR will hire three Rehabilitation Counselor II’s to serve specialty Workers’ Compensation caseloads REPORT ON PROGRESS: The pace of referrals from Workers’ Compensation has not merited three full-time VR Counselors. During FFY 17, DVR had one full-time dedicated Workers’ Compensation VRC along with a portion of a Casework Supervisor’s time. This strategy will be discontinued going forward. (Page 270-271) Title II
 

Equal Opportunity and Nondiscrimination (Section 188)

To establish universal access as a policy and quality assurance initiative, the universal access coordinator will have the authority of a program manager working under the Division of Policy and Evaluation. Under the direction of the universal access coordinator, the work group will draft a five year plan to improve and sustain universal access and when indicated, make recommendations to the State Board through its program policy committee, and directly to the Commissioner of Labor, when indicated, to emphasize department wide authority and support for accessibility. If warranted and if resources allow, the work group will conduct a staff development needs assessment. Planning will include initial and ongoing staff training and an updated assessment of physical accessibility for one—stop centers, WIOA partner provider facilities, vocational rehabilitation providers, and adult education programs. Policy issues will be identified; and guidance will be provided to one—stop centers, local workforce boards, and required partners. That guidance will be refined over time as policies are developed and monitoring/certification activities occur. SECTION 188 CHECKLIST The WIOA Section 188 Checklist developed by the USDOL Office of Civil Rights will be the guiding document for the working group. The checklist is considered a comprehensive overview of requirements and provides reliable advice on achieving and sustaining universal access. (Page 97) Title I

When monitoring or other activities reveal a need for system-wide technical assistance, policy updates, or concerns related to non-discrimination and accessibility, the Bureau of Employment Services may provide or assist with providing the necessary TA. We will use the Section 188 checklist, Promising Practices In Achieving Universal Access and Equal Opportunity: A Section 188 Disability Reference Guide, and the USDOL’s Integrated Service Delivery Toolkit to assist system partners, providers, and local boards with guidance on developing their own monitoring tools. Implementing and monitoring compliance with these policies will be overseen by a universal access coordinator and a core Universal Access work group of system stakeholders and subject matter experts from the larger community, including the Alpha One (independent living center), Disability Rights Maine, the state ADA coordinator, Maine CITE (designated adaptive technology provider for the Maine Department of Education), NAMI Maine, and other agencies and entities with relevant expertise in both accessibility and non-discrimination. Members of the state or local workforce boards will be included. (Page 100) Title I

Establishing WIOA Regions spells out specific requirements used to identify planning regions as required under WIOA • Accessibility Requirements to be developed and to spell out accessibility requirements as identified in the State Plan in regard to individuals with barriers such as disabilities, other languages, other cultures, and rural access. • Incumbent Worker • Underemployed Worker • Transitional Jobs • Integrated Intake to be developed by and between four core partners • Shared Assessments to be developed by and between four core partners • Shared Customer Service Plans to be developed by and between four core partners • Shared Infrastructure Cost Plans to be developed by the State Workforce Board to direct local areas in processes that must be implemented if they are unable to attain agreement on local workforce development system infrastructure cost sharing. • AJC Certification Criteria to be used by Local Boards in the process of development to be presented to the State Board • Youth Service Provider Procurement Requirements in the process of development to be presented to the State Board • Adult and DW Funds Transfer already developed and in the process of approval of the State Board • Co—enrollment to be reviewed and agreed to by the four core partners • Some policies that were in draft form but never fully implemented will be revised or be rescinded: • Local Board Recognition — this policy has incorporated into the Local Board Certification Policy • Use of Electronic Signature — this policy will need to be revamped to meet requirements of the new MIS system that will be in place in July 2016, the America’s Job Link Alliance or AJLA system. (Page 125) Title I

Outreach to Job Seekers —Wagner Peyser staff act as the initial interface with most job seeker participants entering the system, they conduct initial triage and provide resource navigation and referral services so it is imperative that they have the skills necessary to do this in a customer-centric way and in accordance with Section 188 and the requirements identified in the Local Area MOUs regarding referrals and access to system partner services. In addition, staff needs to be trained to effectively relay all of the required information such as that listed under Basic Career Services. To ensure all staff is adequately trained and have the professional skills necessary to provide services in this way a state-level professional development team was formed to evaluate WIOA-related staff development needs and identify and access resources to accomplish staff development goals identified. (Page 164) Title I

Meets the workforce development needs of participants through provision of services and leverage of resources;  •  Meets the employment needs of local employers;  •  Operates in a cost-efficient manner;  •  Coordinates services among and between one-stop programs in a way that is seamless to the customer and eliminates duplication of services;  •  Provides access to partner program services to the maximum extent possible; including providing services outside of regular business hours where and when there is a workforce need identified by the local board. •  Ensures equal opportunity for all individuals, including individuals with barriers to employment, to participate in or benefit from one-stop center services;  •  Takes action to comply with disability-related regulations implementing WIOA Section 188, set forth in 29 CFR 38, including: o Making reasonable accommodations for individuals with disabilities; o Making reasonable modifications to policies, practices, and procedures where necessary to avoid discrimination against individuals with disabilities; o Administering programs in the most integrated setting appropriate; o Communicating with persons with disabilities as effectively as with others; o Providing appropriate auxiliary aids and services, including assistive technology devices and services to afford individuals with disabilities equal opportunity to participate in, and enjoy the benefits of, program activities; and o Providing for the physical and programmatic accessibility of the one-stop center to individuals with disabilities. (Page 397) Title IV

According to the US Department of Labor’s Office of Disability Employment Policy (ODEP), universal access includes performance of the following functions: • Understanding local needs; • Marketing and outreach; • Involving community groups and schools; • Effecting collaboration, including partnerships and linkages; • Staff training; • Intake, registration and orientation; • Assessments and screenings; and • Service delivery. See the publication Promising Practices In Achieving Universal Access and Equal Opportunity: A Section 188 Disability Reference Guide https://www.dol.gov/oasam/programs/crc/188Guide.htm Universal design Also known as "inclusive design" and "design for all," this is a strategy for making products, environments, operational systems, and services welcoming and useable to the most diverse range of people possible. The key principles of universal design are simplicity, flexibility, ease of access, and efficiency. (Page 412) Title IV

Veterans

Program SFY14 Funding ($ mil—lions) Overseeing Agency Program Description Jobs for Veterans State Grant (JVSG) $0.9 MDOL Jobs for Veterans State Grant funds are allocated to State Workforce Agencies from the Department of Labor’s Veterans’ Employment and Training Service (VETS) in direct proportion to the number of veterans seeking employment within their state. The grants support two principal staff positions: Disabled Veterans’ Outreach Program Specialists and Local Veterans’ Employment Representatives. This grant provides funds to exclusively serve veterans, other eligible persons and, indirectly, employers. Federal $0.9 Trade Adjustment Assistance (TAA) $2.8 MDOL The Trade Adjustment Assistance Program is a federal program that provides a path for employment growth and opportunity through aid to US workers who have lost their jobs as a result of foreign trade. The TAA program seeks to provide these trade—affected workers with opportunities to obtain the skills, resources, and support they need to become reemployed. Federal $2.8 Work Opportunity Tax Credit (WOTC) $0.1 MDOL The Work Opportunity Tax Credit is a Federal tax credit available to employers for hiring individuals from certain target groups who have consistently faced significant barriers to employment. Federal $0.1 Re- employment Services & Eligibility Assessment (RESEA) $1.5 MDOL The Re-employment Services and Eligibility Assessment (RESEA) pro—gram assists unemployed workers to return to work more quickly by delivering and services to those claimants profiled as “most likely to exhaust” and all transitioning veterans receiving Unemployment compensation. Targeted claimants will be provided relevant reemployment services and Eligibility Review Interviews. (Page 19) Title I

The State Board, Maine Department of Labor and Local Workforce Development areas are jointly required to develop and issue a “priority of service to veterans” policy that applies “to every qualified job training program funded, in whole or in part, by the Department” for which they have direct oversight and responsibility. Board level area policy must adhere to 20 CFR 1010 dated December 19, 2008 and TEGL No 14—08 dated March 18, 2009, and incorporate veteran priority into current WIOA priority of service policy. Veteran’s priority of service definitions for covered and non—covered persons can be found at Priority of Service for Veterans and Eligible Spouses: Final Rule (http://www.dol.gov/vets/). The State Board, Maine Department of Labor and Local Workforce Development area service providers are responsible for developing strategies and implementing the veterans’ priority of service as defined and required by 38 U.S.C 4215(b) and 20 CFR Parts 1001 and 1010. Maine’s one—stop system is the core mechanism that will support, expand and maintain services to the veteran population throughout the State. Eligible veterans or eligible spouses with significant barriers to employment as defined in Veterans’ Program Letter (VPL) 03—14, Section 5, will receive “top priority.” Priority of service applies to Workforce Investment Act Adult, Dislocated and Youth Grants, National Emergency Grants, Demonstration Grants, Trade Adjustment Assistance, Wagner—Peyser, and other core programs funded by the U.S. Department of Labor and administered in Maine by the Maine Department of Labor (MDOL). Maine Department of Labor and one—stop providers will take the necessary actions to ensure that priority of service opportunities are clearly visible and articulated to all customers who engage in one—stop services. At a minimum, “priority of service to veterans” will include adherence to and implementation of the following guidelines: Outreach/Recruitment: • Inclusion of information regarding veterans’ priority of service in printed materials targeted to customers and employers; • Inclusion of information regarding veterans’ priority of service in presentations made to customers and employers; • Addition of veterans’ priority of service information to service providers, Maine one—stop centers and Department of Labor web sites; and • Pro—active recruitment of veterans by targeted contact strategies or other strategies that focus on employers as well as job seeking veterans, particularly when the region is not in compliance with veterans’ priority of service performance measures. (Page 94-95) Title I

Benchmarks will be established to provide a baseline to measure the impact of priority of service to covered participants: one will benchmark the covered participants using prior program year data. Many veterans face difficult labor market transitions, particularly upon reentering civilian life and may require specialized employment and training services to boost their job prospects. Veterans Employment and Training Services (VETS) and Maine Department of Labor have established effective program designs that include other providers such as the Togus Veteran’s Rehabilitation program. Additionally, veterans with more severe adjustment difficulties may require counseling, social services, and more in—depth support from specialists who are more familiar with their needs. Maine’s Local Veterans Employment Representatives (LVERs) are delegated the authority to generate the “Quarterly Reports on Services to Veterans.” Nonetheless, the responsibility for the content of such reports remains with one—stop center managers. These reports focus on compliance with Federal law and regulations with respect to special services and priorities for veterans. As new US Department of Labor and Maine Department of Labor veterans programs are introduced and implemented, the veterans’ team and Wagner—Peyser staff will assist in delivering these services and programs to veterans. Delivery of services through the one—stop system to veterans and eligible spouses is standardized to ensure that no veteran or eligible spouse is turned away without receiving some level of service. Stationed in key one—stop centers, Disabled Veterans Outreach Program specialists and Local Veterans Employment Representatives work exclusively with veterans and eligible spouses to facilitate their access to all programs and services for which they are eligible under the priority of service policy. (Page 96) Title I

Monitoring Compliance with Priority of Service • DOL will monitor recipients of funds for qualified job training programs to ensure that covered persons are made aware of and provided priority of service. • Monitoring will be performed jointly by the Veterans’ Employment and Training Service (VETS) and the DOL agency responsible for administering the program. • If monitoring identifies non—compliance with priority of service, the results of the monitoring: 1) will be handled in accord with each program’s compliance review procedures; and, 2) may lead to imposition of a corrective action plan. (Page 373) Title IV

USDOL will regularly reassess the definition to ensure it reflects the best available data and trends associated with veteran employment and continues to identify those veterans who are to be given priority and maximum emphasis for DVOP services under 38 U.S.C. 4103A (a). An eligible veteran or eligible spouse who is identified as having a SBE must be immediately referred to a DVOP specialist or, in instances where a DVOP specialist is not available, another CareerCenter provider of intensive/individualized services. For planning purposes, ETA and VETS anticipate that approximately 30 percent of veterans seeking CareerCenter services nationwide will be identified as having an SBE. Case management continues to be an appropriate service delivery strategy or framework within which intensive services may be delivered, particularly for veterans. Intensive/individualized career services should be delivered following the case management framework in most cases. However, case management itself is a process, not a service, and is therefore not to be reported as a service, intensive/individualized career or otherwise. Managing the DVOP Caseload In the event that a DVOP specialist does not have a full case—load of eligible veterans and eligible spouses who meet the criteria in paragraphs a. and b. above the DVOP specialist may perform additional activities, in the order specified below: 1. Review all open case files of current participants with an SBE or in a priority category and perform case management duties. 2. Conduct relationship building, outreach and recruitment activities with other service providers in the local area, to enroll SBE and priority category veterans. In addition, W— P, WIOA, and other partner staff will continue to provide services, including intensive/individualized career services, to veterans and eligible spouses as appropriate under the programs the staff administer. This guidance does not limit the ability of non—JVSG staff to provide intensive/individualized career services to veterans who do not have an SBE or are not in a veteran category specified by USDOL. Also, veterans with an SBE or in a specified category must have access to all appropriate CareerCenter services and are not limited to receiving services only from DVOP specialists. Those veterans not meeting the SBE definition or not within a specified category identified by DOL are to be referred to appropriate non—JVSG CareerCenter staff member(s) to receive core/basic career, intensive/individualized career, and/or training services, on a priority of service basis. MDOL will provide technical assistance to local areas to assist in the coordination of efforts between DVOP specialists and CareerCenter staff to ensure that all veterans are receiving needed services. Sequence of Priority USDOL does not interpret the VPL to require priority to be given in the order that these groups are listed in the VPL. Instead, DVOP specialists must provide the same priority to serving special disabled, other disabled and other veterans prioritized by USDOL, including those identified as having Significant Barriers to Employment in this guidance. (Page 379 -380) Title VI

Behavioral / Mental Health

~~Division of Vocational Rehabilitation (DVR) works with other state agencies and many Councils and Committees whose focus is on individuals with disabilities. DVR has a long standing relationship and works very closely with the Maine Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS). DVR and DHHS have two memorandums of understanding (MOU); one MOU is with the Office of Aging and Disability Services, which serves individuals with developmental disabilities; the other MOU is with the Office of Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services (SAMHS) which serves individuals with mental health issues. The MOU’s address the combined efforts that DVR and DHHS have initiated and clarify roles to improve the successful outcomes for these jointly served populations. • DHHS Office of Aging and Disability Services and DVR/DBVI MOU (updated November 2013) “This Memorandum is intended to guide the Maine Department of Labor’s Bureau of Rehabilitation Services (BRS), through its Division for the Blind and Visually Impaired and Division of Vocational Rehabilitation, and the Office of Aging and Disability Services (OADS) in the Maine Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS), through a system change planning process for the purpose of implementing an aligned service delivery system that promotes evidence—based practices. It contains information about policies and processes that pertain to maintaining and enhancing the relationship between these two entities. (Page 217) Title II

DVR has a close working relationship with our partners at DHHS Office of Aging and Disability Services and Mental Health Services we have developed a procedural directive which spells out how wavier services will fund career planning (specifically they fund Discovering Personal Genius© as the career planning model) and once Discovery is completed (waiver services will fund up to 50 hours), a referral is made to DVR who will work with the case manager and agency to proceed with job development and perhaps further exploration as needed. Then, when an individual has been successfully placed in a job and is stable and closed out successfully (may utilize extended services for this as needed), waiver funds will then pick up again and cover long term support services (usually job coaching) which will help the individual continue to remain stable on the job. (Page 243-244) Title II

DVR will partner with the Department of Health and Human Services’ Office of Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services to explore opportunities available through the I SPA b. DVR will work with the Department of Corrections through its quarterly joint meetings to identify effective practices in referring and supporting individuals for whom mental health is a barrier to employment.
Objective: Maine DVR will maintain statewide consistency in its practices with regard to “Clubhouses” offering services to DVR clients as measured by client case review.
Strategies:
a. DVR will maintain a liaison to the local Clubhouse in each office.
b. DVR will invite Clubhouse program staff to participate in DVR training opportunities. (Page 251) Title II

The Department of Health and Human Services, in conjunction with other State Agencies and partners, has begun to implement the recommendations that were developed by the Employment First Maine Coalition. The Offices of Substance Abuse and Mental Health, Child and Family Services, and Aging and Disability Services have committed to work together to ensure that the outcome of employment of people with disabilities is a strong focus of the services they provide. During the past year, DHHS has created new resources, developed additional employment services, and has begun to expand expectations that service providers all have a responsibility to promote employment as the first and preferred outcome.
SAMHS contracts with Maine Medical Center’s Vocational Services to provide Employment Specialists that are embedded in behavioral health organizations across the state to assist individuals living with serious mental illness. They assist with career exploration and securing employment, and provide other supports as needed. In keeping with best practices, these Employment Specialists work as a team with behavioral health professionals to improve outcomes. This service is supplemental and not necessarily a replacement service for Vocational Rehabilitation services through the DOL Bureau of Rehabilitation Services. (Page 262) Title II

Division for the Blind and Visually Impaired (DBVI) works with other state agencies and many Councils and Committees whose focus is on individuals with disabilities, including out-of-school youth who are blind or visually impaired. BRS has a long standing relationship and works very closely with the Maine Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS). BRS has two memorandums of understanding (MOU); one MOU is with the Office of Aging and Disability Services, which serves individuals with developmental disabilities; the other MOU is with the Office of Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services (SAMHS) which serves individuals with mental health issues. The MOU’s address the combined efforts that BRS and DHHS have initiated and clarify roles to improve the successful outcomes for these jointly served populations. • DHHS Office of Aging and Disability Services and DVR/DBVI MOU (updated November 2013) “This Memorandum is intended to guide the Maine Department of Labor’s Bureau of Rehabilitation Services (BRS), through its Division for the Blind and Visually Impaired and Division of Vocational Rehabilitation, and the Office of Aging and Disability Services (OADS) in the Maine Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS), through a system change planning process for the purpose of implementing an aligned service delivery system that promotes evidence-based practices. It contains information about policies and processes that pertain to maintaining and enhancing the relationship between these two entities. (Page 301-302) Title IV

The Division continues to use Title VI—B money to provide services for individuals with the most severe disabilities as an integral part of our VR program. Securing long—term employment resources continues to be a primary challenge for the Division. DBVI continues to collaborate with Department of Health and Human Services’ Offices of Aging and Disability Services and Substance Abuse Mental Health Services to explore long—term support mechanisms for those individuals completing their VR plan and who have been utilizing Title VI, Part B funds. (Page 331) Title IV
 

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

During 2012, representatives of the Workers Compensation Board (WCB) and Maine Division of Vocational Rehabilitation worked together to create a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU). The MOU was completed and signed, effective November 2012. DVR and the WCB are committed to working together to improve services and employment outcomes for individuals who, as a result of injury, are in need of vocational rehabilitation services to return to employment. Through the efforts outlined in the MOU, DVR and the WCB will strive to maximize employment opportunities for injured Maine workers, minimize duplication of services, improve information sharing and referrals, and coordinate activities in accordance with all applicable statutes and regulations. (Page 219) Title II

Past WIOA Profiles Year
Past WIOA Profile Year: 
2017
Past WIOA Profile Attachment : 
Displaying 1 - 10 of 71

Office of Aging and Disability Services Update - 05/07/2020

“The Maine Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS) provides home and community-based services to adults with intellectual or developmental disabilities (IDD, ORC), Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD), and brain injury primarily through MaineCare-funded programs. These are often called waiver programs because they operate with special exceptions from the federal government and are referred to by their Section number, which is where they can be found in the MaineCare rules.”

This page contains a quarterly update on Supporting Adults with Developmental Disabilities and Brain Injury in their Homes and Communities as of May 7, 2020.

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

Disability Rights Maine: COVID-19 Resources for People with Disabilities - 04/08/2020

This page contains links to COVID-19 resources for people with disabilities available through Disability Rights Maine, as well as other state and national resources.

Systems
  • Other
Topics
  • Mental Health
  • Asset Development / Financial Capability
  • Cross-Agency Collaboration / Partnerships
  • Resource Leveraging
  • Veterans

Notice of Statewide Transition Plan for Home and Community-Based Services Settings - 03/02/2020

“The revised Maine HCBS Statewide Transition Plan will be submitted to CMS in April 2020 and will be effective upon CMS approval. For the aspects of the rule that apply to HCBS settings, states have until March 2022 to ensure alignment of the states policies, programs, and provider settings with the federal settings criteria. States must submit a Statewide Transition Plan (STP) that describes the states overall strategies, processes, and resources it will deploy to complete all implementation efforts by the end of the transition period. The STP is also intended to serve as the states roadmap for implementing the federal HCBS rule with fidelity and outlines a detailed work plan and timeline for ensuring that all settings in which HCBS services are provided comply with the new standards by March 2022. The State of Maine is deeply committed to implementing the federal HCBS requirements with fidelity, and is using the rule as a catalyst for implementing other improvements to policy, payment, and practice associated with Medicaid-funded HCBS in an effort to improve access to and quality of HCBS services and options throughout the state. As such, the state has been working with stakeholders on several additional systems change efforts that complement the vision of the federal HCBS rule.”

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

Disabled Employee Resources - 02/27/2020

“All employees have their strengths and weaknesses. Those with disabilities are no different although some of their abilities may be more pronounced which can be a tremendous asset in the diverse field of agriculture. People with disabilities bring different talents, backgrounds and perspectives which can lead to increased productivity. Those with disabilities are often the most loyal and long-term employees, bringing a sense of pride and commitment to the work so many farmers are looking for. There are several organizations with the skills and resources to assist these individuals work safely and productively in agriculture.”

Click on the link to “Disabled Employee Resources” to learn more.

Systems
  • Other
Topics
  • Cross-Agency Collaboration / Partnerships

283 Veterans Hired During the 2019 Maine Hire-A-Vet Campaign - 02/12/2020

“The Maine Hire-A-Vet Campaign is a partnership between the Maine Department of Labor and its CareerCenters, Boots2Roots, Easter Seals and their Veterans Count program, the Maine National Guard Employment Support Program, Maine Bureau of Veterans Services, Transition Assistance Advisors, VA Vocational Rehabilitation and Employment, and State Vocational Rehabilitation and Employment.”

Systems
  • Other
Topics
  • Cross-Agency Collaboration / Partnerships
  • Veterans
  • WIOA

Supporting Adults with Developmental Disabilities and Brain Injury in their Homes and Communities - 01/24/2020

“The Maine Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS) provides home-and community-based services to adults with intellectual or developmental disabilities (IDD), Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD), and brain injury primarily through MaineCare-funded programs. These are often called waiver programs because they operate with special exceptions from the federal government and are referred to by their Section number, which is where they can be found in the MaineCare rules.”

“For most of us, work is part of our identity. And for many people, work is an important part of the recovery process. Experience and research have shown that mental health consumers want to work and can work. Some of those individuals will need support in finding and keeping a job; others will not.

Work can have many benefits. It gives structure to our days, can boost self-esteem, and provides income that affords us more choices. It also offers opportunities to be a part of, and give back to, our community.”

This page has a list of resources related to disability employment.

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

1115 Waiver Application: Substance Use Disorder Care Initiative - 11/26/2019

“Home-based Skill Development Services:

Home-based skill development services are services Maine has historically covered via State Plan and Waiver authority for our members with SMI and members with intellectual disabilities who meet institutional level of care, respectively. While these members may display extreme deficits in their ability to function independently in their environment, their challenges are not unique. Parents with SUD may have similar challenges surrounding self-care, daily living skills, personal adjustment, socialization, relationship development, use of community resources, and adaptive skills necessary to reside in community settings.”

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

Maine Economic Development Strategy 2020-2029 - 11/15/2019

“ACTION B1: Increase the labor force participation of existing residents. There are approximately 100,000 people living in Maine that are of working age but are not currently engaged in the workforce. A study done several years ago estimated that Maine can increase its workforce by over 30,000 people by increasing the labor force participation of seniors, people with disabilities, veterans, and young people who are disengaged from school and work. While all of these people may not be able to enter the workforce, many will be able to access work opportunities with encouragement, direct support, physical accommodations in the workplace, flexible work arrangements and mentoring….”

ACTION B5: Promote “Quality of Place” investments. The quality of our recreational opportunities, historic places, and arts and culture are a draw for tourists and residents alike. Each area of Maine has special attributes. We will work directly with local communities to explore asset development that attracts and retains people.”

Systems
  • Other
Topics
  • Asset Development / Financial Capability
  • Cross-Agency Collaboration / Partnerships
  • Veterans

Supported Employment - 11/02/2019

“Trained staff provide ongoing support to individuals after they have completed the Vocational Rehabilitation and Job development process and have secured paid employment in a community setting.

Supported employment staff provide assistance in all aspects of the employment one they have obtained a job. Once an employee completes initial training, job coaches will work with consumer at their new place of employment, making sure they know the requirements of their position and that they are ready to handle any situation that may come up. Job coaches assist with attention to task, quality assurance, scheduling requests, communication with employer and coworkers, and any other employment related activities that may be needed.”

Systems
  • Other
Topics
  • Cross-Agency Collaboration / Partnerships

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

~~“Western Maine Community Action was awarded a statewide 2019 CMS Navigator Cooperative Agreement serving “Left behind” populations, such as: hourly wage workers (including retail and hospitality workers), self-employed and contract workers (including loggers and fishermen), people living rurally, and those who lack general knowledge about health insurance and do not have easy access to, or familiarity with, the internet.  The Sub-awardee/Subrecipient Contracted Organizations are; Aroostook County Action Program, Midcoast Maine Community Action, Penquis, Waldo Community Action Partners, York County Community Action Corporation, The Opportunity Alliance, and the Health Community Coalition.  They will partner with: Faith-based organizations (Catholic Charities), Local community colleges. Community health centers and county health departments, Pine Health Services, Fish River Rural Health, Local libraries and nonprofits, Schools, Head Start programs, and agencies serving children, Adult education centers, Partners for Peace, County Chambers of Commerce, Sheriff's Depts., Maine Coastal Regional Reentry Center, Maine Prisoners’ Reentry Network, Rapid Response teams, Legal Services for the Elderly, and Area Agencies on Aging. For more information, please contact the designated project lead.Contact:Milton MarrPhone: (207) 860-4472Email:  mmarr@wmca.org  ”

 

Systems
  • Other
Topics
  • Cross-Agency Collaboration / Partnerships
Displaying 1 - 5 of 5

An Act to Encourage Maine Employers to Offer and Employees to Enroll in Disability Income Protection Plans in the Workplace - 01/01/2017

“This bill authorizes an employer to provide its employees a group disability income protection plan, which is a group policy instituted by an employer that provides income benefits to an employee who is unable to work for an extended period of time because of sickness or an accident. The group disability income protection plan may be either a short-term plan offering at least 6 months of benefits or a long-term plan offering at least 24 months of benefits. The premium paid by an employee for participation in an employer-sponsored group disability income protection plan is considered a premium that the employee has agreed to pay, as long as certain conditions are met.”

Systems
  • Other
Topics
  • 14(c)/Income Security

Maine LD 1549: Kim Wallace Adaptive Equipment Loan Program Fund - 03/29/2016

There is established the Kim Wallace Adaptive Equipment Loan Program Fund, which must be used to provide funding for loans to qualified borrowers within the State in order to acquire adaptive equipment designed to assist the borrower in becoming independent and for other purposes as allowed under section 376. The fund must be deposited with,  the Treasurer of State and contain appropriations provided for that purpose, interest accrued on the fund balance, funds received by the program administrator to be applied to the fund and funds received in repayment of loans. This fund is a nonlapsing revolving fund. All money in the fund must be continuously applied to carry out the purposes of this chapter.

Systems
  • Other
Topics
  • Asset Development / Financial Capability

Employment First Maine Act - 06/22/2013

“In carrying out its duties to provide services and supports to persons with disabilities, a state agency shall include as a core component of its services and supports the opportunity for persons with disabilities to acquire integrated community-based employment or customized employment… When entering into contracts with providers of services to persons with disabilities, a state agency shall include appropriate provisions regarding facilitating integrated community-based employment or customized employment "and ensuring measurable outcomes…A state agency shall incorporate standards for integrated community-based employment and customized employment into its processes for program monitoring and quality assurance.”
Systems
  • Other
Topics
  • Employer Engagement
  • Provider Transformation
  • Cross-Agency Collaboration / Partnerships

Maine Act To Provide Integrated Community-based & Customized Employment - 06/01/2013

The Bill promotes: 1. “Employment as core component of services and supports. In carrying out its duties to provide services and supports to persons with disabilities, a state agency shall include as a core component of its services and supports the opportunity for persons with disabilities to acquire integrated community-based employment or customized employment.”   2. “First and preferred service or support option. When providing services or supports to a person with a disability, a state agency shall offer to the person, as the first and preferred service or support option, a choice of employment services that will support the acquisition by the person of integrated community-based employment or customized employment.”   3. “Coordination of efforts and information.”   4. “Pursuit of employment; option. Nothing in this chapter may be construed to require a person with a disability who receives services from a state agency to accept employment services from that state agency or to experience a loss of services as a result of choosing not to explore employment options.”  
Systems
  • Department of Mental Health
  • Department of Education
  • Other
Topics
  • Customized Employment
  • Home and Community Based Services (HCBS)

Maine State Agency and Departments Protection and Advocacy of People with Disabilities (Title 5 c.11)

The agency has the following powers and duties:   Information and referral.  The agency may provide information on and referral to programs and services addressing the needs of persons with disabilities.  Advice.  The agency may advise and educate individuals on the rights of persons with disabilities and otherwise support and assist those persons in the protection of and advocacy for those rights.  Pursuit of remedies.  The agency may pursue administrative, legal and other appropriate remedies on behalf of persons with disabilities…  Report.  The agency shall prepare an annual report for submission to the Governor, the Legislature, the Commissioner of Health and Human Services and the Secretary of the United States Department of Health and Human Services. The report must describe the activities, accomplishments and expenditures of the agency during the most recently completed fiscal year  
Systems
  • Department of Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities
  • Other
Topics
  • Mental Health
  • Asset Development / Financial Capability
  • Home and Community Based Services (HCBS)
  • Employer Engagement
  • Cross-Agency Collaboration / Partnerships
  • Resource Leveraging
  • Data Sharing

No Executive Orders have been entered for this state.

Displaying 1 - 10 of 29

Office of Aging and Disability Services Update - 05/07/2020

“The Maine Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS) provides home and community-based services to adults with intellectual or developmental disabilities (IDD, ORC), Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD), and brain injury primarily through MaineCare-funded programs. These are often called waiver programs because they operate with special exceptions from the federal government and are referred to by their Section number, which is where they can be found in the MaineCare rules.”

This page contains a quarterly update on Supporting Adults with Developmental Disabilities and Brain Injury in their Homes and Communities as of May 7, 2020.

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

Disability Rights Maine: COVID-19 Resources for People with Disabilities - 04/08/2020

This page contains links to COVID-19 resources for people with disabilities available through Disability Rights Maine, as well as other state and national resources.

Systems
  • Other
Topics
  • Mental Health
  • Asset Development / Financial Capability
  • Cross-Agency Collaboration / Partnerships
  • Resource Leveraging
  • Veterans

Disabled Employee Resources - 02/27/2020

“All employees have their strengths and weaknesses. Those with disabilities are no different although some of their abilities may be more pronounced which can be a tremendous asset in the diverse field of agriculture. People with disabilities bring different talents, backgrounds and perspectives which can lead to increased productivity. Those with disabilities are often the most loyal and long-term employees, bringing a sense of pride and commitment to the work so many farmers are looking for. There are several organizations with the skills and resources to assist these individuals work safely and productively in agriculture.”

Click on the link to “Disabled Employee Resources” to learn more.

Systems
  • Other
Topics
  • Cross-Agency Collaboration / Partnerships

283 Veterans Hired During the 2019 Maine Hire-A-Vet Campaign - 02/12/2020

“The Maine Hire-A-Vet Campaign is a partnership between the Maine Department of Labor and its CareerCenters, Boots2Roots, Easter Seals and their Veterans Count program, the Maine National Guard Employment Support Program, Maine Bureau of Veterans Services, Transition Assistance Advisors, VA Vocational Rehabilitation and Employment, and State Vocational Rehabilitation and Employment.”

Systems
  • Other
Topics
  • Cross-Agency Collaboration / Partnerships
  • Veterans
  • WIOA

Supporting Adults with Developmental Disabilities and Brain Injury in their Homes and Communities - 01/24/2020

“The Maine Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS) provides home-and community-based services to adults with intellectual or developmental disabilities (IDD), Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD), and brain injury primarily through MaineCare-funded programs. These are often called waiver programs because they operate with special exceptions from the federal government and are referred to by their Section number, which is where they can be found in the MaineCare rules.”

“For most of us, work is part of our identity. And for many people, work is an important part of the recovery process. Experience and research have shown that mental health consumers want to work and can work. Some of those individuals will need support in finding and keeping a job; others will not.

Work can have many benefits. It gives structure to our days, can boost self-esteem, and provides income that affords us more choices. It also offers opportunities to be a part of, and give back to, our community.”

This page has a list of resources related to disability employment.

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

Maine Economic Development Strategy 2020-2029 - 11/15/2019

“ACTION B1: Increase the labor force participation of existing residents. There are approximately 100,000 people living in Maine that are of working age but are not currently engaged in the workforce. A study done several years ago estimated that Maine can increase its workforce by over 30,000 people by increasing the labor force participation of seniors, people with disabilities, veterans, and young people who are disengaged from school and work. While all of these people may not be able to enter the workforce, many will be able to access work opportunities with encouragement, direct support, physical accommodations in the workplace, flexible work arrangements and mentoring….”

ACTION B5: Promote “Quality of Place” investments. The quality of our recreational opportunities, historic places, and arts and culture are a draw for tourists and residents alike. Each area of Maine has special attributes. We will work directly with local communities to explore asset development that attracts and retains people.”

Systems
  • Other
Topics
  • Asset Development / Financial Capability
  • Cross-Agency Collaboration / Partnerships
  • Veterans

Special Education Laws & Regulations - 05/24/2019

~~This page has information and links for state and federal regulations

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

Resource Links for Special Education Administrators - 05/14/2019

~~This page has links to Maine departments and organizations as well as others. “These links are tested periodically and our hope is that they will work for you when you try them. However, due to the dynamic nature of the Internet, they may not work from one day to the next. Please contact MADSEC if you have trouble connecting to any of these web sites.” 

Systems
  • Other
Topics
  • School-to-Work Transition
  • Cross-Agency Collaboration / Partnerships

Maine Department of Labor Program and Service Guide- Employment Services - 02/01/2019

Employment Services Provided by the Bureau of Rehabilitation Services

For Employers

• Pre-employment services — connect with potential employees through internships, mentoring opportunities and training that is customized to your needs or delivered on-the-job.

• Recruitment and referral — professional help with recruiting and matching you with qualified candidates.

• Staff training — get training for your staff on disability awareness, the Americans with Disabilities Act and topics related to disabilities and assistive technology in the workplace.

• Diversity — learn new strategies to support the inclusion of people with disabilities as customers and employees.

• Retention — get support services for employees who may develop or acquire a disability.

• Financial supports — find out the latest information on available tax credits and/or deductions for hiring or accommodating people with disabilities.

Systems
  • Department of Workforce Development
Topics
  • Employer Engagement

Guidance for IEP Teams on Participation Decisions for the Maine’s Alternate Assessments “Participation Decision Flowchart” - 12/01/2018

~~The Dept. of Education issued guidance on alternative assessments. Options are described and available at its website.

Systems
  • Department of Education
Topics
  • School-to-Work Transition
Displaying 1 - 7 of 7

Maine Department of Labor and DHHS Collaborate on Welfare-to-Work Initiative - 04/01/2014

“AUGUSTA— Maine’s Department of Health and Human Services and the Maine Department of Labor’s Bureau of Employment Services have launched a program designed to successfully transition those on welfare to meaningful employment.

 

Through its programs for Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF) and Additional Support for People in Retraining and Employment (ASPIRE), DHHS is working with DOL’s CareerCenters on this joint initiative to develop an individual's skills that are essential for employment.”

Systems
  • Department of Workforce Development
  • Other
Topics
  • School-to-Work Transition

Employment First Maine Coalition - 07/02/2013

Employment First Maine (EFM) is a broad based coalition of individuals with disabilities, families, advocates, providers and state agency representatives committed to improving and enhancing employment outcomes for Maine citizens with disabilities, including veterans with service-connected disabilities. EFM has worked for over 18 months, participated in the national Alliance for Full Participation and is now an active member of the U.S. Department of Labor’s Office of Disability    Employment Policy’s Employment First State Leadership Mentoring Program’s Community of Practice.

Systems
  • Department of Rehabilitation Services
  • Department of Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities
  • Department of Workforce Development
  • Department of Education
Topics
  • Cross-Agency Collaboration / Partnerships

Maine Worker’s Compensation Board Memorandum of Understanding - 11/01/2012

“DVR and the WCB’s commitment to work together to improve services and employment outcomes for individuals who, as a result of injury are in need of vocational rehabilitation services to return to employment” 

Systems
  • Department of Rehabilitation Services
Topics
  • Cross-Agency Collaboration / Partnerships

Maine Department of Education, Special Services, Career and Technical Education and Adult Education Memorandum of Understanding - 09/01/2011

“BRS [of Maine Department of Labor] and DOE agreement to cooperate to meet the needs of students with disabilities in particular to better coordinate the process of student transition” 

Systems
  • Department of Rehabilitation Services
  • Department of Workforce Development
  • Department of Education
Topics
  • School-to-Work Transition
  • Cross-Agency Collaboration / Partnerships

Maine Developmental Disabilities Council

“The Maine Developmental Disabilities Council (MDDC) is a partnership of people with disabilities, their families, and agencies which identifies barriers to community inclusion, self determination, and independence. The Council acts to effect positive change through advocacy, training, demonstration projects, and support for other inclusive and collaborative systemic change activities.”

Systems
  • Department of Rehabilitation Services
  • Department of Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities
  • Department of Workforce Development
  • Department of Education
  • Other
Topics
  • Cross-Agency Collaboration / Partnerships

Maine’s Ticket To Work program

“Since 2003, the Social Security Administration (SSA) has mailed Tickets in Maine to eligible beneficiaries. SSA disability beneficiaries who receive a Ticket may use it to obtain the services they need from an Employment Network (EN) of their choice.” ENs currently accepting Tickets include Katahdin Friends, Inc., Maine Department of Labor Bureau of Employment Services-CareerCenters, Maine Bureau of Rehabilitation Services Division for the Blind and Visually Impaired and Division of Vocational Rehabilitation, Maine Medical Center Department of Vocational Services, and Work Opportunities Unlimited.

Systems
  • Department of Rehabilitation Services
  • Department of Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities
  • Department of Workforce Development
Topics
  • Cross-Agency Collaboration / Partnerships

Maine Business Leadership Network

“The Maine Business Leadership Network is an employer-led affiliate of the US Business Leadership Network, a national organization that serves as the collective voice of over 60 Business Leadership Network affiliates across North America, representing over 5,000 employers."

“The Maine BLN will be focused on assisting businesses in attracting and retaining new employees and customers with disabilities, developing business leaders who value diversity and actively work to promote strong communities that include individuals with disabilities, and increasing opportunities for businesses to expand their diversity recruiting efforts, not as a social model but as a business case to recruit talent and better serve their customers.”

Systems
  • Other
Topics
  • Employer Engagement
Displaying 1 - 5 of 5

Maine Department of Labor Receives Grant to Improve Employment Rates of Youth with Disabilities - 10/11/2016

“Commissioner of Labor Jeanne Paquette is pleased to announce that the U.S. Department of Education has awarded the Bureau of Rehabilitation Services, part of the Maine Department of Labor, $9 million to help students with disabilities prepare for postsecondary education and competitive integrated employment…

 

Commissioner of Labor Jeanne Paquette stated, “Our goal is to have at least 90 percent of study participants in postsecondary education or competitive integrated employment within one year of their high school graduation. We will align our work with in-school youth with disabilities using proven models, and we will be working with the Maine Departments of Education and Health and Human Services as well as others to make it happen.”

 

Maine’s vocational rehabilitation programs will use the progressive employment model to expand employer relationships and align this dual-customer—students and employers, community-based strategy with enhanced programs for students with disabilities through Jobs for Maine Graduates. These interventions, per year, will serve at least 200 students with disabilities who are within two years of graduation from high school.

 

The grant will enhance statewide collaboration that facilities the transition process from secondary and postsecondary schools or other pre-vocational training settings to competitive integrated employment in jobs at or above minimum wage.”

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

Maine Disability Employment Initiative (DEI) - 10/01/2013

The Disability Employment Initiative (DEI) is a three-year federal grant program that improves education, training, employment opportunities, and employment outcomes for youth and adults with disabilities who are unemployed, underemployed, and/or receiving Social Security disability benefits. In 2010, Maine was awarded a Round 1 DEI grant from the U.S. Department of Labor’s Employment Training Administration. When this grant ended in 2013, a Round 4 grant was awarded. This grant began in 2013 and will end in 2016.

Systems
  • Department of Rehabilitation Services
  • Department of Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities
  • Department of Workforce Development
  • Medicaid Agencies
Topics
  • Asset Development / Financial Capability
  • Employer Engagement
  • Cross-Agency Collaboration / Partnerships
  • Resource Leveraging

Maine Medicaid Balancing Incentives Program - 05/01/2013

The Balancing Incentive Program authorizes grants to States to increase access to non-institutional long-term services and supports (LTSS) as of October 1, 2011. The Balancing Incentive Program will help States transform their long-term care systems by: • Lowering costs through improved systems performance & efficiency • Creating tools to help consumers with care planning & assessment • Improving quality measurement & oversight The Balancing Incentive Program also provides new ways to serve more people in home and community-based settings, in keeping with the integration mandate of the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA), as required by the Olmstead decision. The Balancing Incentive Program was created by the Affordable Care Act of 2010 (Section 10202). Maine applied for the BIP enhanced FMAP May 1, 2012. Maine’s application was awarded effective July 1, 2012

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

Maine Money Follows the Person ("Homeward Bound")

“Money Follows the Person (MFP), known as Homeward Bound in Maine, is assisting individuals transitioning from institutional to community care and has provided enhanced public awareness of community services. MDS Section Q training for nursing facility staff in conjunction with the Maine Long Term Care Ombudsman Program is ensuring identification and referral of individuals interested in considering community living.”

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

Maine Promoting the Readiness of Minors in Supplemental Security Income (PROMISE) Program

“PROMISE is a joint initiative of the US Department of Education, Social Security Administration, US Department of Health and Human Services and US Department of Labor. Under PROMISE, states will be funded to develop and implement model demonstration projects that promote positive outcomes for children who receive Supplemental Security Income (SSI) and their families. PROMISE will improve the provision and coordination of services and supports for child SSI recipients and their families to enable them to achieve improved outcomes. Outcomes include: graduating from high school ready for college and a career, completing postsecondary education and job training, and obtaining competitive employment in an integrated setting and, as a result, achieving long-term reductions in the child recipients’ reliance on SSI.”

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
  • School-to-Work Transition
  • Cross-Agency Collaboration / Partnerships
Displaying 1 - 10 of 11

Supported Employment - 11/02/2019

“Trained staff provide ongoing support to individuals after they have completed the Vocational Rehabilitation and Job development process and have secured paid employment in a community setting.

Supported employment staff provide assistance in all aspects of the employment one they have obtained a job. Once an employee completes initial training, job coaches will work with consumer at their new place of employment, making sure they know the requirements of their position and that they are ready to handle any situation that may come up. Job coaches assist with attention to task, quality assurance, scheduling requests, communication with employer and coworkers, and any other employment related activities that may be needed.”

Systems
  • Other
Topics
  • Cross-Agency Collaboration / Partnerships

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

~~“Western Maine Community Action was awarded a statewide 2019 CMS Navigator Cooperative Agreement serving “Left behind” populations, such as: hourly wage workers (including retail and hospitality workers), self-employed and contract workers (including loggers and fishermen), people living rurally, and those who lack general knowledge about health insurance and do not have easy access to, or familiarity with, the internet.  The Sub-awardee/Subrecipient Contracted Organizations are; Aroostook County Action Program, Midcoast Maine Community Action, Penquis, Waldo Community Action Partners, York County Community Action Corporation, The Opportunity Alliance, and the Health Community Coalition.  They will partner with: Faith-based organizations (Catholic Charities), Local community colleges. Community health centers and county health departments, Pine Health Services, Fish River Rural Health, Local libraries and nonprofits, Schools, Head Start programs, and agencies serving children, Adult education centers, Partners for Peace, County Chambers of Commerce, Sheriff's Depts., Maine Coastal Regional Reentry Center, Maine Prisoners’ Reentry Network, Rapid Response teams, Legal Services for the Elderly, and Area Agencies on Aging. For more information, please contact the designated project lead.Contact:Milton MarrPhone: (207) 860-4472Email:  mmarr@wmca.org  ”

 

Systems
  • Other
Topics
  • Cross-Agency Collaboration / Partnerships

Maine Organization Awarded $285,000 Grant for Work with Veterans - 07/01/2019

~~“The Maine Department of Labor is pleased to congratulate Easterseals Maine, a member of the Veteran's Committee of the State Workforce Board (SWB), on its award of a $285,823 grant from the U.S. Department of Labor.

U.S. Secretary of Labor Alexander Acosta announced on June 28 that the Department is awarding 149 Homeless Veterans Reintegration Program (HVRP) grants, totaling $48.1 million. This funding will provide workforce reintegration services for more than over 18,000 homeless veterans….Along with being a member of the State Workforce Boards Veterans Committee, Easterseals Maine is also a partner in the Maine Hire-A-Vet Campaign, a statewide effort to commit at least 100 employers to hire at least 100 veterans and military family members during a 100-day period.”

Systems
  • Other
Topics
  • Employer Engagement
  • Cross-Agency Collaboration / Partnerships

2019 Maine Hire-A-Vet Campaign Kick-Off Event and Hiring Fair to be held August 29 at Augusta Civic Center - 06/19/2019

~~“Maine's annual Hire-A-Vet campaign is a statewide effort to commit at least 100 employers to hire at least 100 veterans and military family members during a 100-day period. A kick-off event and hiring fair is being held from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. on August 29 at the Augusta Civic Center, 76 Civic Center Drive. Opening remarks will be followed by a hiring fair with more than 200 expected employers that are looking to recruit veterans, military members, and civilians. The event is open to the public. The 2019 campaign officially begins on Labor Day.”

Systems
  • Other
Topics
  • Employer Engagement
  • WIOA

Maine Department of Labor Program and Service Guide - 06/01/2019

Staff training — get training for your staff on disability awareness, the Americans with Disabilities Act and topics related to disabilities and assistive technology in the workplace.

Systems
  • Department of Workforce Development
Topics
  • Employer Engagement
  • Provider Transformation

Maine CITE (Assistive Technology Training) - 04/19/2017

~~“Training is an integral part of the Maine CITE Coordinating Center’s mission. Training activities range from face-to-face conference and smaller group presentations to on-line training webinars.”

Systems
  • Other
Topics
  • Cross-Agency Collaboration / Partnerships

Maine CareerCenter Staff Guide to Disability Work Incentives - 01/15/2011

“This resource guide is for CareerCenter staff and individuals who request information on Supplemental Security Income (SSI) Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) and Work Incentives Planning and Assistance in order to prepare job seekers for employment options and related opportunities."

Systems
  • Department of Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities
  • Department of Workforce Development
  • Other
Topics
  • Self-Employment

Maine College of Direct Support - Work Supports Certificate

“Completion of the Maine College of Direct Support (ME CDS) is required for Direct Support Professionals supporting Maine citizens with intellectual disabilities and replaces the Direct Support Professional (DSP) Curriculum as meeting the training requirements for MaineCare Sections 21 and 29. ... Currently, there are four types of certificates available in the Maine College of Direct Support that can only be obtained through an agency providing services to people with intellectual disabilities:” (1) Maine College of Direct Support Certificate; (2) Maine College of Direct Support - Shared Living Provider Certificate; (3) Maine College of Direct Support - Work Supports Certificate; and (4) Maine College of Direct Support – Case Manager Orientation Certificate.

Systems
  • Department of Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities
  • Other
Topics
  • Provider Transformation

Maine Department of Health and Human Services' Staff Education and Training Unit

The Maine Department of Health and Human Services’ Staff Education and Training Unit offers a variety of in-person and online trainings for staff working with persons with disabilities.

Systems
  • Department of Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities
  • Other
Topics
  • Home and Community Based Services (HCBS)

Center for Learning (CFL) at the Muskie School of Public Service

“By overseeing competency-based certification programs for staff working in the mental health field, CFL supports best practice and informs policy in the area of workforce development. In administering the Mental Health Rehabilitation Technician (MHRT) certification programs, CFL develops knowledge competencies, designs and implements quality assurance processes, and assesses workers' qualifications. CFL also collaborates with academic institutions and other agencies in Maine that provide education and training to ensure that mental health courses, programs and trainers meet standards outlined in the MHRT/C Procedural Guidelines and Trainer and Curriculum Standards”.

Systems
  • Department of Mental Health
  • Other
Topics
  • Cross-Agency Collaboration / Partnerships
Displaying 1 - 3 of 3

Carnicella v. Mercy Hospital - 07/20/2017

“Plaintiff, a registered nurse, filed a complaint alleging that Mercy Hospital discriminated against her in violation of the Maine Human Rights Act (MHRA) by terminating her employment because of her alleged disability and refusing to provide her with a reasonable accommodation. The superior court entered summary judgment for Mercy. The Supreme Court affirmed, holding that the district court properly granted summary judgment on Plaintiff’s disability discrimination claim because there was no genuine issue of material fact that Plaintiff was not a “qualified individual with a disability” as defined by the MHRA.”

Systems
  • Other
Topics
  • Employer Engagement

Christy Dorr v. Woodlands Senior Living of Brewer, LLC - 05/10/2017

“After a three-day trial, a jury determined that in terminating Plaintiff’s employment, Defendant discriminated against Plaintiff because of a disability, and that Defendant interfered with Plaintiff’s right to take family medical leave. (Jury Verdict, ECF No. 102.) The jury declined to award Plaintiff damages on the discrimination claim, but awarded Plaintiff $15,000 in back pay on the family medical leave claim. The matter is before the Court on Plaintiff’s Motion for Supplemental Relief, through which motion Plaintiff requests reinstatement, certain injunctive relief regarding Defendant’s policies and Plaintiff’s employment records, and the award of nominal and liquidated damages together with interest. (Motion, ECF No. 104.) After consideration of the parties’ arguments and the record evidence, the Court grants in part and denies in part Plaintiff’s motion. The Court also directs the entry of judgment in accordance with the jury’s verdict and the findings herein.”

Systems
  • Other
Topics
  • 14(c)/Income Security

Consent Decree Plan Pursuant to Paragraphs 36, 37, 38 and 279 of the Settlement Agreement in Bates v. DHHS - 10/13/2006

This vocational plan:

•     Provides training and education to community support staff about the importance of employment to recovery and the engagement of the consumers in discussions about work, and adds the requirement for certification and ongoing education in employment as a required competency module;   

•     Funds additional Benefit Specialists so that misinformation and lack of information are removed as barriers to pursuing work; and

•     Increases both the prominence and possibility of employment by adding Employment Specialists to agencies in each of the seven community service networks.  The employment specialists will work directly with consumers, serve as a resource to providers, and coordinate employment support services between OAMHS and BRS.

Systems
  • Department of Mental Health
Topics
  • Mental Health
  • Provider Transformation
Displaying 1 - 10 of 11

Notice of Statewide Transition Plan for Home and Community-Based Services Settings - 03/02/2020

“The revised Maine HCBS Statewide Transition Plan will be submitted to CMS in April 2020 and will be effective upon CMS approval. For the aspects of the rule that apply to HCBS settings, states have until March 2022 to ensure alignment of the states policies, programs, and provider settings with the federal settings criteria. States must submit a Statewide Transition Plan (STP) that describes the states overall strategies, processes, and resources it will deploy to complete all implementation efforts by the end of the transition period. The STP is also intended to serve as the states roadmap for implementing the federal HCBS rule with fidelity and outlines a detailed work plan and timeline for ensuring that all settings in which HCBS services are provided comply with the new standards by March 2022. The State of Maine is deeply committed to implementing the federal HCBS requirements with fidelity, and is using the rule as a catalyst for implementing other improvements to policy, payment, and practice associated with Medicaid-funded HCBS in an effort to improve access to and quality of HCBS services and options throughout the state. As such, the state has been working with stakeholders on several additional systems change efforts that complement the vision of the federal HCBS rule.”

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

1115 Waiver Application: Substance Use Disorder Care Initiative - 11/26/2019

“Home-based Skill Development Services:

Home-based skill development services are services Maine has historically covered via State Plan and Waiver authority for our members with SMI and members with intellectual disabilities who meet institutional level of care, respectively. While these members may display extreme deficits in their ability to function independently in their environment, their challenges are not unique. Parents with SUD may have similar challenges surrounding self-care, daily living skills, personal adjustment, socialization, relationship development, use of community resources, and adaptive skills necessary to reside in community settings.”

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

MAINECARE ELIGIBILITY MANUAL - 04/17/2019

~~‘The Maine Department of Health and Human Services is responsible for administering the MaineCare Program in compliance with Federal and State statutes and administrative policies. It is also responsible for state funded assistance programs found within this manual. Within the Department, the Office for Family Independence (OFI) establishes and applies written policies and procedures for taking applications and determining eligibility for assistance, consistent with the objectives of the Program."

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

Request for an Amendment to a §1915(c) Home and Community-Based Services Waiver - 10/26/2018

~~“Program Title:Support Services for Adults with Intellectual Disabilities or Autism Spectrum DisorderWaiver Number:ME.0467Original Base Waiver Number: ME.0467.The State of Maine is planning to amend the Home- and Community-based Services waiver, known in Maine as Section 29 of the MaineCare Benefits Manual.  The waiver serves participants with Intellectual Disabilities and Autism Spectrum Disorder.  DHHS is proposing to make changes to comply with legislative directive P.L. 2017, ch. 459, Parts A and B, which provided funding to increase reimbursement rates for Home Support, Shared Living, Community Support, Employment Specialist Services, Work Support, Career Planning, and Respite services .” 

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

MaineCare Benefits Manual Chapter II “Home and Community Based Services for Adults with Other Related Conditions” - 03/01/2017

~~“Application: After receiving the choice letter, the DHHS Care Monitor will meet with the member and guardian or legal representative (where applicable) and complete the initial ORC application. If the member appears to qualify and is interested in Money Follows the Person/ Homeward Bound MFP/HB, the member will be referred for MFP/HB determination for Money Follows the Person/ Homeward Bound MFP/HB. Enrollment and Transition coordination through MFP/HB will be provided per Money Follows the Person/ Homeward Bound MFP/HB program requirements as outlined in the CMS approved Operational Protocol for Money Follows the Person/ Homeward Bound MFP/HB.”

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

ME Home & Community Services for Adults w/ID or Autism Spectrum Disorder (0159.R06.00) - 07/01/2015

Provides community support, home support (1/4 hr), per diem home support, work support, communication aids, consultation, counseling, crisis assessment, crisis intervention, employment specialist services, home accessibility adaptations, non-traditional communication consultation, non-medical transportation, non-traditional communication assessment, OT (maintenance), PT, (maintenance), specialized medical equipment and supplies, speech therapy (maintenance) for individuals w/autism, IID ages 18 - no max age

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

Maine HCBS Transition Plan - 04/14/2015

This Transition Plan is required by the federal government as part of new Medicaid regulations. It tells the federal government how Maine will meet the new Medicaid rules. All states must follow the federal rules for the Medicaid program. Medicaid is a joint federal and state program that pays for certain medical and related services.  In Maine, the Medicaid program is called MaineCare. An individual who gets services from MaineCare is called a member. The federal agency that is responsible for Medicaid is called the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid (“CMS”).  
Systems
  • Medicaid Agencies
Topics
  • Home and Community Based Services (HCBS)

Maine Department of Education ESEA Flexibility - 08/12/2013

“The Maine Department of Education's ESEA flexibility request was approved on August 12, 2013 and amended on August 13, 2015."

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

Maine Balancing Incentives Program - 05/01/2013

“The Balancing Incentive Program authorizes grants to States to increase access to non-institutional long-term services and supports (LTSS) as of October 1, 2011. The Balancing Incentive Program will help States transform their long-term care systems by: • Lowering costs through improved systems performance & efficiency • Creating tools to help consumers with care planning & assessment • Improving quality measurement & oversight The Balancing Incentive Program also provides new ways to serve more people in home and community-based settings, in keeping with the integration mandate of the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA), as required by the Olmstead decision. The Balancing Incentive Program was created by the Affordable Care Act of 2010 (Section 10202). Maine applied for the BIP enhanced FMAP May 1, 2012. Maine’s application was awarded effective July 1, 2012”

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

Maine Support Services for Adults w/ID or Autistic Disorder (0467.R01.00) - 01/01/2011

"Provides community support, home support 1/4 hr, respite, work support-group, assistive technology, career planning, employment specialist services, home accessibility adaptations, home support remote support, transportation, work support-individual for individuals w/autism and ID ages 18 - no max age."

 

Waiver expired 12/31/2015.

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

States - Large Tablet

Snapshot

The state of Maine knows that Employment First is "The Way Life Should Be" for all people with disabilities who dream of having a successful career in their community.

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 Maine’s VR Rates and Services

2019 State Population.
0.43%
Change from
2018 to 2019
1,344,212
2019 Number of people with disabilities (all disabilities, ages 18-64).
-5.37%
Change from
2018 to 2019
108,204
2019 Number of people with disabilities who are employed (all disabilities, ages 18-64).
0.28%
Change from
2018 to 2019
42,532
2019 Percentage of working age people who are employed (all disabilities).
5.37%
Change from
2018 to 2019
39.31%
2019 Percentage of working age people who are employed (NO disabilities).
-0.3%
Change from
2018 to 2019
82.53%

State Data

General

2017 2018 2019
Population. 1,335,907 1,338,404 1,344,212
Number of people with disabilities (all disabilities, ages 18-64). 112,442 114,014 108,204
Number of people with disabilities who are employed (all disabilities, ages 18-64). 39,424 42,411 42,532
Number of people without disabilities who are employed (ages 18-64). 567,638 574,146 574,540
Percentage of working age people who are employed (all disabilities). 35.06% 37.20% 39.31%
Percentage of working age people who are employed (NO disabilities). 81.58% 82.78% 82.53%
State/National unemployment rate. 3.30% 3.40% 3.00%
Poverty Rate (all disabilities). 20.90% 23.00% 19.90%
Poverty Rate (NO disabilities). 9.10% 9.40% 9.10%
Number of males with disabilities (all ages). 112,477 109,726 109,258
Number of females with disabilities (all ages). 106,195 109,923 106,332
Number of Caucasians with disabilities (all ages). 208,147 208,759 203,581
Number of African Americans with disabilities (all ages). 1,379 2,236 2,340
Number of Hispanic/Latinos with disabilities (all ages). 3,181 3,992 2,622
Number of American Indians/Alaska Natives with disabilities (all ages). 2,564 1,593 2,600
Number of Asians with disabilities (all ages). 1,308 1,969 1,333
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) 4,946 4,428 5,149
Number of persons of some other race alone with disabilities (all ages) N/A 654 576

 

SSA OUTCOMES

2017 2018 2019
Number of SSI recipients with disabilities who work. 2,058 2,074 2,042
Percentage of SSI recipients with disabilities who work relative to total SSI recipients with disabilities. 5.70% 5.80% 5.70%
Old Age Survivor and Disability Insurance (OASDI) recipients/workers with disabilities. 57,062 55,900 54,497

 

MENTAL HEALTH OUTCOMES

2017 2018 2019
Number of mental health services consumers who are employed. 3,690 N/A N/A
Number of mental health services consumers who are part of the labor force (employed or actively looking for employment). 35,425 N/A N/A
Number of adults served who have a known employment status. 28,780 N/A N/A
Percentage of all state mental health agency consumers served in the community who are employed. 9.50% N/A N/A
Percentage of supported employment services evidence based practices (EBP). N/A N/A N/A
Percentage of supported housing services evidence based practices (EBP). N/A N/A N/A
Percentage of assertive community treatment services evidence based practices (EBP). N/A 8.80% 8.00%
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 N/A N/A
Number of evidence based practices (EBP) supported housing services. N/A N/A N/A
Number of evidence based practices (EBP) assertive community treatment services. N/A 751 722
Number of evidence based practices (EBP) medications management. N/A N/A N/A

 

WAGNER PEYSER OUTCOMES

2013 2014 2015
Number of registered job seekers with a disability. 2,632 2,627 2,591
Proportion of registered job seekers with a disability. 0.04 0.03 0.04

 

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. 32 38 18
Total number of people with a disability that is a substantial barrier to work who entered unsubsidized employment. 20 27 12
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. 63.00% 71.00% 67.00%
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. 1.51 2.03 0.90

 

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. 22.00% 23.00% 24.00%
Number of employment network (EN) and vocational rehabilitation (VR) tickets assigned. 2,786 2,336 2,209
Number of eligible ticket to work beneficiaries. 84,476 83,557 82,311
Total number of ID closures using supported employment services with or without Title VI-B funds expended (VI-C prior to 2002). 78 108 130
Total number of ID competitive labor market closures. 77 105 117

 

IDD OUTCOMES

2015 2016 2017
Dollars spent on day/employment services for integrated employment funding. $3,853,000 $0 $3,372,224
Dollars spent on day/employment services for facility-based work funding. $0 $0 $0
Dollars spent on day/employment services for facility-based non-work funding. $0 $0 $0
Dollars spent on day/employment services for community based non-work funding. $54,750,000 $0 $60,138,416
Percentage of people served in integrated employment. 32.00% 0.00% 18.00%
Number of people served in community based non-work. 3,533 0 4,038
Number of people served in facility based work. 0 0 N/A
Number of people served in facility based non-work. 0 0 N/A
Number supported in integrated employment per 100,000 individuals in the general state population. 88.60 0.00 67.49

 

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). 56.69% 56.58% 56.41%
Percent of children with IEPs aged 6 through 21 served inside the regular class less than 40% of the day (Indicator 5b). 10.78% 10.88% 10.33%
Percent of children with IEPs aged 6 through 21 served in separate schools, residential facilities, or homebound/hospital placements (Indicator 5c). 3.13% 3.24% 3.07%
Percent of youth with IEPs aged 16 and above with an IEP that includes appropriate measurable postsecondary goals (Indicator 13). 88.96% 94.38% 95.12%
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). 26.30% 18.81% 17.27%
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). 68.87% 65.68% 71.21%
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). 96.16% 77.56% 80.91%
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). 42.57% 46.87% 53.94%

 

ABILITYONE/JWOD PROGRAM

2014
Number of overall agency blind and SD hours. 225,419
Number of overall total blind and SD workers. 484
Number of AbilityOne blind and SD hours (products). 169,951
Number of AbilityOne blind and SD hours (services). 55,468
Number of AbilityOne blind and SD hours (combined). 225,419
Number of AbilityOne blind and SD workers (products). 394
Number of AbilityOne blind and SD workers (services). 82
Number of AbilityOne blind and SD workers (combined). 476
AbilityOne wages (products). $1,766,990
AbilityOne wages (services). $899,291

 

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). 1 0 0
Number of 14(c) certificate holding patient workers. 0 0 0
Total Number of 14(c) certificate holding entities. 1 0 0
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). 41 0 0
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. 41 0 0

 

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

~~In Section C of the Unified State Plan, this has been updated as follows: • Department of Corrections and VR MOU — Procedural Guidance The Maine Department of Labor— Bureau of Rehabilitation Services and the Maine Department of Corrections (DOC) have worked together to establish procedural guidance on collaboration between the two agencies. Work thus far has resulted in two procedural directives outlining how the two agencies will work together to best meet the needs of individuals who are currently incarcerated or on probation and may be eligible for vocational rehabilitation services. In each of the larger offices a DVR staff member has been identified who serves as the liaison to the correctional agencies in their region. DVR corrections liaisons meet as a group on a quarterly basis with DOC staff to share updates and best practices. (Page 203) Title II

In June 2014, Maine’s legislature enacted the Employment First Maine Act (Sec. A-1. 26 MRSA c.3), which was a natural progression in Maine’s focus on competitive integrated employment as a valued outcome for the state’s citizens with disabilities. It set forth that the Departments of Health and Human Services, Labor, and Education must implement employment as a core component of services and supports provided and is the first and preferred service or support option offered to individuals with disabilities.
The Act also convened a time-limited coalition of interested parties, including employers, state agency representatives, advocacy organizations, and people with disabilities, to review and make recommendations regarding the improvement of the administration of employment services and the employment outcomes of people with disabilities. Before its sunset in October 2016, the Employment First Maine Coalition produced a report summarizing the work that was completed and identifying twenty-seven recommendations for consideration by the Governor, the Legislature and state agencies, primarily identifying strategies that encourage the employment of youth and adults with disabilities, engage the business community, and improve EFM performance measures. (Page 233) Title II

The Department of Health and Human Services, in conjunction with other State Agencies and partners, has begun to implement the recommendations that were developed by the Employment First Maine Coalition. The Offices of Substance Abuse and Mental Health, Child and Family Services, and Aging and Disability Services have committed to work together to ensure that the outcome of employment of people with disabilities is a strong focus of the services they provide. During the past year, DHHS has created new resources, developed additional employment services, and has begun to expand expectations that service providers all have a responsibility to promote employment as the first and preferred outcome. (Page 234) Title II

Objective: To increase the number of individuals with significant intellectual disabilities who access the available waiver employment support for long term employment support needs after closure from BRS.
Strategies:
b. Continue to work with the Maine Department of Health and Human Services to ensure that all individuals who have the waiver — but have not taken advantage of employment services — are aware of employment supports open to them through coordination between the two Departments
c. Continue to provide access and training to the BRIDGE —Career Exploration Workshop, appropriate for individuals with intellectual disabilities
Objective: Maine DVR will undertake efforts to continue to embrace and implement an “Employment First” philosophy during the next year as documented by a decrease of 5% in the statewide unemployment rate of people with intellectual disabilities. (Page 246) Title II
 

Customized Employment

~~Expanded use of technology to increase access to workforce development services; • Quality work experiences, including job placement assistance and ideally, quality sector/occupation specific pre—employment work experiences (e.g., apprenticeships, internships). With this customized approach, all participants, including the target populations, are able to access the programming and services necessary to become fully engaged in the workforce system. For example, by working with individuals using various tools, such as Discovering Personal Genius and Customized Employment, the Bureau of Rehabilitation Services will encourage some individuals with significant disabilities to consider self—employment as a viable option with appropriate supports. (Page 55) Title I

With the implementation of WIOA and reauthorization of the Rehabilitation Act, Maine DVR has revisited its personnel requirements and hiring practices. Maine DVR recognizes that the standards for rehabilitation counseling personnel outlined in WIOA represent the minimum standards for qualification. These standards require a minimum of attainment of a baccalaureate degree in a field of study reasonably related to vocational rehabilitation, to indicate a level of competency and skill demonstrating basic preparation in a field of study such as vocational rehabilitation counseling, social work, psychology, disability studies, business administration, human resources, special education, supported employment, customized employment, economics, or another field that reasonably prepares individuals to work with consumers and employers; and
(2) Demonstrated paid or unpaid experience, for not less than one year, consisting of -
(i) Direct work with individuals with disabilities in a setting such as an independent living center;
(ii) Direct service or advocacy activities that provide such individual with experience and skills in working with individuals with disabilities; or
(iii) Direct experience in competitive integrated employment environments as an employer, as a small business owner or operator, or in self-employment, or other experience in human resources or recruitment, or experience in supervising employees, training, or other activities; or
Maine DVR continues to give priority to applicants and staff who possess master’s degrees in counseling or a counseling—related degree, defined as Social Work, Psychology, Special Education, Rehabilitation and Counseling in alignment with WIOA’s alternative requirement of attainment of a master's or doctoral degree in a field of study such as vocational rehabilitation counseling, law, social work, psychology, disability studies, business administration, human resources, special education, management, public administration, or another field that reasonably provides competence in the employment sector, in a disability field, or in both business-related and rehabilitation-related fields. (Page 230) Title II

DVR has a close working relationship with our partners at DHHS Office of Aging and Disability Services and Mental Health Services we have developed a procedural directive which spells out how wavier services will fund career planning (specifically they fund Discovering Personal Genius© as the career planning model) and once Discovery is completed (waiver services will fund up to 50 hours), a referral is made to DVR who will work with the case manager and agency to proceed with job development and perhaps further exploration as needed. Then, when an individual has been successfully placed in a job and is stable and closed out successfully (may utilize extended services for this as needed), waiver funds will then pick up again and cover long term support services (usually job coaching) which will help the individual continue to remain stable on the job. (Pages 243-244) Title II
 

Blending/ Braiding Resources

~~Co—training with and for partners will be considered to best use resources and help system partners’ staffs to “be on the same page.” Blending and braiding training resources will be a guiding principle. All one—stop center staff will be trained and required to demonstrate competency in serving diverse populations and knowledge of related policies across the system and among partner agencies. One—stop center certification will depend on demonstrating that employees have achieved the required competencies in universal access. Policies: Existing policies will be reviewed and updated to reflect WIOA intent and to meet the standards articulated in the Section 188 Checklist. Universal access policies that will govern one—stop center certification will be developed in collaboration with the Bureau of Employment Services’ Division of Policy and Evaluation and the State Board Program Policy Committee. Examples of immediate policy priorities include assistive technology and equipment responsibility, website/social media accessibility, programmatic and physical accessibility of workshops and events, service animal protocols, customer flow for the employment network, prohibition of automatic referrals to vocational rehabilitation, alternative formats for required tests/assessments, and consistent use of equal employment and accommodations tag lines. Program participation rules governing required orientation workshops, the RESEA program, and other mandatory programs will be examined to ensure full accessibility, especially access to alternative formats and accommodations. (Page 98-99) Title I

A system of staff development for professionals and paraprofessionals within the designated State unit, particularly with respect to assessment, vocational counseling, job placement, and rehabilitation technology, including training implemented in coordination with entities carrying out State programs under section 4 of the Assistive Technology Act of 1998; and
In an effort to maximize training resources, staff often solicit local training resources to provide free or low cost workshops, attend trainings with a ‘train the trainer’ perspective to provide turn—around training to other staff, and share internal expertise through in—house training opportunities. In past years, DBVI has been successful at leveraging training funds through collaboration with Region I TACE center, Perkins School for the Blind training funds, and the Lovill Trust. (Page 316-317) Title IV
 

Disability Employment Initiative (DEI)

~~Goal 4 Maine DVR will partner with the larger workforce development system to improve opportunities and access for DVR clients as measured annually by documented collaborative activities, technical assistance, and training.
Objective: Maine DVR will continue to partner with Maine’s Disability Employment Initiative (DEI) Grant to include 50 non—VR CareerCenter customers with disabilities in Career Exploration Workshops Strategies in FFY 2016
Strategies: a. The DEI team will include one VR Rehabilitation Counselor I who will assist in piloting a jointly—delivered Career Exploration Workshop b. DVR will participate in DEI Integrated Resource Team meetings c. DVR will work with the DEI team and others in the Bureau of Employment Services to ensure accessibility in Maine’s CareerCenter network d. DVR will partner with DEI staff in the delivery of an asset development summit in FY 2016
Objective: DVR will work with the Maine Department of Labor’s Center for Workforce Research and Information to maintain a triennial snapshot of the employment status of people with disabilities in Maine as well as a webpage where disability data can be easily accessed. (Page 255) Title II

Staff from the VA Blind Rehab. program attended a DBVI training to present on their program so staff would gain a better understanding of how the two agencies can best serve consumers who are blind or have low vision. In addition, DBVI Director met with the Blindness Rehabilitation Outreach Specialist and the Vision Impairment Services Team Coordinator to refine a more streamlined referral process….
Objective: DBVI will partner with Maine’s Disability Employment Initiative (DEI) Grant to identify non—VR CareerCenter customers who are blind or have low vision who may require DBVI services.
Strategies: Maine DBVI will work with a designated point of contact with the Bureau of Employment Services. (Page 350) Title VI

In 2017, the DEI grant ended and MDOL chose not to pursue another round of funding. Even though the DEI grant has ended, DBVI will continue to work with Career Center staff to ensure referrals are made for DBVI services and to provide technical assistance for consumers who are blind or visually impaired.
Objective: To increase the number of DBVI clients achieving an employment outcome at one of the BRS Single Point of Contact businesses from one to three in the next year.
Strategies: DBVI will have direct representation on the business liaison teams utilizing the single point of entry approach and the Walgreen’s universal design model.
Update: The BRS Single Point of Contact position has been vacant. However, DBVI staff have been successful working with employers, such as the Iris Network, AAA, Cuddledown and Seafax Inc. to find competitive employment for consumers. (Page 351) Title VI
 

Financial Literacy /Economic Advancement

~~Use of Governor’s Set Aside Funding: Maine will utilize the Governor’s Set—Aside funds for required and allowable statewide employment & training activities to facilitate the successful transition and implementation of WIOA, Statewide employment & training activities include: o Rapid Response activities; o Providing assistance to State entities and agencies, local areas, and one—stop partners in carrying out the activities described in the State plan, including the coordination and alignment of data systems used to carry out the requirements of this Act; o Disseminating the State list of eligible providers of training services, including eligible providers of nontraditional training services and of apprenticeship programs, and information identifying eligible providers of on—the—job training, customized training, incumbent worker training, internships, paid or unpaid work experience opportunities, or transitional jobs; o Operating a fiscal and management accountability information system and carrying out monitoring and oversight of activities; o Implementing innovative programs and strategies designed to meet the needs of all Maine employ—ers, as well as developing strategies for effectively serving individuals with barriers to employment and for coordinating programs and services among one—stop partners; o Improving coordination of employment and training activities with child support services, programs that serve individuals with disabilities, adult education and literacy activities, including financial literacy and activities in the corrections system that assist ex—offenders in reentering the workforce; o Conducting research and demonstration projects related to meeting the employment and education needs of adult and dislocated workers in Maine. (Page 127) Title I

Documentation of ability to connect youth participants with all fourteen required youth service elements, either through direct provision or through partnerships, MOUs, or other methods, to include provision of: a. Tutoring and/or Study Skills; b. Access to drop out recovery programs or alternative education; c. Work-based learning; d. Occupational Skills Training; e. Education offered concurrently with and in the same context as occupational training; f. Leadership development; g. Adult Mentoring; h. Support Services; i. Follow-up Services; j. Comprehensive guidance and counseling; k. Financial Literacy; l. Entrepreneurial Skills/ Training; m. Career guidance and counseling, including provision of local and state labor market information and information about how to prepare to enter occupations that are in demand in the local area and in Maine; and n. Activities that prepare youth for entry into post-secondary education. M. Evidence of employment of professional staff, including requisite credentials and experience and demonstration of a commitment to staff development that prepares staff to deliver the services identified above. (Page 396) Title IV
 

School to Work Transition

~~(P) Evaluation and Reports of Progress: VR and Supported Employment Goals (Goal 1 Objective 3 d)
SRC: Is there a plan to renew this partnership? CNA and nursing positions seem to be in high demand. It would be advantageous for DOL to pursue this further.
(P) Evaluation and Reports of Progress: VR and Supported Employment Goals (Goal 2 Objective 1a)
SRC: Can you please provide more specific data on the impact of the CEW and days to plan? It seems that if people need to wait a month or possibly two to attend the CEW it may create a delay in developing an IPE. The CEW seems to have become the standard practice for career exploration. Please elaborate on other tools that can be used as an alternative rather than the CEW. (Page 201) Title II

AGENCY RESPONSE: Section C (Cooperative Agreements) states the following: DVR does support staff involvement in the USDA’s AgrAbility project. In Maine, the AgrAbility project is administered by Alpha One, Goodwill Industries of New England and the University of Maine. The liaison to the project ensures that DVR staff is knowledgeable about AgrAbility and related resources. Grant funding for AgrAbility is ending during 2014 and DVR anticipates development of a fee for service agreement for AgrAbility services.
(d) Coordination with Education Officials
SRC: Without exception, once a DVR client, DVR has 90 days to develop the IPE. This cannot be contingent on the student leaving school as implied in this section.
AGENCY RESPONSE: The language in this section comes from DVR’s current Memorandum of Understanding with the Maine Department of Education. The MOU will be updated following the issuance of new regulations under WIOA.
(d) Coordination with Education Officials
SRC: DVR should not be determining the appropriateness of a referral. The onus of long term support should be on DVR not the school. (Page 204) Title II

SRC: Can you please provide more specific data on the impact of the CEW and days to plan? It seems that if people need to wait a month or possibly two to attend the CEW it may create a delay in developing an IPE. The CEW seems to have become the standard practice for career exploration. Please elaborate on other tools that can be used as an alternative rather than the CEW.
AGENCY RESPONSE: Training has been completed with VRC’s that if the CEW is determined to be the best tool to use to assist with career exploration, then they can write a plan for employment that includes the use of the CEW and or other exploration. VR is also using Discovering Personal Genius™ in conjunction with DHHS, or paying for it as a stand alone service if that tool is determined to be the best fit. VR also regularly refers for on the job assessments which can be included as part of someone’s plan. (Page 213) Title II

Provide information on the formal interagency agreement with the state educational agency: DVR will assist in transition planning and in the development of student’s individualized education program (IEP). For students eligible for services with an agreed upon vocational goal, DVR is expected to develop an Individualized Plan for Employment (IPE) before the student leaves the school setting. In providing transition services, DVR will facilitate the use of available and appropriate community—based services. Services will be provided in the most cost effective manner. In recognition of the importance of promoting information sharing and in order to ensure an effective and timely system of referrals for DVR services, DVR requests that school personnel adopt the following process: When a student with an Individualized Education Program (IEP) begins the transition planning process prior to entering ninth grade, the student and his/her parents or guardians will receive general information about VR services. This information will introduce VR and will inform the parents/guardians when it is appropriate to make a VR referral. When the student to be referred is within two years of school graduation or exit, the services offered by VR should be re—introduced at the student’s IEP or 504 meeting. Both the student and the parents/guardians should have an opportunity to receive materials outlining VR services and to ask questions concerning the referral. (Page 220-221) Title II

When recruiting or hiring new staff, Maine DVR gives preference to qualified individuals who demonstrate a current understanding of the labor force and needs of individuals with disabilities. Maine DVR supports staff to obtain and practice 21st century skills through opportunities for training through the Technical Assistance Centers and state and local workforce development partners.  (Page 230-231) Title II

Since passage of WIOA and promulgation of the final rules, Maine DVR has worked to develop, adopt and implement procedural guidance, programming and training to support the identification and registration of students with disabilities who are eligible or potentially eligible for Pre-Employment Transition Services. Through previously established relationships with school districts and through outreach initiatives and pilot activities, Maine DVR has sought to offer Pre-Employment Transition Services across the state. According to data from the Maine Department of Education, during school year 2015-16, there were 9,3338 students with a disability enrolled in grades 9-12. An additional 2,993 students grades 9-12 were identified as having a 504 plan. This is a represents a small but significant increase over figures from the previous year. Maine DVR has targeted the problem of early exiters from VR services and is collecting data and implementing targeted initiatives for transition-age youth designed to engage youth with disabilities and get them involved in community-based work experiences -and other work-based learning sooner.  (Page 236) Title II

State Plan Estimates for FFY 20 19 & 20 During FFY 2016, DVR determined that it could no longer serve individuals in OOS Category 3 due to lack of resources. The projected number of clients to receive services after being found eligible is 10,000 of which 6,000 are expected to be served under an employment plan. Since open cases in Category 3 will continue to be served, they are included below. The expected services provision by priority category was as follows: Maine implemented an Order of Selection for Category 3 on January 18, 2016. . The projected numbers of clients to be served under an IPE is 6000 in FFY 2019. The proposed case service budget is $8,400,000. The expected services provision by priority category is as follows:
OOS Category 1 55% $4,620,000
OOS Category 2 40% $ 3,360,000
OOS Category 3 5% $ 420,000 (this reflects those already in Category 3 at the time of the OOS implementation) Maine DVR projects FFY 2019 closures goals to be the following
OOS 1 55% 550
OOS 2 40% 400
OOS 3 5 % 50 Total: 1000 The projected number of clients to receive services after being found eligible is 10,000. (Page 238) Title II

Assistive technology services and assistive technology devices are provided to individuals with disabilities as determined by each individual’s vocational goal, and appear as prescribed services on the respective individual’s signed IPE. DVR services include assistive technology and assistive technology devices if required for the individual’s IPE, necessary for the attainment of the individual’s employment goal. DVR works closely with Maine cohorts, Alpha One and ALLTECH, assistive technology organizations which provide assistive technology technical assistance services as well as assistive technology devices. (Page 250) Title II

Many changes designed to help youth and adults with disabilities access employment education, job training and support services, have been made, including:
• Establishing a much larger role for public vocational rehabilitation (VR) as youth with disabilities make the transition from school to adult life. Public VR funds in the amount of a 15% set-aside, must now be used for transition services, specifically pre-employment transitions services that include job exploration counseling, work-based learning experiences, counseling on post-secondary opportunities, workplace readiness training, and training on self-advocacy. Each local VR office must also undertake pre-employment transition coordination activities and they must involve schools and workforce development system in these activities.
• Focusing supported employment state grants to VR agencies on youth. Half the money the state receives under these grants will now have to be used to support youth up to age 24 with the most significant disabilities to achieve supported competitive integrated employment. (Page 258) Title II

Objective: To reduce the average time in plan development (status 10) from 300 days in FFY 2011 to 240 days in FFY 2012 to 210 days in FY 2013 to 180 days in FY 2014 & FY 2015.
Strategies: a. Increase use of the Career Exploration Workshop, which has been shown to decrease case length time.
REPORT ON PROGRESS: Time to plan continues to drop across the state. At the close of FFY 2017, time from eligibility to IPE across the state was at 92.6 days, a significant improvement over past years. This trend continues into FFY 2018. DVR continues to use the Career Exploration Workshop (CEW) as a powerful tool in assisting clients to clarify their career goals. The 2017 Customer Satisfaction Survey found that 25% of clients surveyed had participated in CEW and they had an 87% favorability rating of the CEW. In training delivered during FFY 17, the DVR Director and Assistant Director offered examples for staff on how usage of the CEW could support more timely plan development. During FFY 17, the CEW was modified to allow for delivery of core elements during a 2-day administration. This approach was done to also allow for more frequent administration in the field and in more off-site locations. The goal of this is to increase easy access to the CEW for VR clients. (Page 266) Title II

BRS supports staff involvement in the USDA’s AgrAbility project. In Maine, the AgrAbility project is administered by Alpha One, Goodwill Industries of New England and the University of Maine. The liaison to the project ensures that BRS staff is knowledgeable about AgrAbility and related resources. Grant funding for AgrAbility ended during 2014 and DBVI uses AgrAbility services on a fee for service basis when these services are applicable to a client’s IPE. (Page 301) Title II

The purpose of this collaboration with DOE is to promote and establish a process that results in an effective working relationship between state agencies on behalf of, and with youth with disabilities, in order to gain the greatest benefit from their respective programs and services. Specific areas of collaboration include: consultation, technical assistance, transition planning, roles and responsibilities, financial responsibilities of each agency and procedures for outreach and identification in order to better coordinate and facilitate the process of student transition.
The MOU defines and strengthens the relationships with DOE and calls for identification of students with disabilities, both in Special Education and regular programs, in order to plan their transition before graduation from high school. The agreement focuses upon the needs of the individual student and allows for flexibility and professional judgment to be exercised by personnel. It also spells out the roles of each agency in referral, outreach, and the provision of service. The blindness—specific curriculum services that are identified in the Individual Education Plan (IEP) and 504 plans facilitate the achievement of the employment goal, which is further developed in the Vocational Rehabilitation Individual Plan for Employment (IPE). DBVI, the student and parent(s) develop the IPE, utilizing the interests, strengths, and needs of the student. (Page 303-304) Title II

Supported Employment Program — The Division has remained committed to assuring that individuals with the most severe disabilities receive supported employment services when this is appropriate. An Individual Plan of Employment (IPE) is developed that describes the services provided, the need for extended services, if appropriate, and an assurance that the individual has been able to make an informed choice in the provision of these services and the goal itself. (Page 337) Title IV
 

Career Pathways

~~E. A description regarding how the Local Area will utilize work-based learning approaches through such programs as Registered Apprenticeship, On-the-Job Training, Customized Training, Industry and Sector Strategies, Integrated Education and Training strategies, Career Pathways initiatives, utilization of business intermediaries, and other business services and strategies designed to meet the needs of businesses ;
F. A description of how the Local Board will coordinate workforce development activities carried out in the Local Area with economic development activities carried out in the Local Area to promote entrepreneurial skills training and microenterprise services and training and placement of participants;
G. A description of how the Local Board will leverage and coordinate supportive services in the delivery of workforce development activities carried out in the Local Area, including how the Local Board will work with other providers to deliver supportive services to job seekers;
H. A description of how the Local Board intends to promote a greater business voice in the delivery of workforce development activities carried out in the Local Area. This description should include how the board will engage businesses on decisions regarding the type and content of training activities required of the local workforce;
I. A description of how the Local Board will promote and cultivate industry-led partnerships and career pathways in delivery of workforce training opportunities;
J. A description of the role of faith-based or community-based organizations in the local one-stop system. (Page 403) Title IV
 

Apprenticeship

The share of long term unemployed remains elevated FIGURE 5: LONG TERM UNEMPLOYED AS A PERCENT OF TOTAL UNEMPLOYED, 2003—2014 In an environment in which the labor force is shrinking, Maine does not have the luxury of tens of thousands of people being less than fully engaged in the workforce. The State Board’s committees for Older Workers, Women’s Employment Issues, Younger Workers, Veteran’s Employment, Apprenticeship and the Commission on Disability and Employment are charged with addressing many of these issues. Later in this plan, strategies to engage populations that tend to have lower labor participation rates including, but not limited to, people with disabilities, veterans, women, older workers, people without a high school diploma, ex— offenders, individuals with language barriers, female heads of households with dependent children and out of school youth are discussed. LABOR MARKET TRENDS Workforce conditions in Maine continue to improve, though there has been virtually no real economic growth for a decade. Underlying these seemingly contradictory statements is a rapidly advancing age structure of the population that is constraining growth and tightening the labor market at the same time. Through 2014, real gross domestic product (GDP) has been little changed since 2004, after relatively steady growth in previous decades. Meanwhile, the number of jobs is up since the 2010 post—recession low, but still nearly two percent short of the 2008 peak level. In the middle of 2015 the state has about the same number of jobs as in 2004. This situation is in stark contrast to the nation, which began reaching new highs in GDP in 2012 and in nonfarm payroll jobs in 2014. (Page 14) Title I

The SWDB has six constituent committees that make recommendations to the Board about service delivery or policy related to the cohort group they represent — Apprenticeship, Commission on Disability & Employment, Older Workers, Veterans, Women’s Employment Issues and Younger Workers. These committees meet four to eight times annually. The SWDB and the State Workforce Agency (SWA - Maine Department of Labor) will work together to establish and convene workgroups that focus on required implementation and service delivery components of WIOA. Some groups will complete their work and be dissolved while other will need to be on going for the foreseeable future. Service Providers and Local Workforce Development Board staff will be included on each workgroup as appropriate. The workgroups include; - Program Policy Committee (Ongoing) - WIOA State Plan Steering Committee - State Plan Implementation Committee - Staff Development / Cross Training - America’s Job Link Alliance (New database implementation) - One Stop Certification - Memorandums of Understanding - Priority of Service - Accessibility - Employer Outreach - Youth Service Delivery - Integrated Intake - Unemployment Insurance Linkages - Eligible Training Provider List (Page 33) Title I

Since passage of WIOA and promulgation of the final rules, Maine DVR has worked to develop, adopt and implement procedural guidance, programming and training to support the identification and registration of students with disabilities who are eligible or potentially eligible for Pre-Employment Transition Services. Through previously established relationships with school districts and through outreach initiatives and pilot activities, Maine DVR has sought to offer Pre-Employment Transition Services across the state. According to data from the Maine Department of Education, during school year 2015-16, there were 9,3338 students with a disability enrolled in grades 9-12. An additional 2,993 students grades 9-12 were identified as having a 504 plan. This is a represents a small but significant increase over figures from the previous year. Maine DVR has targeted the problem of early exiters from VR services and is collecting data and implementing targeted initiatives for transition-age youth designed to engage youth with disabilities and get them involved in community-based work experiences -and other work-based learning sooner. (Page 236) Title II

Work Incentives & Benefits

~~The OSOS system collects and dispatches the data required for current formula program performance reports. Reports are created for a variety of programs spanning formula and Wagner Peyser, to Trade and Apprenticeship. OSOS also collects data pertaining to the RESEA program, the Migrant and Seasonal Farmworker, Veterans, Ticket to Work, Work Opportunity Tax Credit and other state funded programs such as the Competitive Skills Scholarship Program, plus more. Major changes to OSOS are necessary to conform to the new WIOA requirements which is a major reason that Maine is as quickly as possible migrating to America’s Job Link Alliance (AJLA), which is expected to be fully WIOA compliant when all the rules are finalized. (Page 63) Title I

Through its collaboration with DHHS and specifically the coordination of Maine’s benefits counseling network DVR has been able to develop opportunities and overcome barriers to competitive integrated employment for individuals with visual impairments who are eligible for MaineCare, the State’s Medicaid program. DVR entered into the Ticket to Work Partnership Plus agreement with the Bureau of Employment Services in July 2014. The purpose of this agreement is to strengthen the partnerships within CareerCenters in the provision of vocational rehabilitation and employment and training services to individuals with disabilities seeking employment in Maine. This agreement expands service options and the overall capacity of Maine’s workforce investment activities and offers individuals the opportunity to achieve employment outcomes, decrease reliance on public benefits and increase personal economic assets and resources. (Page 225) Title II

Interagency Support of Benefits Counseling DBVI/DVR continue to work closely with many other state partners to ensure that Maine’s benefits counseling services remain available to beneficiaries of SSI/SSDI, and specifically, DBVI applicants and eligible clients. This allowed the services to remain intact while a resolution was determined on a federal level as to the continuation of this critical service in 2013. DBVI/DVR currently administer a single contract with Maine’s approved WIPA provider, Maine Medical Center’s Department of Vocational Services, which includes funding from four sources of state and federal funds, including from the Division of Vocational Rehabilitation, Division for the Blind and Visually Impaired, Office of Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services, and Office of Aging and Disability Services. The contract’s scope of work includes direct service provision of benefits counseling, training of VR counselors and case managers, and service capacity building through quarterly system development network meetings, which include representatives from the Disability Rights Center’s Protection and Advocacy for Beneficiaries of Social Security (PABSS) and the Bureau of Employment Services’ Disability Employment Initiative. (Page 300-301) Title II

BRS entered into the Ticket to Work Partnership Plus agreement with the Bureau of Employment Services in July 2014. The purpose of this agreement is to strengthen the partnerships within CareerCenters in the provision of vocational rehabilitation and employment and training services to individuals with disabilities seeking employment in Maine. This agreement expands service options and the overall capacity of Maine’s workforce investment activities and offers individuals the opportunity to achieve employment outcomes, decrease reliance on public benefits and increase personal economic assets and resources. (Pages 308-309) Title II

Due to these current restrictions and the fact that the success of the supported employment model, as a whole, will ultimately hinge on the ability of the system to continue to develop options for extended/long—term support, the Division focuses on greater utilization of natural supports and the various SSI/SSDI work incentives as well as trying to explore new ideas for extended support. The Ticket to Work and Work Incentives Act (TWWIA) offers additional support to persons in Supported Employment.
The Division participates in the state—funded Long—term Support Program, which allows us to purchase extended support for individuals who are blind or have low vision. In addition, DBVI receives state funds for extended support for individuals with brain injuries, who are also blind or visually impaired. Both of these appropriations are very limited in the number of people who can be supported. (Page 354) Title IV
.

Employer / Business Engagement

~~Maine’s Unified Plan emphasizes greater levels of integration, alignment and coordination among core programs and one—stop partners. As part of this initiative, Maine is currently piloting five integrated education and training (IET) pilots. IET is a proven training model that enhances learning comprehension by integrating classroom and occupation training and often compresses learning time frames. Based on identified local workforce needs, the pilot projects were developed with extensive employer engagement, as well as the involvement of support service providers and a variety of educational institutions. Maine Adult Education is playing the lead role in the delivery of these projects, but each partner has an appropriate role to play. Participants, many of whom are receiving public assistance, are being prepared for actual unfilled positions with local employers. Pilot projects are currently being delivered in northern Maine, Lewiston, St. John Valley, Western Maine and Bucksport/Ellsworth areas. (Page 18) Title I

DVR continued to assist the State Independent Living Council (SILC) to increase organizational capacity and member effectiveness by supporting SILC to maintain an Executive Director. During this past year the Executive Director resigned and the SILC is currently advertising for a new Executive Director/SPIL Coordinator .The SILC Executive Director will be responsible for conducting the work of the SPIL under the supervision and direction of the Maine SILC to accomplish tasks such as a) recruitment and management of members and volunteers b) establish and maintain partnerships with community members and organizations c) market and promote the Maine SILC d) increase and diversify the resources related to the six core areas of the SILC. Innovation and Expansion funds are used to support the activities and administration of the Division’s State Rehabilitation Council (SRC). The SRC meets monthly as a full council. The SRC has standing committees that meet regularly. These committees include, Policy/Regulations Group, Membership, Annual Meeting, Business committee, and the Executive Committee. The SRC collects information on consumer satisfaction and participated in the triennial consumer satisfaction survey. This year the SRC has increased its business outreach and employer engagement to better align with WIOA. For more information regarding the SRC, please visit www.mainesrc.org. (Page 263) Title II

 

Data Collection

SYSTEMS Core partners of this Unified Plan utilize the following case management and management information systems (MIS): Adult Education uses MaineSTARS, Vocational Rehabilitation utilizes AWARE, and Wagner—Peyser and formula program providers utilize the Maine Job Link (MJL) a product of America’s Job Link Alliance that combines case management, performance tracking and reporting and labor exchange job match services in one system. The aforementioned systems comply with current federal reporting requirements for each program. The data elements required for each program are being collected and will be used to support the coordinated implementation of Maine’s strategic objectives. MaineSTARS is a federally approved MIS system compliant with adult education’s National Reporting System. Local adult education programs are required to use MaineSTARS for all intake, demographic, assessment, and attendance data. At the state level, aggregate numbers are compiled in MaineSTARS and used to perform data matches against Maine Department of Labor employment data, high school equivalency completion data, and the National Student Clearinghouse database for postsecondary enrollment. The AWARE system collects and reports data required by the Rehabilitation Services Administration in the delivery of Vocational Rehabilitation services, as well as serving as a case management tool for the Division for the Blind and Visually Impaired and the Division of Vocational Rehabilitation. The system is maintained by its vendor, Alliance Enterprises, and has been updated to meet WIOA reporting requirements. The Maine Job Link (MJL) system collects and dispatches the data required for current formula program performance reports. Reports are created for a variety of programs spanning formula and Wagner Peyser, to Trade and Apprenticeship. (Page 64-65)

In response to this data analysis, after consulting with a stakeholder group, DVR and DBVI changed their CRP payment system. On October 1, 2016 the Divisions changed from the milestone payment system to a “hybrid” model that is a combination of a fee for service model and a bonus payment system for timely job placements and for SSI/SSDI recipients achieving Substantial Gainful Employment (SGA). DVR and DBVI continue to monitor expenditures and employment outcomes to inform a cost benefit analysis of the new payment model and make adjustments as necessary. (Page 265) Title II

Subminimum Wage (Section 511)

~~Limiting the use of sub-minimum wage. Section 511 is specifically intended to reduce the number of transition-age youth entering sheltered workshops and working for sub-minimum wage. The emphasis is on moving young people with significant disabilities into integrated community employment. The bill prohibits individuals with disabilities age 24 and younger from working in jobs paying less than the federal minimum of $7.25 per hour unless they first apply for and receive vocational rehabilitation services, among other requirements. There are exceptions but only for those already working for subminimum wage and cases where individuals may be deemed ineligible for vocational rehabilitation services. Section 511 also prohibits schools from contracting for services, training or work experiences that involve the use of sub-minimum wage.
• Requiring state VR agencies to have formal agreements with the state Medicaid systems, and the state intellectual and developmental disability (IDD) agency.
• Adding a definition of “customized employment” in federal statute, and an updated definition of “supported employment” that includes customized employment.
• Adding a definition for “competitive integrated employment” as an optimal outcome. (Page 259) Tile II

REPORT ON PROGRESS: During this last year DVR has partnered with DHHS on the implementation of the discovery model for individuals with significant disabilities “Discovering Personal Genius”. DVR and DHHS issued joint guidance on DPG and presented a webinar on that guidance in September 2015. Regular DPG training was offered for interested staff and providers. During FFY 2017, in keeping with Section 511, DVR met with 47 individuals with significant disabilities who were working in sub-minimum wage settings and shared information on opportunities for them to receive services from Maine DVR leading to competitive, integrated employment in the community. (Page 267-268) Title II

REPORT ON PROGRESS: The State ADA Coordinator who is housed in DVR, has surveyed for physical accessibility compliance and consults regularly with the Bureau of Employment Services on programmatic and physical accessibility issues in the CareerCenters.
Objective: Maine DVR will work with the Bureau of Labor Standards to support integrated competitive community—based employment of people with disabilities by a review and examination of organizations paying sub—minimum wage in Maine with the goal of reducing these certificates from 17 in FY 2011 to 15 in FY 2012 to 13 in FY 2013
Strategies: a. DVR will hire three Rehabilitation Counselor II’s to serve specialty Workers’ Compensation caseloads REPORT ON PROGRESS: The pace of referrals from Workers’ Compensation has not merited three full-time VR Counselors. During FFY 17, DVR had one full-time dedicated Workers’ Compensation VRC along with a portion of a Casework Supervisor’s time. This strategy will be discontinued going forward. (Page 270-271) Title II
 

Equal Opportunity and Nondiscrimination (Section 188)

To establish universal access as a policy and quality assurance initiative, the universal access coordinator will have the authority of a program manager working under the Division of Policy and Evaluation. Under the direction of the universal access coordinator, the work group will draft a five year plan to improve and sustain universal access and when indicated, make recommendations to the State Board through its program policy committee, and directly to the Commissioner of Labor, when indicated, to emphasize department wide authority and support for accessibility. If warranted and if resources allow, the work group will conduct a staff development needs assessment. Planning will include initial and ongoing staff training and an updated assessment of physical accessibility for one—stop centers, WIOA partner provider facilities, vocational rehabilitation providers, and adult education programs. Policy issues will be identified; and guidance will be provided to one—stop centers, local workforce boards, and required partners. That guidance will be refined over time as policies are developed and monitoring/certification activities occur. SECTION 188 CHECKLIST The WIOA Section 188 Checklist developed by the USDOL Office of Civil Rights will be the guiding document for the working group. The checklist is considered a comprehensive overview of requirements and provides reliable advice on achieving and sustaining universal access. (Page 97) Title I

When monitoring or other activities reveal a need for system-wide technical assistance, policy updates, or concerns related to non-discrimination and accessibility, the Bureau of Employment Services may provide or assist with providing the necessary TA. We will use the Section 188 checklist, Promising Practices In Achieving Universal Access and Equal Opportunity: A Section 188 Disability Reference Guide, and the USDOL’s Integrated Service Delivery Toolkit to assist system partners, providers, and local boards with guidance on developing their own monitoring tools. Implementing and monitoring compliance with these policies will be overseen by a universal access coordinator and a core Universal Access work group of system stakeholders and subject matter experts from the larger community, including the Alpha One (independent living center), Disability Rights Maine, the state ADA coordinator, Maine CITE (designated adaptive technology provider for the Maine Department of Education), NAMI Maine, and other agencies and entities with relevant expertise in both accessibility and non-discrimination. Members of the state or local workforce boards will be included. (Page 100) Title I

Establishing WIOA Regions spells out specific requirements used to identify planning regions as required under WIOA • Accessibility Requirements to be developed and to spell out accessibility requirements as identified in the State Plan in regard to individuals with barriers such as disabilities, other languages, other cultures, and rural access. • Incumbent Worker • Underemployed Worker • Transitional Jobs • Integrated Intake to be developed by and between four core partners • Shared Assessments to be developed by and between four core partners • Shared Customer Service Plans to be developed by and between four core partners • Shared Infrastructure Cost Plans to be developed by the State Workforce Board to direct local areas in processes that must be implemented if they are unable to attain agreement on local workforce development system infrastructure cost sharing. • AJC Certification Criteria to be used by Local Boards in the process of development to be presented to the State Board • Youth Service Provider Procurement Requirements in the process of development to be presented to the State Board • Adult and DW Funds Transfer already developed and in the process of approval of the State Board • Co—enrollment to be reviewed and agreed to by the four core partners • Some policies that were in draft form but never fully implemented will be revised or be rescinded: • Local Board Recognition — this policy has incorporated into the Local Board Certification Policy • Use of Electronic Signature — this policy will need to be revamped to meet requirements of the new MIS system that will be in place in July 2016, the America’s Job Link Alliance or AJLA system. (Page 125) Title I

Outreach to Job Seekers —Wagner Peyser staff act as the initial interface with most job seeker participants entering the system, they conduct initial triage and provide resource navigation and referral services so it is imperative that they have the skills necessary to do this in a customer-centric way and in accordance with Section 188 and the requirements identified in the Local Area MOUs regarding referrals and access to system partner services. In addition, staff needs to be trained to effectively relay all of the required information such as that listed under Basic Career Services. To ensure all staff is adequately trained and have the professional skills necessary to provide services in this way a state-level professional development team was formed to evaluate WIOA-related staff development needs and identify and access resources to accomplish staff development goals identified. (Page 164) Title I

Meets the workforce development needs of participants through provision of services and leverage of resources;  •  Meets the employment needs of local employers;  •  Operates in a cost-efficient manner;  •  Coordinates services among and between one-stop programs in a way that is seamless to the customer and eliminates duplication of services;  •  Provides access to partner program services to the maximum extent possible; including providing services outside of regular business hours where and when there is a workforce need identified by the local board. •  Ensures equal opportunity for all individuals, including individuals with barriers to employment, to participate in or benefit from one-stop center services;  •  Takes action to comply with disability-related regulations implementing WIOA Section 188, set forth in 29 CFR 38, including: o Making reasonable accommodations for individuals with disabilities; o Making reasonable modifications to policies, practices, and procedures where necessary to avoid discrimination against individuals with disabilities; o Administering programs in the most integrated setting appropriate; o Communicating with persons with disabilities as effectively as with others; o Providing appropriate auxiliary aids and services, including assistive technology devices and services to afford individuals with disabilities equal opportunity to participate in, and enjoy the benefits of, program activities; and o Providing for the physical and programmatic accessibility of the one-stop center to individuals with disabilities. (Page 397) Title IV

According to the US Department of Labor’s Office of Disability Employment Policy (ODEP), universal access includes performance of the following functions: • Understanding local needs; • Marketing and outreach; • Involving community groups and schools; • Effecting collaboration, including partnerships and linkages; • Staff training; • Intake, registration and orientation; • Assessments and screenings; and • Service delivery. See the publication Promising Practices In Achieving Universal Access and Equal Opportunity: A Section 188 Disability Reference Guide https://www.dol.gov/oasam/programs/crc/188Guide.htm Universal design Also known as "inclusive design" and "design for all," this is a strategy for making products, environments, operational systems, and services welcoming and useable to the most diverse range of people possible. The key principles of universal design are simplicity, flexibility, ease of access, and efficiency. (Page 412) Title IV

Veterans

Program SFY14 Funding ($ mil—lions) Overseeing Agency Program Description Jobs for Veterans State Grant (JVSG) $0.9 MDOL Jobs for Veterans State Grant funds are allocated to State Workforce Agencies from the Department of Labor’s Veterans’ Employment and Training Service (VETS) in direct proportion to the number of veterans seeking employment within their state. The grants support two principal staff positions: Disabled Veterans’ Outreach Program Specialists and Local Veterans’ Employment Representatives. This grant provides funds to exclusively serve veterans, other eligible persons and, indirectly, employers. Federal $0.9 Trade Adjustment Assistance (TAA) $2.8 MDOL The Trade Adjustment Assistance Program is a federal program that provides a path for employment growth and opportunity through aid to US workers who have lost their jobs as a result of foreign trade. The TAA program seeks to provide these trade—affected workers with opportunities to obtain the skills, resources, and support they need to become reemployed. Federal $2.8 Work Opportunity Tax Credit (WOTC) $0.1 MDOL The Work Opportunity Tax Credit is a Federal tax credit available to employers for hiring individuals from certain target groups who have consistently faced significant barriers to employment. Federal $0.1 Re- employment Services & Eligibility Assessment (RESEA) $1.5 MDOL The Re-employment Services and Eligibility Assessment (RESEA) pro—gram assists unemployed workers to return to work more quickly by delivering and services to those claimants profiled as “most likely to exhaust” and all transitioning veterans receiving Unemployment compensation. Targeted claimants will be provided relevant reemployment services and Eligibility Review Interviews. (Page 19) Title I

The State Board, Maine Department of Labor and Local Workforce Development areas are jointly required to develop and issue a “priority of service to veterans” policy that applies “to every qualified job training program funded, in whole or in part, by the Department” for which they have direct oversight and responsibility. Board level area policy must adhere to 20 CFR 1010 dated December 19, 2008 and TEGL No 14—08 dated March 18, 2009, and incorporate veteran priority into current WIOA priority of service policy. Veteran’s priority of service definitions for covered and non—covered persons can be found at Priority of Service for Veterans and Eligible Spouses: Final Rule (http://www.dol.gov/vets/). The State Board, Maine Department of Labor and Local Workforce Development area service providers are responsible for developing strategies and implementing the veterans’ priority of service as defined and required by 38 U.S.C 4215(b) and 20 CFR Parts 1001 and 1010. Maine’s one—stop system is the core mechanism that will support, expand and maintain services to the veteran population throughout the State. Eligible veterans or eligible spouses with significant barriers to employment as defined in Veterans’ Program Letter (VPL) 03—14, Section 5, will receive “top priority.” Priority of service applies to Workforce Investment Act Adult, Dislocated and Youth Grants, National Emergency Grants, Demonstration Grants, Trade Adjustment Assistance, Wagner—Peyser, and other core programs funded by the U.S. Department of Labor and administered in Maine by the Maine Department of Labor (MDOL). Maine Department of Labor and one—stop providers will take the necessary actions to ensure that priority of service opportunities are clearly visible and articulated to all customers who engage in one—stop services. At a minimum, “priority of service to veterans” will include adherence to and implementation of the following guidelines: Outreach/Recruitment: • Inclusion of information regarding veterans’ priority of service in printed materials targeted to customers and employers; • Inclusion of information regarding veterans’ priority of service in presentations made to customers and employers; • Addition of veterans’ priority of service information to service providers, Maine one—stop centers and Department of Labor web sites; and • Pro—active recruitment of veterans by targeted contact strategies or other strategies that focus on employers as well as job seeking veterans, particularly when the region is not in compliance with veterans’ priority of service performance measures. (Page 94-95) Title I

Benchmarks will be established to provide a baseline to measure the impact of priority of service to covered participants: one will benchmark the covered participants using prior program year data. Many veterans face difficult labor market transitions, particularly upon reentering civilian life and may require specialized employment and training services to boost their job prospects. Veterans Employment and Training Services (VETS) and Maine Department of Labor have established effective program designs that include other providers such as the Togus Veteran’s Rehabilitation program. Additionally, veterans with more severe adjustment difficulties may require counseling, social services, and more in—depth support from specialists who are more familiar with their needs. Maine’s Local Veterans Employment Representatives (LVERs) are delegated the authority to generate the “Quarterly Reports on Services to Veterans.” Nonetheless, the responsibility for the content of such reports remains with one—stop center managers. These reports focus on compliance with Federal law and regulations with respect to special services and priorities for veterans. As new US Department of Labor and Maine Department of Labor veterans programs are introduced and implemented, the veterans’ team and Wagner—Peyser staff will assist in delivering these services and programs to veterans. Delivery of services through the one—stop system to veterans and eligible spouses is standardized to ensure that no veteran or eligible spouse is turned away without receiving some level of service. Stationed in key one—stop centers, Disabled Veterans Outreach Program specialists and Local Veterans Employment Representatives work exclusively with veterans and eligible spouses to facilitate their access to all programs and services for which they are eligible under the priority of service policy. (Page 96) Title I

Monitoring Compliance with Priority of Service • DOL will monitor recipients of funds for qualified job training programs to ensure that covered persons are made aware of and provided priority of service. • Monitoring will be performed jointly by the Veterans’ Employment and Training Service (VETS) and the DOL agency responsible for administering the program. • If monitoring identifies non—compliance with priority of service, the results of the monitoring: 1) will be handled in accord with each program’s compliance review procedures; and, 2) may lead to imposition of a corrective action plan. (Page 373) Title IV

USDOL will regularly reassess the definition to ensure it reflects the best available data and trends associated with veteran employment and continues to identify those veterans who are to be given priority and maximum emphasis for DVOP services under 38 U.S.C. 4103A (a). An eligible veteran or eligible spouse who is identified as having a SBE must be immediately referred to a DVOP specialist or, in instances where a DVOP specialist is not available, another CareerCenter provider of intensive/individualized services. For planning purposes, ETA and VETS anticipate that approximately 30 percent of veterans seeking CareerCenter services nationwide will be identified as having an SBE. Case management continues to be an appropriate service delivery strategy or framework within which intensive services may be delivered, particularly for veterans. Intensive/individualized career services should be delivered following the case management framework in most cases. However, case management itself is a process, not a service, and is therefore not to be reported as a service, intensive/individualized career or otherwise. Managing the DVOP Caseload In the event that a DVOP specialist does not have a full case—load of eligible veterans and eligible spouses who meet the criteria in paragraphs a. and b. above the DVOP specialist may perform additional activities, in the order specified below: 1. Review all open case files of current participants with an SBE or in a priority category and perform case management duties. 2. Conduct relationship building, outreach and recruitment activities with other service providers in the local area, to enroll SBE and priority category veterans. In addition, W— P, WIOA, and other partner staff will continue to provide services, including intensive/individualized career services, to veterans and eligible spouses as appropriate under the programs the staff administer. This guidance does not limit the ability of non—JVSG staff to provide intensive/individualized career services to veterans who do not have an SBE or are not in a veteran category specified by USDOL. Also, veterans with an SBE or in a specified category must have access to all appropriate CareerCenter services and are not limited to receiving services only from DVOP specialists. Those veterans not meeting the SBE definition or not within a specified category identified by DOL are to be referred to appropriate non—JVSG CareerCenter staff member(s) to receive core/basic career, intensive/individualized career, and/or training services, on a priority of service basis. MDOL will provide technical assistance to local areas to assist in the coordination of efforts between DVOP specialists and CareerCenter staff to ensure that all veterans are receiving needed services. Sequence of Priority USDOL does not interpret the VPL to require priority to be given in the order that these groups are listed in the VPL. Instead, DVOP specialists must provide the same priority to serving special disabled, other disabled and other veterans prioritized by USDOL, including those identified as having Significant Barriers to Employment in this guidance. (Page 379 -380) Title VI

Behavioral / Mental Health

~~Division of Vocational Rehabilitation (DVR) works with other state agencies and many Councils and Committees whose focus is on individuals with disabilities. DVR has a long standing relationship and works very closely with the Maine Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS). DVR and DHHS have two memorandums of understanding (MOU); one MOU is with the Office of Aging and Disability Services, which serves individuals with developmental disabilities; the other MOU is with the Office of Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services (SAMHS) which serves individuals with mental health issues. The MOU’s address the combined efforts that DVR and DHHS have initiated and clarify roles to improve the successful outcomes for these jointly served populations. • DHHS Office of Aging and Disability Services and DVR/DBVI MOU (updated November 2013) “This Memorandum is intended to guide the Maine Department of Labor’s Bureau of Rehabilitation Services (BRS), through its Division for the Blind and Visually Impaired and Division of Vocational Rehabilitation, and the Office of Aging and Disability Services (OADS) in the Maine Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS), through a system change planning process for the purpose of implementing an aligned service delivery system that promotes evidence—based practices. It contains information about policies and processes that pertain to maintaining and enhancing the relationship between these two entities. (Page 217) Title II

DVR has a close working relationship with our partners at DHHS Office of Aging and Disability Services and Mental Health Services we have developed a procedural directive which spells out how wavier services will fund career planning (specifically they fund Discovering Personal Genius© as the career planning model) and once Discovery is completed (waiver services will fund up to 50 hours), a referral is made to DVR who will work with the case manager and agency to proceed with job development and perhaps further exploration as needed. Then, when an individual has been successfully placed in a job and is stable and closed out successfully (may utilize extended services for this as needed), waiver funds will then pick up again and cover long term support services (usually job coaching) which will help the individual continue to remain stable on the job. (Page 243-244) Title II

DVR will partner with the Department of Health and Human Services’ Office of Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services to explore opportunities available through the I SPA b. DVR will work with the Department of Corrections through its quarterly joint meetings to identify effective practices in referring and supporting individuals for whom mental health is a barrier to employment.
Objective: Maine DVR will maintain statewide consistency in its practices with regard to “Clubhouses” offering services to DVR clients as measured by client case review.
Strategies:
a. DVR will maintain a liaison to the local Clubhouse in each office.
b. DVR will invite Clubhouse program staff to participate in DVR training opportunities. (Page 251) Title II

The Department of Health and Human Services, in conjunction with other State Agencies and partners, has begun to implement the recommendations that were developed by the Employment First Maine Coalition. The Offices of Substance Abuse and Mental Health, Child and Family Services, and Aging and Disability Services have committed to work together to ensure that the outcome of employment of people with disabilities is a strong focus of the services they provide. During the past year, DHHS has created new resources, developed additional employment services, and has begun to expand expectations that service providers all have a responsibility to promote employment as the first and preferred outcome.
SAMHS contracts with Maine Medical Center’s Vocational Services to provide Employment Specialists that are embedded in behavioral health organizations across the state to assist individuals living with serious mental illness. They assist with career exploration and securing employment, and provide other supports as needed. In keeping with best practices, these Employment Specialists work as a team with behavioral health professionals to improve outcomes. This service is supplemental and not necessarily a replacement service for Vocational Rehabilitation services through the DOL Bureau of Rehabilitation Services. (Page 262) Title II

Division for the Blind and Visually Impaired (DBVI) works with other state agencies and many Councils and Committees whose focus is on individuals with disabilities, including out-of-school youth who are blind or visually impaired. BRS has a long standing relationship and works very closely with the Maine Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS). BRS has two memorandums of understanding (MOU); one MOU is with the Office of Aging and Disability Services, which serves individuals with developmental disabilities; the other MOU is with the Office of Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services (SAMHS) which serves individuals with mental health issues. The MOU’s address the combined efforts that BRS and DHHS have initiated and clarify roles to improve the successful outcomes for these jointly served populations. • DHHS Office of Aging and Disability Services and DVR/DBVI MOU (updated November 2013) “This Memorandum is intended to guide the Maine Department of Labor’s Bureau of Rehabilitation Services (BRS), through its Division for the Blind and Visually Impaired and Division of Vocational Rehabilitation, and the Office of Aging and Disability Services (OADS) in the Maine Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS), through a system change planning process for the purpose of implementing an aligned service delivery system that promotes evidence-based practices. It contains information about policies and processes that pertain to maintaining and enhancing the relationship between these two entities. (Page 301-302) Title IV

The Division continues to use Title VI—B money to provide services for individuals with the most severe disabilities as an integral part of our VR program. Securing long—term employment resources continues to be a primary challenge for the Division. DBVI continues to collaborate with Department of Health and Human Services’ Offices of Aging and Disability Services and Substance Abuse Mental Health Services to explore long—term support mechanisms for those individuals completing their VR plan and who have been utilizing Title VI, Part B funds. (Page 331) Title IV
 

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

During 2012, representatives of the Workers Compensation Board (WCB) and Maine Division of Vocational Rehabilitation worked together to create a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU). The MOU was completed and signed, effective November 2012. DVR and the WCB are committed to working together to improve services and employment outcomes for individuals who, as a result of injury, are in need of vocational rehabilitation services to return to employment. Through the efforts outlined in the MOU, DVR and the WCB will strive to maximize employment opportunities for injured Maine workers, minimize duplication of services, improve information sharing and referrals, and coordinate activities in accordance with all applicable statutes and regulations. (Page 219) Title II

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

Policies and Initiatives

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Office of Aging and Disability Services Update - 05/07/2020

“The Maine Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS) provides home and community-based services to adults with intellectual or developmental disabilities (IDD, ORC), Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD), and brain injury primarily through MaineCare-funded programs. These are often called waiver programs because they operate with special exceptions from the federal government and are referred to by their Section number, which is where they can be found in the MaineCare rules.”

This page contains a quarterly update on Supporting Adults with Developmental Disabilities and Brain Injury in their Homes and Communities as of May 7, 2020.

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

Disability Rights Maine: COVID-19 Resources for People with Disabilities - 04/08/2020

This page contains links to COVID-19 resources for people with disabilities available through Disability Rights Maine, as well as other state and national resources.

Systems
  • Other
Topics
  • Mental Health
  • Asset Development / Financial Capability
  • Cross-Agency Collaboration / Partnerships
  • Resource Leveraging
  • Veterans

Notice of Statewide Transition Plan for Home and Community-Based Services Settings - 03/02/2020

“The revised Maine HCBS Statewide Transition Plan will be submitted to CMS in April 2020 and will be effective upon CMS approval. For the aspects of the rule that apply to HCBS settings, states have until March 2022 to ensure alignment of the states policies, programs, and provider settings with the federal settings criteria. States must submit a Statewide Transition Plan (STP) that describes the states overall strategies, processes, and resources it will deploy to complete all implementation efforts by the end of the transition period. The STP is also intended to serve as the states roadmap for implementing the federal HCBS rule with fidelity and outlines a detailed work plan and timeline for ensuring that all settings in which HCBS services are provided comply with the new standards by March 2022. The State of Maine is deeply committed to implementing the federal HCBS requirements with fidelity, and is using the rule as a catalyst for implementing other improvements to policy, payment, and practice associated with Medicaid-funded HCBS in an effort to improve access to and quality of HCBS services and options throughout the state. As such, the state has been working with stakeholders on several additional systems change efforts that complement the vision of the federal HCBS rule.”

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

Disabled Employee Resources - 02/27/2020

“All employees have their strengths and weaknesses. Those with disabilities are no different although some of their abilities may be more pronounced which can be a tremendous asset in the diverse field of agriculture. People with disabilities bring different talents, backgrounds and perspectives which can lead to increased productivity. Those with disabilities are often the most loyal and long-term employees, bringing a sense of pride and commitment to the work so many farmers are looking for. There are several organizations with the skills and resources to assist these individuals work safely and productively in agriculture.”

Click on the link to “Disabled Employee Resources” to learn more.

Systems
  • Other
Topics
  • Cross-Agency Collaboration / Partnerships

283 Veterans Hired During the 2019 Maine Hire-A-Vet Campaign - 02/12/2020

“The Maine Hire-A-Vet Campaign is a partnership between the Maine Department of Labor and its CareerCenters, Boots2Roots, Easter Seals and their Veterans Count program, the Maine National Guard Employment Support Program, Maine Bureau of Veterans Services, Transition Assistance Advisors, VA Vocational Rehabilitation and Employment, and State Vocational Rehabilitation and Employment.”

Systems
  • Other
Topics
  • Cross-Agency Collaboration / Partnerships
  • Veterans
  • WIOA

Supporting Adults with Developmental Disabilities and Brain Injury in their Homes and Communities - 01/24/2020

“The Maine Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS) provides home-and community-based services to adults with intellectual or developmental disabilities (IDD), Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD), and brain injury primarily through MaineCare-funded programs. These are often called waiver programs because they operate with special exceptions from the federal government and are referred to by their Section number, which is where they can be found in the MaineCare rules.”

“For most of us, work is part of our identity. And for many people, work is an important part of the recovery process. Experience and research have shown that mental health consumers want to work and can work. Some of those individuals will need support in finding and keeping a job; others will not.

Work can have many benefits. It gives structure to our days, can boost self-esteem, and provides income that affords us more choices. It also offers opportunities to be a part of, and give back to, our community.”

This page has a list of resources related to disability employment.

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

1115 Waiver Application: Substance Use Disorder Care Initiative - 11/26/2019

“Home-based Skill Development Services:

Home-based skill development services are services Maine has historically covered via State Plan and Waiver authority for our members with SMI and members with intellectual disabilities who meet institutional level of care, respectively. While these members may display extreme deficits in their ability to function independently in their environment, their challenges are not unique. Parents with SUD may have similar challenges surrounding self-care, daily living skills, personal adjustment, socialization, relationship development, use of community resources, and adaptive skills necessary to reside in community settings.”

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

Maine Economic Development Strategy 2020-2029 - 11/15/2019

“ACTION B1: Increase the labor force participation of existing residents. There are approximately 100,000 people living in Maine that are of working age but are not currently engaged in the workforce. A study done several years ago estimated that Maine can increase its workforce by over 30,000 people by increasing the labor force participation of seniors, people with disabilities, veterans, and young people who are disengaged from school and work. While all of these people may not be able to enter the workforce, many will be able to access work opportunities with encouragement, direct support, physical accommodations in the workplace, flexible work arrangements and mentoring….”

ACTION B5: Promote “Quality of Place” investments. The quality of our recreational opportunities, historic places, and arts and culture are a draw for tourists and residents alike. Each area of Maine has special attributes. We will work directly with local communities to explore asset development that attracts and retains people.”

Systems
  • Other
Topics
  • Asset Development / Financial Capability
  • Cross-Agency Collaboration / Partnerships
  • Veterans

Supported Employment - 11/02/2019

“Trained staff provide ongoing support to individuals after they have completed the Vocational Rehabilitation and Job development process and have secured paid employment in a community setting.

Supported employment staff provide assistance in all aspects of the employment one they have obtained a job. Once an employee completes initial training, job coaches will work with consumer at their new place of employment, making sure they know the requirements of their position and that they are ready to handle any situation that may come up. Job coaches assist with attention to task, quality assurance, scheduling requests, communication with employer and coworkers, and any other employment related activities that may be needed.”

Systems
  • Other
Topics
  • Cross-Agency Collaboration / Partnerships

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

~~“Western Maine Community Action was awarded a statewide 2019 CMS Navigator Cooperative Agreement serving “Left behind” populations, such as: hourly wage workers (including retail and hospitality workers), self-employed and contract workers (including loggers and fishermen), people living rurally, and those who lack general knowledge about health insurance and do not have easy access to, or familiarity with, the internet.  The Sub-awardee/Subrecipient Contracted Organizations are; Aroostook County Action Program, Midcoast Maine Community Action, Penquis, Waldo Community Action Partners, York County Community Action Corporation, The Opportunity Alliance, and the Health Community Coalition.  They will partner with: Faith-based organizations (Catholic Charities), Local community colleges. Community health centers and county health departments, Pine Health Services, Fish River Rural Health, Local libraries and nonprofits, Schools, Head Start programs, and agencies serving children, Adult education centers, Partners for Peace, County Chambers of Commerce, Sheriff's Depts., Maine Coastal Regional Reentry Center, Maine Prisoners’ Reentry Network, Rapid Response teams, Legal Services for the Elderly, and Area Agencies on Aging. For more information, please contact the designated project lead.Contact:Milton MarrPhone: (207) 860-4472Email:  mmarr@wmca.org  ”

 

Systems
  • Other
Topics
  • Cross-Agency Collaboration / Partnerships
Displaying 1 - 5 of 5

An Act to Encourage Maine Employers to Offer and Employees to Enroll in Disability Income Protection Plans in the Workplace - 01/01/2017

“This bill authorizes an employer to provide its employees a group disability income protection plan, which is a group policy instituted by an employer that provides income benefits to an employee who is unable to work for an extended period of time because of sickness or an accident. The group disability income protection plan may be either a short-term plan offering at least 6 months of benefits or a long-term plan offering at least 24 months of benefits. The premium paid by an employee for participation in an employer-sponsored group disability income protection plan is considered a premium that the employee has agreed to pay, as long as certain conditions are met.”

Systems
  • Other
Topics
  • 14(c)/Income Security

Maine LD 1549: Kim Wallace Adaptive Equipment Loan Program Fund - 03/29/2016

There is established the Kim Wallace Adaptive Equipment Loan Program Fund, which must be used to provide funding for loans to qualified borrowers within the State in order to acquire adaptive equipment designed to assist the borrower in becoming independent and for other purposes as allowed under section 376. The fund must be deposited with,  the Treasurer of State and contain appropriations provided for that purpose, interest accrued on the fund balance, funds received by the program administrator to be applied to the fund and funds received in repayment of loans. This fund is a nonlapsing revolving fund. All money in the fund must be continuously applied to carry out the purposes of this chapter.

Systems
  • Other
Topics
  • Asset Development / Financial Capability

Employment First Maine Act - 06/22/2013

“In carrying out its duties to provide services and supports to persons with disabilities, a state agency shall include as a core component of its services and supports the opportunity for persons with disabilities to acquire integrated community-based employment or customized employment… When entering into contracts with providers of services to persons with disabilities, a state agency shall include appropriate provisions regarding facilitating integrated community-based employment or customized employment "and ensuring measurable outcomes…A state agency shall incorporate standards for integrated community-based employment and customized employment into its processes for program monitoring and quality assurance.”
Systems
  • Other
Topics
  • Employer Engagement
  • Provider Transformation
  • Cross-Agency Collaboration / Partnerships

Maine Act To Provide Integrated Community-based & Customized Employment - 06/01/2013

The Bill promotes: 1. “Employment as core component of services and supports. In carrying out its duties to provide services and supports to persons with disabilities, a state agency shall include as a core component of its services and supports the opportunity for persons with disabilities to acquire integrated community-based employment or customized employment.”   2. “First and preferred service or support option. When providing services or supports to a person with a disability, a state agency shall offer to the person, as the first and preferred service or support option, a choice of employment services that will support the acquisition by the person of integrated community-based employment or customized employment.”   3. “Coordination of efforts and information.”   4. “Pursuit of employment; option. Nothing in this chapter may be construed to require a person with a disability who receives services from a state agency to accept employment services from that state agency or to experience a loss of services as a result of choosing not to explore employment options.”  
Systems
  • Department of Mental Health
  • Department of Education
  • Other
Topics
  • Customized Employment
  • Home and Community Based Services (HCBS)

Maine State Agency and Departments Protection and Advocacy of People with Disabilities (Title 5 c.11)

The agency has the following powers and duties:   Information and referral.  The agency may provide information on and referral to programs and services addressing the needs of persons with disabilities.  Advice.  The agency may advise and educate individuals on the rights of persons with disabilities and otherwise support and assist those persons in the protection of and advocacy for those rights.  Pursuit of remedies.  The agency may pursue administrative, legal and other appropriate remedies on behalf of persons with disabilities…  Report.  The agency shall prepare an annual report for submission to the Governor, the Legislature, the Commissioner of Health and Human Services and the Secretary of the United States Department of Health and Human Services. The report must describe the activities, accomplishments and expenditures of the agency during the most recently completed fiscal year  
Systems
  • Department of Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities
  • Other
Topics
  • Mental Health
  • Asset Development / Financial Capability
  • Home and Community Based Services (HCBS)
  • Employer Engagement
  • Cross-Agency Collaboration / Partnerships
  • Resource Leveraging
  • Data Sharing

No Executive Orders have been entered for this state.

Displaying 1 - 10 of 29

Office of Aging and Disability Services Update - 05/07/2020

“The Maine Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS) provides home and community-based services to adults with intellectual or developmental disabilities (IDD, ORC), Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD), and brain injury primarily through MaineCare-funded programs. These are often called waiver programs because they operate with special exceptions from the federal government and are referred to by their Section number, which is where they can be found in the MaineCare rules.”

This page contains a quarterly update on Supporting Adults with Developmental Disabilities and Brain Injury in their Homes and Communities as of May 7, 2020.

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

Disability Rights Maine: COVID-19 Resources for People with Disabilities - 04/08/2020

This page contains links to COVID-19 resources for people with disabilities available through Disability Rights Maine, as well as other state and national resources.

Systems
  • Other
Topics
  • Mental Health
  • Asset Development / Financial Capability
  • Cross-Agency Collaboration / Partnerships
  • Resource Leveraging
  • Veterans

Disabled Employee Resources - 02/27/2020

“All employees have their strengths and weaknesses. Those with disabilities are no different although some of their abilities may be more pronounced which can be a tremendous asset in the diverse field of agriculture. People with disabilities bring different talents, backgrounds and perspectives which can lead to increased productivity. Those with disabilities are often the most loyal and long-term employees, bringing a sense of pride and commitment to the work so many farmers are looking for. There are several organizations with the skills and resources to assist these individuals work safely and productively in agriculture.”

Click on the link to “Disabled Employee Resources” to learn more.

Systems
  • Other
Topics
  • Cross-Agency Collaboration / Partnerships

283 Veterans Hired During the 2019 Maine Hire-A-Vet Campaign - 02/12/2020

“The Maine Hire-A-Vet Campaign is a partnership between the Maine Department of Labor and its CareerCenters, Boots2Roots, Easter Seals and their Veterans Count program, the Maine National Guard Employment Support Program, Maine Bureau of Veterans Services, Transition Assistance Advisors, VA Vocational Rehabilitation and Employment, and State Vocational Rehabilitation and Employment.”

Systems
  • Other
Topics
  • Cross-Agency Collaboration / Partnerships
  • Veterans
  • WIOA

Supporting Adults with Developmental Disabilities and Brain Injury in their Homes and Communities - 01/24/2020

“The Maine Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS) provides home-and community-based services to adults with intellectual or developmental disabilities (IDD), Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD), and brain injury primarily through MaineCare-funded programs. These are often called waiver programs because they operate with special exceptions from the federal government and are referred to by their Section number, which is where they can be found in the MaineCare rules.”

“For most of us, work is part of our identity. And for many people, work is an important part of the recovery process. Experience and research have shown that mental health consumers want to work and can work. Some of those individuals will need support in finding and keeping a job; others will not.

Work can have many benefits. It gives structure to our days, can boost self-esteem, and provides income that affords us more choices. It also offers opportunities to be a part of, and give back to, our community.”

This page has a list of resources related to disability employment.

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

Maine Economic Development Strategy 2020-2029 - 11/15/2019

“ACTION B1: Increase the labor force participation of existing residents. There are approximately 100,000 people living in Maine that are of working age but are not currently engaged in the workforce. A study done several years ago estimated that Maine can increase its workforce by over 30,000 people by increasing the labor force participation of seniors, people with disabilities, veterans, and young people who are disengaged from school and work. While all of these people may not be able to enter the workforce, many will be able to access work opportunities with encouragement, direct support, physical accommodations in the workplace, flexible work arrangements and mentoring….”

ACTION B5: Promote “Quality of Place” investments. The quality of our recreational opportunities, historic places, and arts and culture are a draw for tourists and residents alike. Each area of Maine has special attributes. We will work directly with local communities to explore asset development that attracts and retains people.”

Systems
  • Other
Topics
  • Asset Development / Financial Capability
  • Cross-Agency Collaboration / Partnerships
  • Veterans

Special Education Laws & Regulations - 05/24/2019

~~This page has information and links for state and federal regulations

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

Resource Links for Special Education Administrators - 05/14/2019

~~This page has links to Maine departments and organizations as well as others. “These links are tested periodically and our hope is that they will work for you when you try them. However, due to the dynamic nature of the Internet, they may not work from one day to the next. Please contact MADSEC if you have trouble connecting to any of these web sites.” 

Systems
  • Other
Topics
  • School-to-Work Transition
  • Cross-Agency Collaboration / Partnerships

Maine Department of Labor Program and Service Guide- Employment Services - 02/01/2019

Employment Services Provided by the Bureau of Rehabilitation Services

For Employers

• Pre-employment services — connect with potential employees through internships, mentoring opportunities and training that is customized to your needs or delivered on-the-job.

• Recruitment and referral — professional help with recruiting and matching you with qualified candidates.

• Staff training — get training for your staff on disability awareness, the Americans with Disabilities Act and topics related to disabilities and assistive technology in the workplace.

• Diversity — learn new strategies to support the inclusion of people with disabilities as customers and employees.

• Retention — get support services for employees who may develop or acquire a disability.

• Financial supports — find out the latest information on available tax credits and/or deductions for hiring or accommodating people with disabilities.

Systems
  • Department of Workforce Development
Topics
  • Employer Engagement

Guidance for IEP Teams on Participation Decisions for the Maine’s Alternate Assessments “Participation Decision Flowchart” - 12/01/2018

~~The Dept. of Education issued guidance on alternative assessments. Options are described and available at its website.

Systems
  • Department of Education
Topics
  • School-to-Work Transition
Displaying 1 - 7 of 7

Maine Department of Labor and DHHS Collaborate on Welfare-to-Work Initiative - 04/01/2014

“AUGUSTA— Maine’s Department of Health and Human Services and the Maine Department of Labor’s Bureau of Employment Services have launched a program designed to successfully transition those on welfare to meaningful employment.

 

Through its programs for Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF) and Additional Support for People in Retraining and Employment (ASPIRE), DHHS is working with DOL’s CareerCenters on this joint initiative to develop an individual's skills that are essential for employment.”

Systems
  • Department of Workforce Development
  • Other
Topics
  • School-to-Work Transition

Employment First Maine Coalition - 07/02/2013

Employment First Maine (EFM) is a broad based coalition of individuals with disabilities, families, advocates, providers and state agency representatives committed to improving and enhancing employment outcomes for Maine citizens with disabilities, including veterans with service-connected disabilities. EFM has worked for over 18 months, participated in the national Alliance for Full Participation and is now an active member of the U.S. Department of Labor’s Office of Disability    Employment Policy’s Employment First State Leadership Mentoring Program’s Community of Practice.

Systems
  • Department of Rehabilitation Services
  • Department of Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities
  • Department of Workforce Development
  • Department of Education
Topics
  • Cross-Agency Collaboration / Partnerships

Maine Worker’s Compensation Board Memorandum of Understanding - 11/01/2012

“DVR and the WCB’s commitment to work together to improve services and employment outcomes for individuals who, as a result of injury are in need of vocational rehabilitation services to return to employment” 

Systems
  • Department of Rehabilitation Services
Topics
  • Cross-Agency Collaboration / Partnerships

Maine Department of Education, Special Services, Career and Technical Education and Adult Education Memorandum of Understanding - 09/01/2011

“BRS [of Maine Department of Labor] and DOE agreement to cooperate to meet the needs of students with disabilities in particular to better coordinate the process of student transition” 

Systems
  • Department of Rehabilitation Services
  • Department of Workforce Development
  • Department of Education
Topics
  • School-to-Work Transition
  • Cross-Agency Collaboration / Partnerships

Maine Developmental Disabilities Council

“The Maine Developmental Disabilities Council (MDDC) is a partnership of people with disabilities, their families, and agencies which identifies barriers to community inclusion, self determination, and independence. The Council acts to effect positive change through advocacy, training, demonstration projects, and support for other inclusive and collaborative systemic change activities.”

Systems
  • Department of Rehabilitation Services
  • Department of Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities
  • Department of Workforce Development
  • Department of Education
  • Other
Topics
  • Cross-Agency Collaboration / Partnerships

Maine’s Ticket To Work program

“Since 2003, the Social Security Administration (SSA) has mailed Tickets in Maine to eligible beneficiaries. SSA disability beneficiaries who receive a Ticket may use it to obtain the services they need from an Employment Network (EN) of their choice.” ENs currently accepting Tickets include Katahdin Friends, Inc., Maine Department of Labor Bureau of Employment Services-CareerCenters, Maine Bureau of Rehabilitation Services Division for the Blind and Visually Impaired and Division of Vocational Rehabilitation, Maine Medical Center Department of Vocational Services, and Work Opportunities Unlimited.

Systems
  • Department of Rehabilitation Services
  • Department of Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities
  • Department of Workforce Development
Topics
  • Cross-Agency Collaboration / Partnerships

Maine Business Leadership Network

“The Maine Business Leadership Network is an employer-led affiliate of the US Business Leadership Network, a national organization that serves as the collective voice of over 60 Business Leadership Network affiliates across North America, representing over 5,000 employers."

“The Maine BLN will be focused on assisting businesses in attracting and retaining new employees and customers with disabilities, developing business leaders who value diversity and actively work to promote strong communities that include individuals with disabilities, and increasing opportunities for businesses to expand their diversity recruiting efforts, not as a social model but as a business case to recruit talent and better serve their customers.”

Systems
  • Other
Topics
  • Employer Engagement
Displaying 1 - 5 of 5

Maine Department of Labor Receives Grant to Improve Employment Rates of Youth with Disabilities - 10/11/2016

“Commissioner of Labor Jeanne Paquette is pleased to announce that the U.S. Department of Education has awarded the Bureau of Rehabilitation Services, part of the Maine Department of Labor, $9 million to help students with disabilities prepare for postsecondary education and competitive integrated employment…

 

Commissioner of Labor Jeanne Paquette stated, “Our goal is to have at least 90 percent of study participants in postsecondary education or competitive integrated employment within one year of their high school graduation. We will align our work with in-school youth with disabilities using proven models, and we will be working with the Maine Departments of Education and Health and Human Services as well as others to make it happen.”

 

Maine’s vocational rehabilitation programs will use the progressive employment model to expand employer relationships and align this dual-customer—students and employers, community-based strategy with enhanced programs for students with disabilities through Jobs for Maine Graduates. These interventions, per year, will serve at least 200 students with disabilities who are within two years of graduation from high school.

 

The grant will enhance statewide collaboration that facilities the transition process from secondary and postsecondary schools or other pre-vocational training settings to competitive integrated employment in jobs at or above minimum wage.”

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

Maine Disability Employment Initiative (DEI) - 10/01/2013

The Disability Employment Initiative (DEI) is a three-year federal grant program that improves education, training, employment opportunities, and employment outcomes for youth and adults with disabilities who are unemployed, underemployed, and/or receiving Social Security disability benefits. In 2010, Maine was awarded a Round 1 DEI grant from the U.S. Department of Labor’s Employment Training Administration. When this grant ended in 2013, a Round 4 grant was awarded. This grant began in 2013 and will end in 2016.

Systems
  • Department of Rehabilitation Services
  • Department of Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities
  • Department of Workforce Development
  • Medicaid Agencies
Topics
  • Asset Development / Financial Capability
  • Employer Engagement
  • Cross-Agency Collaboration / Partnerships
  • Resource Leveraging

Maine Medicaid Balancing Incentives Program - 05/01/2013

The Balancing Incentive Program authorizes grants to States to increase access to non-institutional long-term services and supports (LTSS) as of October 1, 2011. The Balancing Incentive Program will help States transform their long-term care systems by: • Lowering costs through improved systems performance & efficiency • Creating tools to help consumers with care planning & assessment • Improving quality measurement & oversight The Balancing Incentive Program also provides new ways to serve more people in home and community-based settings, in keeping with the integration mandate of the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA), as required by the Olmstead decision. The Balancing Incentive Program was created by the Affordable Care Act of 2010 (Section 10202). Maine applied for the BIP enhanced FMAP May 1, 2012. Maine’s application was awarded effective July 1, 2012

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

Maine Money Follows the Person ("Homeward Bound")

“Money Follows the Person (MFP), known as Homeward Bound in Maine, is assisting individuals transitioning from institutional to community care and has provided enhanced public awareness of community services. MDS Section Q training for nursing facility staff in conjunction with the Maine Long Term Care Ombudsman Program is ensuring identification and referral of individuals interested in considering community living.”

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

Maine Promoting the Readiness of Minors in Supplemental Security Income (PROMISE) Program

“PROMISE is a joint initiative of the US Department of Education, Social Security Administration, US Department of Health and Human Services and US Department of Labor. Under PROMISE, states will be funded to develop and implement model demonstration projects that promote positive outcomes for children who receive Supplemental Security Income (SSI) and their families. PROMISE will improve the provision and coordination of services and supports for child SSI recipients and their families to enable them to achieve improved outcomes. Outcomes include: graduating from high school ready for college and a career, completing postsecondary education and job training, and obtaining competitive employment in an integrated setting and, as a result, achieving long-term reductions in the child recipients’ reliance on SSI.”

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
  • School-to-Work Transition
  • Cross-Agency Collaboration / Partnerships
Displaying 1 - 10 of 11

Supported Employment - 11/02/2019

“Trained staff provide ongoing support to individuals after they have completed the Vocational Rehabilitation and Job development process and have secured paid employment in a community setting.

Supported employment staff provide assistance in all aspects of the employment one they have obtained a job. Once an employee completes initial training, job coaches will work with consumer at their new place of employment, making sure they know the requirements of their position and that they are ready to handle any situation that may come up. Job coaches assist with attention to task, quality assurance, scheduling requests, communication with employer and coworkers, and any other employment related activities that may be needed.”

Systems
  • Other
Topics
  • Cross-Agency Collaboration / Partnerships

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

~~“Western Maine Community Action was awarded a statewide 2019 CMS Navigator Cooperative Agreement serving “Left behind” populations, such as: hourly wage workers (including retail and hospitality workers), self-employed and contract workers (including loggers and fishermen), people living rurally, and those who lack general knowledge about health insurance and do not have easy access to, or familiarity with, the internet.  The Sub-awardee/Subrecipient Contracted Organizations are; Aroostook County Action Program, Midcoast Maine Community Action, Penquis, Waldo Community Action Partners, York County Community Action Corporation, The Opportunity Alliance, and the Health Community Coalition.  They will partner with: Faith-based organizations (Catholic Charities), Local community colleges. Community health centers and county health departments, Pine Health Services, Fish River Rural Health, Local libraries and nonprofits, Schools, Head Start programs, and agencies serving children, Adult education centers, Partners for Peace, County Chambers of Commerce, Sheriff's Depts., Maine Coastal Regional Reentry Center, Maine Prisoners’ Reentry Network, Rapid Response teams, Legal Services for the Elderly, and Area Agencies on Aging. For more information, please contact the designated project lead.Contact:Milton MarrPhone: (207) 860-4472Email:  mmarr@wmca.org  ”

 

Systems
  • Other
Topics
  • Cross-Agency Collaboration / Partnerships

Maine Organization Awarded $285,000 Grant for Work with Veterans - 07/01/2019

~~“The Maine Department of Labor is pleased to congratulate Easterseals Maine, a member of the Veteran's Committee of the State Workforce Board (SWB), on its award of a $285,823 grant from the U.S. Department of Labor.

U.S. Secretary of Labor Alexander Acosta announced on June 28 that the Department is awarding 149 Homeless Veterans Reintegration Program (HVRP) grants, totaling $48.1 million. This funding will provide workforce reintegration services for more than over 18,000 homeless veterans….Along with being a member of the State Workforce Boards Veterans Committee, Easterseals Maine is also a partner in the Maine Hire-A-Vet Campaign, a statewide effort to commit at least 100 employers to hire at least 100 veterans and military family members during a 100-day period.”

Systems
  • Other
Topics
  • Employer Engagement
  • Cross-Agency Collaboration / Partnerships

2019 Maine Hire-A-Vet Campaign Kick-Off Event and Hiring Fair to be held August 29 at Augusta Civic Center - 06/19/2019

~~“Maine's annual Hire-A-Vet campaign is a statewide effort to commit at least 100 employers to hire at least 100 veterans and military family members during a 100-day period. A kick-off event and hiring fair is being held from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. on August 29 at the Augusta Civic Center, 76 Civic Center Drive. Opening remarks will be followed by a hiring fair with more than 200 expected employers that are looking to recruit veterans, military members, and civilians. The event is open to the public. The 2019 campaign officially begins on Labor Day.”

Systems
  • Other
Topics
  • Employer Engagement
  • WIOA

Maine Department of Labor Program and Service Guide - 06/01/2019

Staff training — get training for your staff on disability awareness, the Americans with Disabilities Act and topics related to disabilities and assistive technology in the workplace.

Systems
  • Department of Workforce Development
Topics
  • Employer Engagement
  • Provider Transformation

Maine CITE (Assistive Technology Training) - 04/19/2017

~~“Training is an integral part of the Maine CITE Coordinating Center’s mission. Training activities range from face-to-face conference and smaller group presentations to on-line training webinars.”

Systems
  • Other
Topics
  • Cross-Agency Collaboration / Partnerships

Maine CareerCenter Staff Guide to Disability Work Incentives - 01/15/2011

“This resource guide is for CareerCenter staff and individuals who request information on Supplemental Security Income (SSI) Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) and Work Incentives Planning and Assistance in order to prepare job seekers for employment options and related opportunities."

Systems
  • Department of Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities
  • Department of Workforce Development
  • Other
Topics
  • Self-Employment

Maine College of Direct Support - Work Supports Certificate

“Completion of the Maine College of Direct Support (ME CDS) is required for Direct Support Professionals supporting Maine citizens with intellectual disabilities and replaces the Direct Support Professional (DSP) Curriculum as meeting the training requirements for MaineCare Sections 21 and 29. ... Currently, there are four types of certificates available in the Maine College of Direct Support that can only be obtained through an agency providing services to people with intellectual disabilities:” (1) Maine College of Direct Support Certificate; (2) Maine College of Direct Support - Shared Living Provider Certificate; (3) Maine College of Direct Support - Work Supports Certificate; and (4) Maine College of Direct Support – Case Manager Orientation Certificate.

Systems
  • Department of Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities
  • Other
Topics
  • Provider Transformation

Maine Department of Health and Human Services' Staff Education and Training Unit

The Maine Department of Health and Human Services’ Staff Education and Training Unit offers a variety of in-person and online trainings for staff working with persons with disabilities.

Systems
  • Department of Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities
  • Other
Topics
  • Home and Community Based Services (HCBS)

Center for Learning (CFL) at the Muskie School of Public Service

“By overseeing competency-based certification programs for staff working in the mental health field, CFL supports best practice and informs policy in the area of workforce development. In administering the Mental Health Rehabilitation Technician (MHRT) certification programs, CFL develops knowledge competencies, designs and implements quality assurance processes, and assesses workers' qualifications. CFL also collaborates with academic institutions and other agencies in Maine that provide education and training to ensure that mental health courses, programs and trainers meet standards outlined in the MHRT/C Procedural Guidelines and Trainer and Curriculum Standards”.

Systems
  • Department of Mental Health
  • Other
Topics
  • Cross-Agency Collaboration / Partnerships
Displaying 1 - 3 of 3

Carnicella v. Mercy Hospital - 07/20/2017

“Plaintiff, a registered nurse, filed a complaint alleging that Mercy Hospital discriminated against her in violation of the Maine Human Rights Act (MHRA) by terminating her employment because of her alleged disability and refusing to provide her with a reasonable accommodation. The superior court entered summary judgment for Mercy. The Supreme Court affirmed, holding that the district court properly granted summary judgment on Plaintiff’s disability discrimination claim because there was no genuine issue of material fact that Plaintiff was not a “qualified individual with a disability” as defined by the MHRA.”

Systems
  • Other
Topics
  • Employer Engagement

Christy Dorr v. Woodlands Senior Living of Brewer, LLC - 05/10/2017

“After a three-day trial, a jury determined that in terminating Plaintiff’s employment, Defendant discriminated against Plaintiff because of a disability, and that Defendant interfered with Plaintiff’s right to take family medical leave. (Jury Verdict, ECF No. 102.) The jury declined to award Plaintiff damages on the discrimination claim, but awarded Plaintiff $15,000 in back pay on the family medical leave claim. The matter is before the Court on Plaintiff’s Motion for Supplemental Relief, through which motion Plaintiff requests reinstatement, certain injunctive relief regarding Defendant’s policies and Plaintiff’s employment records, and the award of nominal and liquidated damages together with interest. (Motion, ECF No. 104.) After consideration of the parties’ arguments and the record evidence, the Court grants in part and denies in part Plaintiff’s motion. The Court also directs the entry of judgment in accordance with the jury’s verdict and the findings herein.”

Systems
  • Other
Topics
  • 14(c)/Income Security

Consent Decree Plan Pursuant to Paragraphs 36, 37, 38 and 279 of the Settlement Agreement in Bates v. DHHS - 10/13/2006

This vocational plan:

•     Provides training and education to community support staff about the importance of employment to recovery and the engagement of the consumers in discussions about work, and adds the requirement for certification and ongoing education in employment as a required competency module;   

•     Funds additional Benefit Specialists so that misinformation and lack of information are removed as barriers to pursuing work; and

•     Increases both the prominence and possibility of employment by adding Employment Specialists to agencies in each of the seven community service networks.  The employment specialists will work directly with consumers, serve as a resource to providers, and coordinate employment support services between OAMHS and BRS.

Systems
  • Department of Mental Health
Topics
  • Mental Health
  • Provider Transformation
Displaying 1 - 10 of 11

Notice of Statewide Transition Plan for Home and Community-Based Services Settings - 03/02/2020

“The revised Maine HCBS Statewide Transition Plan will be submitted to CMS in April 2020 and will be effective upon CMS approval. For the aspects of the rule that apply to HCBS settings, states have until March 2022 to ensure alignment of the states policies, programs, and provider settings with the federal settings criteria. States must submit a Statewide Transition Plan (STP) that describes the states overall strategies, processes, and resources it will deploy to complete all implementation efforts by the end of the transition period. The STP is also intended to serve as the states roadmap for implementing the federal HCBS rule with fidelity and outlines a detailed work plan and timeline for ensuring that all settings in which HCBS services are provided comply with the new standards by March 2022. The State of Maine is deeply committed to implementing the federal HCBS requirements with fidelity, and is using the rule as a catalyst for implementing other improvements to policy, payment, and practice associated with Medicaid-funded HCBS in an effort to improve access to and quality of HCBS services and options throughout the state. As such, the state has been working with stakeholders on several additional systems change efforts that complement the vision of the federal HCBS rule.”

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

1115 Waiver Application: Substance Use Disorder Care Initiative - 11/26/2019

“Home-based Skill Development Services:

Home-based skill development services are services Maine has historically covered via State Plan and Waiver authority for our members with SMI and members with intellectual disabilities who meet institutional level of care, respectively. While these members may display extreme deficits in their ability to function independently in their environment, their challenges are not unique. Parents with SUD may have similar challenges surrounding self-care, daily living skills, personal adjustment, socialization, relationship development, use of community resources, and adaptive skills necessary to reside in community settings.”

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

MAINECARE ELIGIBILITY MANUAL - 04/17/2019

~~‘The Maine Department of Health and Human Services is responsible for administering the MaineCare Program in compliance with Federal and State statutes and administrative policies. It is also responsible for state funded assistance programs found within this manual. Within the Department, the Office for Family Independence (OFI) establishes and applies written policies and procedures for taking applications and determining eligibility for assistance, consistent with the objectives of the Program."

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

Request for an Amendment to a §1915(c) Home and Community-Based Services Waiver - 10/26/2018

~~“Program Title:Support Services for Adults with Intellectual Disabilities or Autism Spectrum DisorderWaiver Number:ME.0467Original Base Waiver Number: ME.0467.The State of Maine is planning to amend the Home- and Community-based Services waiver, known in Maine as Section 29 of the MaineCare Benefits Manual.  The waiver serves participants with Intellectual Disabilities and Autism Spectrum Disorder.  DHHS is proposing to make changes to comply with legislative directive P.L. 2017, ch. 459, Parts A and B, which provided funding to increase reimbursement rates for Home Support, Shared Living, Community Support, Employment Specialist Services, Work Support, Career Planning, and Respite services .” 

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

MaineCare Benefits Manual Chapter II “Home and Community Based Services for Adults with Other Related Conditions” - 03/01/2017

~~“Application: After receiving the choice letter, the DHHS Care Monitor will meet with the member and guardian or legal representative (where applicable) and complete the initial ORC application. If the member appears to qualify and is interested in Money Follows the Person/ Homeward Bound MFP/HB, the member will be referred for MFP/HB determination for Money Follows the Person/ Homeward Bound MFP/HB. Enrollment and Transition coordination through MFP/HB will be provided per Money Follows the Person/ Homeward Bound MFP/HB program requirements as outlined in the CMS approved Operational Protocol for Money Follows the Person/ Homeward Bound MFP/HB.”

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

ME Home & Community Services for Adults w/ID or Autism Spectrum Disorder (0159.R06.00) - 07/01/2015

Provides community support, home support (1/4 hr), per diem home support, work support, communication aids, consultation, counseling, crisis assessment, crisis intervention, employment specialist services, home accessibility adaptations, non-traditional communication consultation, non-medical transportation, non-traditional communication assessment, OT (maintenance), PT, (maintenance), specialized medical equipment and supplies, speech therapy (maintenance) for individuals w/autism, IID ages 18 - no max age

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

Maine HCBS Transition Plan - 04/14/2015

This Transition Plan is required by the federal government as part of new Medicaid regulations. It tells the federal government how Maine will meet the new Medicaid rules. All states must follow the federal rules for the Medicaid program. Medicaid is a joint federal and state program that pays for certain medical and related services.  In Maine, the Medicaid program is called MaineCare. An individual who gets services from MaineCare is called a member. The federal agency that is responsible for Medicaid is called the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid (“CMS”).  
Systems
  • Medicaid Agencies
Topics
  • Home and Community Based Services (HCBS)

Maine Department of Education ESEA Flexibility - 08/12/2013

“The Maine Department of Education's ESEA flexibility request was approved on August 12, 2013 and amended on August 13, 2015."

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

Maine Balancing Incentives Program - 05/01/2013

“The Balancing Incentive Program authorizes grants to States to increase access to non-institutional long-term services and supports (LTSS) as of October 1, 2011. The Balancing Incentive Program will help States transform their long-term care systems by: • Lowering costs through improved systems performance & efficiency • Creating tools to help consumers with care planning & assessment • Improving quality measurement & oversight The Balancing Incentive Program also provides new ways to serve more people in home and community-based settings, in keeping with the integration mandate of the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA), as required by the Olmstead decision. The Balancing Incentive Program was created by the Affordable Care Act of 2010 (Section 10202). Maine applied for the BIP enhanced FMAP May 1, 2012. Maine’s application was awarded effective July 1, 2012”

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

Maine Support Services for Adults w/ID or Autistic Disorder (0467.R01.00) - 01/01/2011

"Provides community support, home support 1/4 hr, respite, work support-group, assistive technology, career planning, employment specialist services, home accessibility adaptations, home support remote support, transportation, work support-individual for individuals w/autism and ID ages 18 - no max age."

 

Waiver expired 12/31/2015.

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

States - Small Tablet

Snapshot

The state of Maine knows that Employment First is "The Way Life Should Be" for all people with disabilities who dream of having a successful career in their community.

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 Maine’s VR Rates and Services

2019 State Population.
0.43%
Change from
2018 to 2019
1,344,212
2019 Number of people with disabilities (all disabilities, ages 18-64).
-5.37%
Change from
2018 to 2019
108,204
2019 Number of people with disabilities who are employed (all disabilities, ages 18-64).
0.28%
Change from
2018 to 2019
42,532
2019 Percentage of working age people who are employed (all disabilities).
5.37%
Change from
2018 to 2019
39.31%
2019 Percentage of working age people who are employed (NO disabilities).
-0.3%
Change from
2018 to 2019
82.53%

State Data

General

2017 2018 2019
Population. 1,335,907 1,338,404 1,344,212
Number of people with disabilities (all disabilities, ages 18-64). 112,442 114,014 108,204
Number of people with disabilities who are employed (all disabilities, ages 18-64). 39,424 42,411 42,532
Number of people without disabilities who are employed (ages 18-64). 567,638 574,146 574,540
Percentage of working age people who are employed (all disabilities). 35.06% 37.20% 39.31%
Percentage of working age people who are employed (NO disabilities). 81.58% 82.78% 82.53%
State/National unemployment rate. 3.30% 3.40% 3.00%
Poverty Rate (all disabilities). 20.90% 23.00% 19.90%
Poverty Rate (NO disabilities). 9.10% 9.40% 9.10%
Number of males with disabilities (all ages). 112,477 109,726 109,258
Number of females with disabilities (all ages). 106,195 109,923 106,332
Number of Caucasians with disabilities (all ages). 208,147 208,759 203,581
Number of African Americans with disabilities (all ages). 1,379 2,236 2,340
Number of Hispanic/Latinos with disabilities (all ages). 3,181 3,992 2,622
Number of American Indians/Alaska Natives with disabilities (all ages). 2,564 1,593 2,600
Number of Asians with disabilities (all ages). 1,308 1,969 1,333
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) 4,946 4,428 5,149
Number of persons of some other race alone with disabilities (all ages) N/A 654 576

 

SSA OUTCOMES

2017 2018 2019
Number of SSI recipients with disabilities who work. 2,058 2,074 2,042
Percentage of SSI recipients with disabilities who work relative to total SSI recipients with disabilities. 5.70% 5.80% 5.70%
Old Age Survivor and Disability Insurance (OASDI) recipients/workers with disabilities. 57,062 55,900 54,497

 

MENTAL HEALTH OUTCOMES

2017 2018 2019
Number of mental health services consumers who are employed. 3,690 N/A N/A
Number of mental health services consumers who are part of the labor force (employed or actively looking for employment). 35,425 N/A N/A
Number of adults served who have a known employment status. 28,780 N/A N/A
Percentage of all state mental health agency consumers served in the community who are employed. 9.50% N/A N/A
Percentage of supported employment services evidence based practices (EBP). N/A N/A N/A
Percentage of supported housing services evidence based practices (EBP). N/A N/A N/A
Percentage of assertive community treatment services evidence based practices (EBP). N/A 8.80% 8.00%
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 N/A N/A
Number of evidence based practices (EBP) supported housing services. N/A N/A N/A
Number of evidence based practices (EBP) assertive community treatment services. N/A 751 722
Number of evidence based practices (EBP) medications management. N/A N/A N/A

 

WAGNER PEYSER OUTCOMES

2013 2014 2015
Number of registered job seekers with a disability. 2,632 2,627 2,591
Proportion of registered job seekers with a disability. 0.04 0.03 0.04

 

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. 32 38 18
Total number of people with a disability that is a substantial barrier to work who entered unsubsidized employment. 20 27 12
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. 63.00% 71.00% 67.00%
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. 1.51 2.03 0.90

 

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. 22.00% 23.00% 24.00%
Number of employment network (EN) and vocational rehabilitation (VR) tickets assigned. 2,786 2,336 2,209
Number of eligible ticket to work beneficiaries. 84,476 83,557 82,311
Total number of ID closures using supported employment services with or without Title VI-B funds expended (VI-C prior to 2002). 78 108 130
Total number of ID competitive labor market closures. 77 105 117

 

IDD OUTCOMES

2015 2016 2017
Dollars spent on day/employment services for integrated employment funding. $3,853,000 $0 $3,372,224
Dollars spent on day/employment services for facility-based work funding. $0 $0 $0
Dollars spent on day/employment services for facility-based non-work funding. $0 $0 $0
Dollars spent on day/employment services for community based non-work funding. $54,750,000 $0 $60,138,416
Percentage of people served in integrated employment. 32.00% 0.00% 18.00%
Number of people served in community based non-work. 3,533 0 4,038
Number of people served in facility based work. 0 0 N/A
Number of people served in facility based non-work. 0 0 N/A
Number supported in integrated employment per 100,000 individuals in the general state population. 88.60 0.00 67.49

 

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). 56.69% 56.58% 56.41%
Percent of children with IEPs aged 6 through 21 served inside the regular class less than 40% of the day (Indicator 5b). 10.78% 10.88% 10.33%
Percent of children with IEPs aged 6 through 21 served in separate schools, residential facilities, or homebound/hospital placements (Indicator 5c). 3.13% 3.24% 3.07%
Percent of youth with IEPs aged 16 and above with an IEP that includes appropriate measurable postsecondary goals (Indicator 13). 88.96% 94.38% 95.12%
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). 26.30% 18.81% 17.27%
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). 68.87% 65.68% 71.21%
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). 96.16% 77.56% 80.91%
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). 42.57% 46.87% 53.94%

 

ABILITYONE/JWOD PROGRAM

2014
Number of overall agency blind and SD hours. 225,419
Number of overall total blind and SD workers. 484
Number of AbilityOne blind and SD hours (products). 169,951
Number of AbilityOne blind and SD hours (services). 55,468
Number of AbilityOne blind and SD hours (combined). 225,419
Number of AbilityOne blind and SD workers (products). 394
Number of AbilityOne blind and SD workers (services). 82
Number of AbilityOne blind and SD workers (combined). 476
AbilityOne wages (products). $1,766,990
AbilityOne wages (services). $899,291

 

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). 1 0 0
Number of 14(c) certificate holding patient workers. 0 0 0
Total Number of 14(c) certificate holding entities. 1 0 0
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). 41 0 0
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. 41 0 0

 

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

~~In Section C of the Unified State Plan, this has been updated as follows: • Department of Corrections and VR MOU — Procedural Guidance The Maine Department of Labor— Bureau of Rehabilitation Services and the Maine Department of Corrections (DOC) have worked together to establish procedural guidance on collaboration between the two agencies. Work thus far has resulted in two procedural directives outlining how the two agencies will work together to best meet the needs of individuals who are currently incarcerated or on probation and may be eligible for vocational rehabilitation services. In each of the larger offices a DVR staff member has been identified who serves as the liaison to the correctional agencies in their region. DVR corrections liaisons meet as a group on a quarterly basis with DOC staff to share updates and best practices. (Page 203) Title II

In June 2014, Maine’s legislature enacted the Employment First Maine Act (Sec. A-1. 26 MRSA c.3), which was a natural progression in Maine’s focus on competitive integrated employment as a valued outcome for the state’s citizens with disabilities. It set forth that the Departments of Health and Human Services, Labor, and Education must implement employment as a core component of services and supports provided and is the first and preferred service or support option offered to individuals with disabilities.
The Act also convened a time-limited coalition of interested parties, including employers, state agency representatives, advocacy organizations, and people with disabilities, to review and make recommendations regarding the improvement of the administration of employment services and the employment outcomes of people with disabilities. Before its sunset in October 2016, the Employment First Maine Coalition produced a report summarizing the work that was completed and identifying twenty-seven recommendations for consideration by the Governor, the Legislature and state agencies, primarily identifying strategies that encourage the employment of youth and adults with disabilities, engage the business community, and improve EFM performance measures. (Page 233) Title II

The Department of Health and Human Services, in conjunction with other State Agencies and partners, has begun to implement the recommendations that were developed by the Employment First Maine Coalition. The Offices of Substance Abuse and Mental Health, Child and Family Services, and Aging and Disability Services have committed to work together to ensure that the outcome of employment of people with disabilities is a strong focus of the services they provide. During the past year, DHHS has created new resources, developed additional employment services, and has begun to expand expectations that service providers all have a responsibility to promote employment as the first and preferred outcome. (Page 234) Title II

Objective: To increase the number of individuals with significant intellectual disabilities who access the available waiver employment support for long term employment support needs after closure from BRS.
Strategies:
b. Continue to work with the Maine Department of Health and Human Services to ensure that all individuals who have the waiver — but have not taken advantage of employment services — are aware of employment supports open to them through coordination between the two Departments
c. Continue to provide access and training to the BRIDGE —Career Exploration Workshop, appropriate for individuals with intellectual disabilities
Objective: Maine DVR will undertake efforts to continue to embrace and implement an “Employment First” philosophy during the next year as documented by a decrease of 5% in the statewide unemployment rate of people with intellectual disabilities. (Page 246) Title II
 

Customized Employment

~~Expanded use of technology to increase access to workforce development services; • Quality work experiences, including job placement assistance and ideally, quality sector/occupation specific pre—employment work experiences (e.g., apprenticeships, internships). With this customized approach, all participants, including the target populations, are able to access the programming and services necessary to become fully engaged in the workforce system. For example, by working with individuals using various tools, such as Discovering Personal Genius and Customized Employment, the Bureau of Rehabilitation Services will encourage some individuals with significant disabilities to consider self—employment as a viable option with appropriate supports. (Page 55) Title I

With the implementation of WIOA and reauthorization of the Rehabilitation Act, Maine DVR has revisited its personnel requirements and hiring practices. Maine DVR recognizes that the standards for rehabilitation counseling personnel outlined in WIOA represent the minimum standards for qualification. These standards require a minimum of attainment of a baccalaureate degree in a field of study reasonably related to vocational rehabilitation, to indicate a level of competency and skill demonstrating basic preparation in a field of study such as vocational rehabilitation counseling, social work, psychology, disability studies, business administration, human resources, special education, supported employment, customized employment, economics, or another field that reasonably prepares individuals to work with consumers and employers; and
(2) Demonstrated paid or unpaid experience, for not less than one year, consisting of -
(i) Direct work with individuals with disabilities in a setting such as an independent living center;
(ii) Direct service or advocacy activities that provide such individual with experience and skills in working with individuals with disabilities; or
(iii) Direct experience in competitive integrated employment environments as an employer, as a small business owner or operator, or in self-employment, or other experience in human resources or recruitment, or experience in supervising employees, training, or other activities; or
Maine DVR continues to give priority to applicants and staff who possess master’s degrees in counseling or a counseling—related degree, defined as Social Work, Psychology, Special Education, Rehabilitation and Counseling in alignment with WIOA’s alternative requirement of attainment of a master's or doctoral degree in a field of study such as vocational rehabilitation counseling, law, social work, psychology, disability studies, business administration, human resources, special education, management, public administration, or another field that reasonably provides competence in the employment sector, in a disability field, or in both business-related and rehabilitation-related fields. (Page 230) Title II

DVR has a close working relationship with our partners at DHHS Office of Aging and Disability Services and Mental Health Services we have developed a procedural directive which spells out how wavier services will fund career planning (specifically they fund Discovering Personal Genius© as the career planning model) and once Discovery is completed (waiver services will fund up to 50 hours), a referral is made to DVR who will work with the case manager and agency to proceed with job development and perhaps further exploration as needed. Then, when an individual has been successfully placed in a job and is stable and closed out successfully (may utilize extended services for this as needed), waiver funds will then pick up again and cover long term support services (usually job coaching) which will help the individual continue to remain stable on the job. (Pages 243-244) Title II
 

Blending/ Braiding Resources

~~Co—training with and for partners will be considered to best use resources and help system partners’ staffs to “be on the same page.” Blending and braiding training resources will be a guiding principle. All one—stop center staff will be trained and required to demonstrate competency in serving diverse populations and knowledge of related policies across the system and among partner agencies. One—stop center certification will depend on demonstrating that employees have achieved the required competencies in universal access. Policies: Existing policies will be reviewed and updated to reflect WIOA intent and to meet the standards articulated in the Section 188 Checklist. Universal access policies that will govern one—stop center certification will be developed in collaboration with the Bureau of Employment Services’ Division of Policy and Evaluation and the State Board Program Policy Committee. Examples of immediate policy priorities include assistive technology and equipment responsibility, website/social media accessibility, programmatic and physical accessibility of workshops and events, service animal protocols, customer flow for the employment network, prohibition of automatic referrals to vocational rehabilitation, alternative formats for required tests/assessments, and consistent use of equal employment and accommodations tag lines. Program participation rules governing required orientation workshops, the RESEA program, and other mandatory programs will be examined to ensure full accessibility, especially access to alternative formats and accommodations. (Page 98-99) Title I

A system of staff development for professionals and paraprofessionals within the designated State unit, particularly with respect to assessment, vocational counseling, job placement, and rehabilitation technology, including training implemented in coordination with entities carrying out State programs under section 4 of the Assistive Technology Act of 1998; and
In an effort to maximize training resources, staff often solicit local training resources to provide free or low cost workshops, attend trainings with a ‘train the trainer’ perspective to provide turn—around training to other staff, and share internal expertise through in—house training opportunities. In past years, DBVI has been successful at leveraging training funds through collaboration with Region I TACE center, Perkins School for the Blind training funds, and the Lovill Trust. (Page 316-317) Title IV
 

Disability Employment Initiative (DEI)

~~Goal 4 Maine DVR will partner with the larger workforce development system to improve opportunities and access for DVR clients as measured annually by documented collaborative activities, technical assistance, and training.
Objective: Maine DVR will continue to partner with Maine’s Disability Employment Initiative (DEI) Grant to include 50 non—VR CareerCenter customers with disabilities in Career Exploration Workshops Strategies in FFY 2016
Strategies: a. The DEI team will include one VR Rehabilitation Counselor I who will assist in piloting a jointly—delivered Career Exploration Workshop b. DVR will participate in DEI Integrated Resource Team meetings c. DVR will work with the DEI team and others in the Bureau of Employment Services to ensure accessibility in Maine’s CareerCenter network d. DVR will partner with DEI staff in the delivery of an asset development summit in FY 2016
Objective: DVR will work with the Maine Department of Labor’s Center for Workforce Research and Information to maintain a triennial snapshot of the employment status of people with disabilities in Maine as well as a webpage where disability data can be easily accessed. (Page 255) Title II

Staff from the VA Blind Rehab. program attended a DBVI training to present on their program so staff would gain a better understanding of how the two agencies can best serve consumers who are blind or have low vision. In addition, DBVI Director met with the Blindness Rehabilitation Outreach Specialist and the Vision Impairment Services Team Coordinator to refine a more streamlined referral process….
Objective: DBVI will partner with Maine’s Disability Employment Initiative (DEI) Grant to identify non—VR CareerCenter customers who are blind or have low vision who may require DBVI services.
Strategies: Maine DBVI will work with a designated point of contact with the Bureau of Employment Services. (Page 350) Title VI

In 2017, the DEI grant ended and MDOL chose not to pursue another round of funding. Even though the DEI grant has ended, DBVI will continue to work with Career Center staff to ensure referrals are made for DBVI services and to provide technical assistance for consumers who are blind or visually impaired.
Objective: To increase the number of DBVI clients achieving an employment outcome at one of the BRS Single Point of Contact businesses from one to three in the next year.
Strategies: DBVI will have direct representation on the business liaison teams utilizing the single point of entry approach and the Walgreen’s universal design model.
Update: The BRS Single Point of Contact position has been vacant. However, DBVI staff have been successful working with employers, such as the Iris Network, AAA, Cuddledown and Seafax Inc. to find competitive employment for consumers. (Page 351) Title VI
 

Financial Literacy /Economic Advancement

~~Use of Governor’s Set Aside Funding: Maine will utilize the Governor’s Set—Aside funds for required and allowable statewide employment & training activities to facilitate the successful transition and implementation of WIOA, Statewide employment & training activities include: o Rapid Response activities; o Providing assistance to State entities and agencies, local areas, and one—stop partners in carrying out the activities described in the State plan, including the coordination and alignment of data systems used to carry out the requirements of this Act; o Disseminating the State list of eligible providers of training services, including eligible providers of nontraditional training services and of apprenticeship programs, and information identifying eligible providers of on—the—job training, customized training, incumbent worker training, internships, paid or unpaid work experience opportunities, or transitional jobs; o Operating a fiscal and management accountability information system and carrying out monitoring and oversight of activities; o Implementing innovative programs and strategies designed to meet the needs of all Maine employ—ers, as well as developing strategies for effectively serving individuals with barriers to employment and for coordinating programs and services among one—stop partners; o Improving coordination of employment and training activities with child support services, programs that serve individuals with disabilities, adult education and literacy activities, including financial literacy and activities in the corrections system that assist ex—offenders in reentering the workforce; o Conducting research and demonstration projects related to meeting the employment and education needs of adult and dislocated workers in Maine. (Page 127) Title I

Documentation of ability to connect youth participants with all fourteen required youth service elements, either through direct provision or through partnerships, MOUs, or other methods, to include provision of: a. Tutoring and/or Study Skills; b. Access to drop out recovery programs or alternative education; c. Work-based learning; d. Occupational Skills Training; e. Education offered concurrently with and in the same context as occupational training; f. Leadership development; g. Adult Mentoring; h. Support Services; i. Follow-up Services; j. Comprehensive guidance and counseling; k. Financial Literacy; l. Entrepreneurial Skills/ Training; m. Career guidance and counseling, including provision of local and state labor market information and information about how to prepare to enter occupations that are in demand in the local area and in Maine; and n. Activities that prepare youth for entry into post-secondary education. M. Evidence of employment of professional staff, including requisite credentials and experience and demonstration of a commitment to staff development that prepares staff to deliver the services identified above. (Page 396) Title IV
 

School to Work Transition

~~(P) Evaluation and Reports of Progress: VR and Supported Employment Goals (Goal 1 Objective 3 d)
SRC: Is there a plan to renew this partnership? CNA and nursing positions seem to be in high demand. It would be advantageous for DOL to pursue this further.
(P) Evaluation and Reports of Progress: VR and Supported Employment Goals (Goal 2 Objective 1a)
SRC: Can you please provide more specific data on the impact of the CEW and days to plan? It seems that if people need to wait a month or possibly two to attend the CEW it may create a delay in developing an IPE. The CEW seems to have become the standard practice for career exploration. Please elaborate on other tools that can be used as an alternative rather than the CEW. (Page 201) Title II

AGENCY RESPONSE: Section C (Cooperative Agreements) states the following: DVR does support staff involvement in the USDA’s AgrAbility project. In Maine, the AgrAbility project is administered by Alpha One, Goodwill Industries of New England and the University of Maine. The liaison to the project ensures that DVR staff is knowledgeable about AgrAbility and related resources. Grant funding for AgrAbility is ending during 2014 and DVR anticipates development of a fee for service agreement for AgrAbility services.
(d) Coordination with Education Officials
SRC: Without exception, once a DVR client, DVR has 90 days to develop the IPE. This cannot be contingent on the student leaving school as implied in this section.
AGENCY RESPONSE: The language in this section comes from DVR’s current Memorandum of Understanding with the Maine Department of Education. The MOU will be updated following the issuance of new regulations under WIOA.
(d) Coordination with Education Officials
SRC: DVR should not be determining the appropriateness of a referral. The onus of long term support should be on DVR not the school. (Page 204) Title II

SRC: Can you please provide more specific data on the impact of the CEW and days to plan? It seems that if people need to wait a month or possibly two to attend the CEW it may create a delay in developing an IPE. The CEW seems to have become the standard practice for career exploration. Please elaborate on other tools that can be used as an alternative rather than the CEW.
AGENCY RESPONSE: Training has been completed with VRC’s that if the CEW is determined to be the best tool to use to assist with career exploration, then they can write a plan for employment that includes the use of the CEW and or other exploration. VR is also using Discovering Personal Genius™ in conjunction with DHHS, or paying for it as a stand alone service if that tool is determined to be the best fit. VR also regularly refers for on the job assessments which can be included as part of someone’s plan. (Page 213) Title II

Provide information on the formal interagency agreement with the state educational agency: DVR will assist in transition planning and in the development of student’s individualized education program (IEP). For students eligible for services with an agreed upon vocational goal, DVR is expected to develop an Individualized Plan for Employment (IPE) before the student leaves the school setting. In providing transition services, DVR will facilitate the use of available and appropriate community—based services. Services will be provided in the most cost effective manner. In recognition of the importance of promoting information sharing and in order to ensure an effective and timely system of referrals for DVR services, DVR requests that school personnel adopt the following process: When a student with an Individualized Education Program (IEP) begins the transition planning process prior to entering ninth grade, the student and his/her parents or guardians will receive general information about VR services. This information will introduce VR and will inform the parents/guardians when it is appropriate to make a VR referral. When the student to be referred is within two years of school graduation or exit, the services offered by VR should be re—introduced at the student’s IEP or 504 meeting. Both the student and the parents/guardians should have an opportunity to receive materials outlining VR services and to ask questions concerning the referral. (Page 220-221) Title II

When recruiting or hiring new staff, Maine DVR gives preference to qualified individuals who demonstrate a current understanding of the labor force and needs of individuals with disabilities. Maine DVR supports staff to obtain and practice 21st century skills through opportunities for training through the Technical Assistance Centers and state and local workforce development partners.  (Page 230-231) Title II

Since passage of WIOA and promulgation of the final rules, Maine DVR has worked to develop, adopt and implement procedural guidance, programming and training to support the identification and registration of students with disabilities who are eligible or potentially eligible for Pre-Employment Transition Services. Through previously established relationships with school districts and through outreach initiatives and pilot activities, Maine DVR has sought to offer Pre-Employment Transition Services across the state. According to data from the Maine Department of Education, during school year 2015-16, there were 9,3338 students with a disability enrolled in grades 9-12. An additional 2,993 students grades 9-12 were identified as having a 504 plan. This is a represents a small but significant increase over figures from the previous year. Maine DVR has targeted the problem of early exiters from VR services and is collecting data and implementing targeted initiatives for transition-age youth designed to engage youth with disabilities and get them involved in community-based work experiences -and other work-based learning sooner.  (Page 236) Title II

State Plan Estimates for FFY 20 19 & 20 During FFY 2016, DVR determined that it could no longer serve individuals in OOS Category 3 due to lack of resources. The projected number of clients to receive services after being found eligible is 10,000 of which 6,000 are expected to be served under an employment plan. Since open cases in Category 3 will continue to be served, they are included below. The expected services provision by priority category was as follows: Maine implemented an Order of Selection for Category 3 on January 18, 2016. . The projected numbers of clients to be served under an IPE is 6000 in FFY 2019. The proposed case service budget is $8,400,000. The expected services provision by priority category is as follows:
OOS Category 1 55% $4,620,000
OOS Category 2 40% $ 3,360,000
OOS Category 3 5% $ 420,000 (this reflects those already in Category 3 at the time of the OOS implementation) Maine DVR projects FFY 2019 closures goals to be the following
OOS 1 55% 550
OOS 2 40% 400
OOS 3 5 % 50 Total: 1000 The projected number of clients to receive services after being found eligible is 10,000. (Page 238) Title II

Assistive technology services and assistive technology devices are provided to individuals with disabilities as determined by each individual’s vocational goal, and appear as prescribed services on the respective individual’s signed IPE. DVR services include assistive technology and assistive technology devices if required for the individual’s IPE, necessary for the attainment of the individual’s employment goal. DVR works closely with Maine cohorts, Alpha One and ALLTECH, assistive technology organizations which provide assistive technology technical assistance services as well as assistive technology devices. (Page 250) Title II

Many changes designed to help youth and adults with disabilities access employment education, job training and support services, have been made, including:
• Establishing a much larger role for public vocational rehabilitation (VR) as youth with disabilities make the transition from school to adult life. Public VR funds in the amount of a 15% set-aside, must now be used for transition services, specifically pre-employment transitions services that include job exploration counseling, work-based learning experiences, counseling on post-secondary opportunities, workplace readiness training, and training on self-advocacy. Each local VR office must also undertake pre-employment transition coordination activities and they must involve schools and workforce development system in these activities.
• Focusing supported employment state grants to VR agencies on youth. Half the money the state receives under these grants will now have to be used to support youth up to age 24 with the most significant disabilities to achieve supported competitive integrated employment. (Page 258) Title II

Objective: To reduce the average time in plan development (status 10) from 300 days in FFY 2011 to 240 days in FFY 2012 to 210 days in FY 2013 to 180 days in FY 2014 & FY 2015.
Strategies: a. Increase use of the Career Exploration Workshop, which has been shown to decrease case length time.
REPORT ON PROGRESS: Time to plan continues to drop across the state. At the close of FFY 2017, time from eligibility to IPE across the state was at 92.6 days, a significant improvement over past years. This trend continues into FFY 2018. DVR continues to use the Career Exploration Workshop (CEW) as a powerful tool in assisting clients to clarify their career goals. The 2017 Customer Satisfaction Survey found that 25% of clients surveyed had participated in CEW and they had an 87% favorability rating of the CEW. In training delivered during FFY 17, the DVR Director and Assistant Director offered examples for staff on how usage of the CEW could support more timely plan development. During FFY 17, the CEW was modified to allow for delivery of core elements during a 2-day administration. This approach was done to also allow for more frequent administration in the field and in more off-site locations. The goal of this is to increase easy access to the CEW for VR clients. (Page 266) Title II

BRS supports staff involvement in the USDA’s AgrAbility project. In Maine, the AgrAbility project is administered by Alpha One, Goodwill Industries of New England and the University of Maine. The liaison to the project ensures that BRS staff is knowledgeable about AgrAbility and related resources. Grant funding for AgrAbility ended during 2014 and DBVI uses AgrAbility services on a fee for service basis when these services are applicable to a client’s IPE. (Page 301) Title II

The purpose of this collaboration with DOE is to promote and establish a process that results in an effective working relationship between state agencies on behalf of, and with youth with disabilities, in order to gain the greatest benefit from their respective programs and services. Specific areas of collaboration include: consultation, technical assistance, transition planning, roles and responsibilities, financial responsibilities of each agency and procedures for outreach and identification in order to better coordinate and facilitate the process of student transition.
The MOU defines and strengthens the relationships with DOE and calls for identification of students with disabilities, both in Special Education and regular programs, in order to plan their transition before graduation from high school. The agreement focuses upon the needs of the individual student and allows for flexibility and professional judgment to be exercised by personnel. It also spells out the roles of each agency in referral, outreach, and the provision of service. The blindness—specific curriculum services that are identified in the Individual Education Plan (IEP) and 504 plans facilitate the achievement of the employment goal, which is further developed in the Vocational Rehabilitation Individual Plan for Employment (IPE). DBVI, the student and parent(s) develop the IPE, utilizing the interests, strengths, and needs of the student. (Page 303-304) Title II

Supported Employment Program — The Division has remained committed to assuring that individuals with the most severe disabilities receive supported employment services when this is appropriate. An Individual Plan of Employment (IPE) is developed that describes the services provided, the need for extended services, if appropriate, and an assurance that the individual has been able to make an informed choice in the provision of these services and the goal itself. (Page 337) Title IV
 

Career Pathways

~~E. A description regarding how the Local Area will utilize work-based learning approaches through such programs as Registered Apprenticeship, On-the-Job Training, Customized Training, Industry and Sector Strategies, Integrated Education and Training strategies, Career Pathways initiatives, utilization of business intermediaries, and other business services and strategies designed to meet the needs of businesses ;
F. A description of how the Local Board will coordinate workforce development activities carried out in the Local Area with economic development activities carried out in the Local Area to promote entrepreneurial skills training and microenterprise services and training and placement of participants;
G. A description of how the Local Board will leverage and coordinate supportive services in the delivery of workforce development activities carried out in the Local Area, including how the Local Board will work with other providers to deliver supportive services to job seekers;
H. A description of how the Local Board intends to promote a greater business voice in the delivery of workforce development activities carried out in the Local Area. This description should include how the board will engage businesses on decisions regarding the type and content of training activities required of the local workforce;
I. A description of how the Local Board will promote and cultivate industry-led partnerships and career pathways in delivery of workforce training opportunities;
J. A description of the role of faith-based or community-based organizations in the local one-stop system. (Page 403) Title IV
 

Apprenticeship

The share of long term unemployed remains elevated FIGURE 5: LONG TERM UNEMPLOYED AS A PERCENT OF TOTAL UNEMPLOYED, 2003—2014 In an environment in which the labor force is shrinking, Maine does not have the luxury of tens of thousands of people being less than fully engaged in the workforce. The State Board’s committees for Older Workers, Women’s Employment Issues, Younger Workers, Veteran’s Employment, Apprenticeship and the Commission on Disability and Employment are charged with addressing many of these issues. Later in this plan, strategies to engage populations that tend to have lower labor participation rates including, but not limited to, people with disabilities, veterans, women, older workers, people without a high school diploma, ex— offenders, individuals with language barriers, female heads of households with dependent children and out of school youth are discussed. LABOR MARKET TRENDS Workforce conditions in Maine continue to improve, though there has been virtually no real economic growth for a decade. Underlying these seemingly contradictory statements is a rapidly advancing age structure of the population that is constraining growth and tightening the labor market at the same time. Through 2014, real gross domestic product (GDP) has been little changed since 2004, after relatively steady growth in previous decades. Meanwhile, the number of jobs is up since the 2010 post—recession low, but still nearly two percent short of the 2008 peak level. In the middle of 2015 the state has about the same number of jobs as in 2004. This situation is in stark contrast to the nation, which began reaching new highs in GDP in 2012 and in nonfarm payroll jobs in 2014. (Page 14) Title I

The SWDB has six constituent committees that make recommendations to the Board about service delivery or policy related to the cohort group they represent — Apprenticeship, Commission on Disability & Employment, Older Workers, Veterans, Women’s Employment Issues and Younger Workers. These committees meet four to eight times annually. The SWDB and the State Workforce Agency (SWA - Maine Department of Labor) will work together to establish and convene workgroups that focus on required implementation and service delivery components of WIOA. Some groups will complete their work and be dissolved while other will need to be on going for the foreseeable future. Service Providers and Local Workforce Development Board staff will be included on each workgroup as appropriate. The workgroups include; - Program Policy Committee (Ongoing) - WIOA State Plan Steering Committee - State Plan Implementation Committee - Staff Development / Cross Training - America’s Job Link Alliance (New database implementation) - One Stop Certification - Memorandums of Understanding - Priority of Service - Accessibility - Employer Outreach - Youth Service Delivery - Integrated Intake - Unemployment Insurance Linkages - Eligible Training Provider List (Page 33) Title I

Since passage of WIOA and promulgation of the final rules, Maine DVR has worked to develop, adopt and implement procedural guidance, programming and training to support the identification and registration of students with disabilities who are eligible or potentially eligible for Pre-Employment Transition Services. Through previously established relationships with school districts and through outreach initiatives and pilot activities, Maine DVR has sought to offer Pre-Employment Transition Services across the state. According to data from the Maine Department of Education, during school year 2015-16, there were 9,3338 students with a disability enrolled in grades 9-12. An additional 2,993 students grades 9-12 were identified as having a 504 plan. This is a represents a small but significant increase over figures from the previous year. Maine DVR has targeted the problem of early exiters from VR services and is collecting data and implementing targeted initiatives for transition-age youth designed to engage youth with disabilities and get them involved in community-based work experiences -and other work-based learning sooner. (Page 236) Title II

Work Incentives & Benefits

~~The OSOS system collects and dispatches the data required for current formula program performance reports. Reports are created for a variety of programs spanning formula and Wagner Peyser, to Trade and Apprenticeship. OSOS also collects data pertaining to the RESEA program, the Migrant and Seasonal Farmworker, Veterans, Ticket to Work, Work Opportunity Tax Credit and other state funded programs such as the Competitive Skills Scholarship Program, plus more. Major changes to OSOS are necessary to conform to the new WIOA requirements which is a major reason that Maine is as quickly as possible migrating to America’s Job Link Alliance (AJLA), which is expected to be fully WIOA compliant when all the rules are finalized. (Page 63) Title I

Through its collaboration with DHHS and specifically the coordination of Maine’s benefits counseling network DVR has been able to develop opportunities and overcome barriers to competitive integrated employment for individuals with visual impairments who are eligible for MaineCare, the State’s Medicaid program. DVR entered into the Ticket to Work Partnership Plus agreement with the Bureau of Employment Services in July 2014. The purpose of this agreement is to strengthen the partnerships within CareerCenters in the provision of vocational rehabilitation and employment and training services to individuals with disabilities seeking employment in Maine. This agreement expands service options and the overall capacity of Maine’s workforce investment activities and offers individuals the opportunity to achieve employment outcomes, decrease reliance on public benefits and increase personal economic assets and resources. (Page 225) Title II

Interagency Support of Benefits Counseling DBVI/DVR continue to work closely with many other state partners to ensure that Maine’s benefits counseling services remain available to beneficiaries of SSI/SSDI, and specifically, DBVI applicants and eligible clients. This allowed the services to remain intact while a resolution was determined on a federal level as to the continuation of this critical service in 2013. DBVI/DVR currently administer a single contract with Maine’s approved WIPA provider, Maine Medical Center’s Department of Vocational Services, which includes funding from four sources of state and federal funds, including from the Division of Vocational Rehabilitation, Division for the Blind and Visually Impaired, Office of Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services, and Office of Aging and Disability Services. The contract’s scope of work includes direct service provision of benefits counseling, training of VR counselors and case managers, and service capacity building through quarterly system development network meetings, which include representatives from the Disability Rights Center’s Protection and Advocacy for Beneficiaries of Social Security (PABSS) and the Bureau of Employment Services’ Disability Employment Initiative. (Page 300-301) Title II

BRS entered into the Ticket to Work Partnership Plus agreement with the Bureau of Employment Services in July 2014. The purpose of this agreement is to strengthen the partnerships within CareerCenters in the provision of vocational rehabilitation and employment and training services to individuals with disabilities seeking employment in Maine. This agreement expands service options and the overall capacity of Maine’s workforce investment activities and offers individuals the opportunity to achieve employment outcomes, decrease reliance on public benefits and increase personal economic assets and resources. (Pages 308-309) Title II

Due to these current restrictions and the fact that the success of the supported employment model, as a whole, will ultimately hinge on the ability of the system to continue to develop options for extended/long—term support, the Division focuses on greater utilization of natural supports and the various SSI/SSDI work incentives as well as trying to explore new ideas for extended support. The Ticket to Work and Work Incentives Act (TWWIA) offers additional support to persons in Supported Employment.
The Division participates in the state—funded Long—term Support Program, which allows us to purchase extended support for individuals who are blind or have low vision. In addition, DBVI receives state funds for extended support for individuals with brain injuries, who are also blind or visually impaired. Both of these appropriations are very limited in the number of people who can be supported. (Page 354) Title IV
.

Employer / Business Engagement

~~Maine’s Unified Plan emphasizes greater levels of integration, alignment and coordination among core programs and one—stop partners. As part of this initiative, Maine is currently piloting five integrated education and training (IET) pilots. IET is a proven training model that enhances learning comprehension by integrating classroom and occupation training and often compresses learning time frames. Based on identified local workforce needs, the pilot projects were developed with extensive employer engagement, as well as the involvement of support service providers and a variety of educational institutions. Maine Adult Education is playing the lead role in the delivery of these projects, but each partner has an appropriate role to play. Participants, many of whom are receiving public assistance, are being prepared for actual unfilled positions with local employers. Pilot projects are currently being delivered in northern Maine, Lewiston, St. John Valley, Western Maine and Bucksport/Ellsworth areas. (Page 18) Title I

DVR continued to assist the State Independent Living Council (SILC) to increase organizational capacity and member effectiveness by supporting SILC to maintain an Executive Director. During this past year the Executive Director resigned and the SILC is currently advertising for a new Executive Director/SPIL Coordinator .The SILC Executive Director will be responsible for conducting the work of the SPIL under the supervision and direction of the Maine SILC to accomplish tasks such as a) recruitment and management of members and volunteers b) establish and maintain partnerships with community members and organizations c) market and promote the Maine SILC d) increase and diversify the resources related to the six core areas of the SILC. Innovation and Expansion funds are used to support the activities and administration of the Division’s State Rehabilitation Council (SRC). The SRC meets monthly as a full council. The SRC has standing committees that meet regularly. These committees include, Policy/Regulations Group, Membership, Annual Meeting, Business committee, and the Executive Committee. The SRC collects information on consumer satisfaction and participated in the triennial consumer satisfaction survey. This year the SRC has increased its business outreach and employer engagement to better align with WIOA. For more information regarding the SRC, please visit www.mainesrc.org. (Page 263) Title II

 

Data Collection

SYSTEMS Core partners of this Unified Plan utilize the following case management and management information systems (MIS): Adult Education uses MaineSTARS, Vocational Rehabilitation utilizes AWARE, and Wagner—Peyser and formula program providers utilize the Maine Job Link (MJL) a product of America’s Job Link Alliance that combines case management, performance tracking and reporting and labor exchange job match services in one system. The aforementioned systems comply with current federal reporting requirements for each program. The data elements required for each program are being collected and will be used to support the coordinated implementation of Maine’s strategic objectives. MaineSTARS is a federally approved MIS system compliant with adult education’s National Reporting System. Local adult education programs are required to use MaineSTARS for all intake, demographic, assessment, and attendance data. At the state level, aggregate numbers are compiled in MaineSTARS and used to perform data matches against Maine Department of Labor employment data, high school equivalency completion data, and the National Student Clearinghouse database for postsecondary enrollment. The AWARE system collects and reports data required by the Rehabilitation Services Administration in the delivery of Vocational Rehabilitation services, as well as serving as a case management tool for the Division for the Blind and Visually Impaired and the Division of Vocational Rehabilitation. The system is maintained by its vendor, Alliance Enterprises, and has been updated to meet WIOA reporting requirements. The Maine Job Link (MJL) system collects and dispatches the data required for current formula program performance reports. Reports are created for a variety of programs spanning formula and Wagner Peyser, to Trade and Apprenticeship. (Page 64-65)

In response to this data analysis, after consulting with a stakeholder group, DVR and DBVI changed their CRP payment system. On October 1, 2016 the Divisions changed from the milestone payment system to a “hybrid” model that is a combination of a fee for service model and a bonus payment system for timely job placements and for SSI/SSDI recipients achieving Substantial Gainful Employment (SGA). DVR and DBVI continue to monitor expenditures and employment outcomes to inform a cost benefit analysis of the new payment model and make adjustments as necessary. (Page 265) Title II

Subminimum Wage (Section 511)

~~Limiting the use of sub-minimum wage. Section 511 is specifically intended to reduce the number of transition-age youth entering sheltered workshops and working for sub-minimum wage. The emphasis is on moving young people with significant disabilities into integrated community employment. The bill prohibits individuals with disabilities age 24 and younger from working in jobs paying less than the federal minimum of $7.25 per hour unless they first apply for and receive vocational rehabilitation services, among other requirements. There are exceptions but only for those already working for subminimum wage and cases where individuals may be deemed ineligible for vocational rehabilitation services. Section 511 also prohibits schools from contracting for services, training or work experiences that involve the use of sub-minimum wage.
• Requiring state VR agencies to have formal agreements with the state Medicaid systems, and the state intellectual and developmental disability (IDD) agency.
• Adding a definition of “customized employment” in federal statute, and an updated definition of “supported employment” that includes customized employment.
• Adding a definition for “competitive integrated employment” as an optimal outcome. (Page 259) Tile II

REPORT ON PROGRESS: During this last year DVR has partnered with DHHS on the implementation of the discovery model for individuals with significant disabilities “Discovering Personal Genius”. DVR and DHHS issued joint guidance on DPG and presented a webinar on that guidance in September 2015. Regular DPG training was offered for interested staff and providers. During FFY 2017, in keeping with Section 511, DVR met with 47 individuals with significant disabilities who were working in sub-minimum wage settings and shared information on opportunities for them to receive services from Maine DVR leading to competitive, integrated employment in the community. (Page 267-268) Title II

REPORT ON PROGRESS: The State ADA Coordinator who is housed in DVR, has surveyed for physical accessibility compliance and consults regularly with the Bureau of Employment Services on programmatic and physical accessibility issues in the CareerCenters.
Objective: Maine DVR will work with the Bureau of Labor Standards to support integrated competitive community—based employment of people with disabilities by a review and examination of organizations paying sub—minimum wage in Maine with the goal of reducing these certificates from 17 in FY 2011 to 15 in FY 2012 to 13 in FY 2013
Strategies: a. DVR will hire three Rehabilitation Counselor II’s to serve specialty Workers’ Compensation caseloads REPORT ON PROGRESS: The pace of referrals from Workers’ Compensation has not merited three full-time VR Counselors. During FFY 17, DVR had one full-time dedicated Workers’ Compensation VRC along with a portion of a Casework Supervisor’s time. This strategy will be discontinued going forward. (Page 270-271) Title II
 

Equal Opportunity and Nondiscrimination (Section 188)

To establish universal access as a policy and quality assurance initiative, the universal access coordinator will have the authority of a program manager working under the Division of Policy and Evaluation. Under the direction of the universal access coordinator, the work group will draft a five year plan to improve and sustain universal access and when indicated, make recommendations to the State Board through its program policy committee, and directly to the Commissioner of Labor, when indicated, to emphasize department wide authority and support for accessibility. If warranted and if resources allow, the work group will conduct a staff development needs assessment. Planning will include initial and ongoing staff training and an updated assessment of physical accessibility for one—stop centers, WIOA partner provider facilities, vocational rehabilitation providers, and adult education programs. Policy issues will be identified; and guidance will be provided to one—stop centers, local workforce boards, and required partners. That guidance will be refined over time as policies are developed and monitoring/certification activities occur. SECTION 188 CHECKLIST The WIOA Section 188 Checklist developed by the USDOL Office of Civil Rights will be the guiding document for the working group. The checklist is considered a comprehensive overview of requirements and provides reliable advice on achieving and sustaining universal access. (Page 97) Title I

When monitoring or other activities reveal a need for system-wide technical assistance, policy updates, or concerns related to non-discrimination and accessibility, the Bureau of Employment Services may provide or assist with providing the necessary TA. We will use the Section 188 checklist, Promising Practices In Achieving Universal Access and Equal Opportunity: A Section 188 Disability Reference Guide, and the USDOL’s Integrated Service Delivery Toolkit to assist system partners, providers, and local boards with guidance on developing their own monitoring tools. Implementing and monitoring compliance with these policies will be overseen by a universal access coordinator and a core Universal Access work group of system stakeholders and subject matter experts from the larger community, including the Alpha One (independent living center), Disability Rights Maine, the state ADA coordinator, Maine CITE (designated adaptive technology provider for the Maine Department of Education), NAMI Maine, and other agencies and entities with relevant expertise in both accessibility and non-discrimination. Members of the state or local workforce boards will be included. (Page 100) Title I

Establishing WIOA Regions spells out specific requirements used to identify planning regions as required under WIOA • Accessibility Requirements to be developed and to spell out accessibility requirements as identified in the State Plan in regard to individuals with barriers such as disabilities, other languages, other cultures, and rural access. • Incumbent Worker • Underemployed Worker • Transitional Jobs • Integrated Intake to be developed by and between four core partners • Shared Assessments to be developed by and between four core partners • Shared Customer Service Plans to be developed by and between four core partners • Shared Infrastructure Cost Plans to be developed by the State Workforce Board to direct local areas in processes that must be implemented if they are unable to attain agreement on local workforce development system infrastructure cost sharing. • AJC Certification Criteria to be used by Local Boards in the process of development to be presented to the State Board • Youth Service Provider Procurement Requirements in the process of development to be presented to the State Board • Adult and DW Funds Transfer already developed and in the process of approval of the State Board • Co—enrollment to be reviewed and agreed to by the four core partners • Some policies that were in draft form but never fully implemented will be revised or be rescinded: • Local Board Recognition — this policy has incorporated into the Local Board Certification Policy • Use of Electronic Signature — this policy will need to be revamped to meet requirements of the new MIS system that will be in place in July 2016, the America’s Job Link Alliance or AJLA system. (Page 125) Title I

Outreach to Job Seekers —Wagner Peyser staff act as the initial interface with most job seeker participants entering the system, they conduct initial triage and provide resource navigation and referral services so it is imperative that they have the skills necessary to do this in a customer-centric way and in accordance with Section 188 and the requirements identified in the Local Area MOUs regarding referrals and access to system partner services. In addition, staff needs to be trained to effectively relay all of the required information such as that listed under Basic Career Services. To ensure all staff is adequately trained and have the professional skills necessary to provide services in this way a state-level professional development team was formed to evaluate WIOA-related staff development needs and identify and access resources to accomplish staff development goals identified. (Page 164) Title I

Meets the workforce development needs of participants through provision of services and leverage of resources;  •  Meets the employment needs of local employers;  •  Operates in a cost-efficient manner;  •  Coordinates services among and between one-stop programs in a way that is seamless to the customer and eliminates duplication of services;  •  Provides access to partner program services to the maximum extent possible; including providing services outside of regular business hours where and when there is a workforce need identified by the local board. •  Ensures equal opportunity for all individuals, including individuals with barriers to employment, to participate in or benefit from one-stop center services;  •  Takes action to comply with disability-related regulations implementing WIOA Section 188, set forth in 29 CFR 38, including: o Making reasonable accommodations for individuals with disabilities; o Making reasonable modifications to policies, practices, and procedures where necessary to avoid discrimination against individuals with disabilities; o Administering programs in the most integrated setting appropriate; o Communicating with persons with disabilities as effectively as with others; o Providing appropriate auxiliary aids and services, including assistive technology devices and services to afford individuals with disabilities equal opportunity to participate in, and enjoy the benefits of, program activities; and o Providing for the physical and programmatic accessibility of the one-stop center to individuals with disabilities. (Page 397) Title IV

According to the US Department of Labor’s Office of Disability Employment Policy (ODEP), universal access includes performance of the following functions: • Understanding local needs; • Marketing and outreach; • Involving community groups and schools; • Effecting collaboration, including partnerships and linkages; • Staff training; • Intake, registration and orientation; • Assessments and screenings; and • Service delivery. See the publication Promising Practices In Achieving Universal Access and Equal Opportunity: A Section 188 Disability Reference Guide https://www.dol.gov/oasam/programs/crc/188Guide.htm Universal design Also known as "inclusive design" and "design for all," this is a strategy for making products, environments, operational systems, and services welcoming and useable to the most diverse range of people possible. The key principles of universal design are simplicity, flexibility, ease of access, and efficiency. (Page 412) Title IV

Veterans

Program SFY14 Funding ($ mil—lions) Overseeing Agency Program Description Jobs for Veterans State Grant (JVSG) $0.9 MDOL Jobs for Veterans State Grant funds are allocated to State Workforce Agencies from the Department of Labor’s Veterans’ Employment and Training Service (VETS) in direct proportion to the number of veterans seeking employment within their state. The grants support two principal staff positions: Disabled Veterans’ Outreach Program Specialists and Local Veterans’ Employment Representatives. This grant provides funds to exclusively serve veterans, other eligible persons and, indirectly, employers. Federal $0.9 Trade Adjustment Assistance (TAA) $2.8 MDOL The Trade Adjustment Assistance Program is a federal program that provides a path for employment growth and opportunity through aid to US workers who have lost their jobs as a result of foreign trade. The TAA program seeks to provide these trade—affected workers with opportunities to obtain the skills, resources, and support they need to become reemployed. Federal $2.8 Work Opportunity Tax Credit (WOTC) $0.1 MDOL The Work Opportunity Tax Credit is a Federal tax credit available to employers for hiring individuals from certain target groups who have consistently faced significant barriers to employment. Federal $0.1 Re- employment Services & Eligibility Assessment (RESEA) $1.5 MDOL The Re-employment Services and Eligibility Assessment (RESEA) pro—gram assists unemployed workers to return to work more quickly by delivering and services to those claimants profiled as “most likely to exhaust” and all transitioning veterans receiving Unemployment compensation. Targeted claimants will be provided relevant reemployment services and Eligibility Review Interviews. (Page 19) Title I

The State Board, Maine Department of Labor and Local Workforce Development areas are jointly required to develop and issue a “priority of service to veterans” policy that applies “to every qualified job training program funded, in whole or in part, by the Department” for which they have direct oversight and responsibility. Board level area policy must adhere to 20 CFR 1010 dated December 19, 2008 and TEGL No 14—08 dated March 18, 2009, and incorporate veteran priority into current WIOA priority of service policy. Veteran’s priority of service definitions for covered and non—covered persons can be found at Priority of Service for Veterans and Eligible Spouses: Final Rule (http://www.dol.gov/vets/). The State Board, Maine Department of Labor and Local Workforce Development area service providers are responsible for developing strategies and implementing the veterans’ priority of service as defined and required by 38 U.S.C 4215(b) and 20 CFR Parts 1001 and 1010. Maine’s one—stop system is the core mechanism that will support, expand and maintain services to the veteran population throughout the State. Eligible veterans or eligible spouses with significant barriers to employment as defined in Veterans’ Program Letter (VPL) 03—14, Section 5, will receive “top priority.” Priority of service applies to Workforce Investment Act Adult, Dislocated and Youth Grants, National Emergency Grants, Demonstration Grants, Trade Adjustment Assistance, Wagner—Peyser, and other core programs funded by the U.S. Department of Labor and administered in Maine by the Maine Department of Labor (MDOL). Maine Department of Labor and one—stop providers will take the necessary actions to ensure that priority of service opportunities are clearly visible and articulated to all customers who engage in one—stop services. At a minimum, “priority of service to veterans” will include adherence to and implementation of the following guidelines: Outreach/Recruitment: • Inclusion of information regarding veterans’ priority of service in printed materials targeted to customers and employers; • Inclusion of information regarding veterans’ priority of service in presentations made to customers and employers; • Addition of veterans’ priority of service information to service providers, Maine one—stop centers and Department of Labor web sites; and • Pro—active recruitment of veterans by targeted contact strategies or other strategies that focus on employers as well as job seeking veterans, particularly when the region is not in compliance with veterans’ priority of service performance measures. (Page 94-95) Title I

Benchmarks will be established to provide a baseline to measure the impact of priority of service to covered participants: one will benchmark the covered participants using prior program year data. Many veterans face difficult labor market transitions, particularly upon reentering civilian life and may require specialized employment and training services to boost their job prospects. Veterans Employment and Training Services (VETS) and Maine Department of Labor have established effective program designs that include other providers such as the Togus Veteran’s Rehabilitation program. Additionally, veterans with more severe adjustment difficulties may require counseling, social services, and more in—depth support from specialists who are more familiar with their needs. Maine’s Local Veterans Employment Representatives (LVERs) are delegated the authority to generate the “Quarterly Reports on Services to Veterans.” Nonetheless, the responsibility for the content of such reports remains with one—stop center managers. These reports focus on compliance with Federal law and regulations with respect to special services and priorities for veterans. As new US Department of Labor and Maine Department of Labor veterans programs are introduced and implemented, the veterans’ team and Wagner—Peyser staff will assist in delivering these services and programs to veterans. Delivery of services through the one—stop system to veterans and eligible spouses is standardized to ensure that no veteran or eligible spouse is turned away without receiving some level of service. Stationed in key one—stop centers, Disabled Veterans Outreach Program specialists and Local Veterans Employment Representatives work exclusively with veterans and eligible spouses to facilitate their access to all programs and services for which they are eligible under the priority of service policy. (Page 96) Title I

Monitoring Compliance with Priority of Service • DOL will monitor recipients of funds for qualified job training programs to ensure that covered persons are made aware of and provided priority of service. • Monitoring will be performed jointly by the Veterans’ Employment and Training Service (VETS) and the DOL agency responsible for administering the program. • If monitoring identifies non—compliance with priority of service, the results of the monitoring: 1) will be handled in accord with each program’s compliance review procedures; and, 2) may lead to imposition of a corrective action plan. (Page 373) Title IV

USDOL will regularly reassess the definition to ensure it reflects the best available data and trends associated with veteran employment and continues to identify those veterans who are to be given priority and maximum emphasis for DVOP services under 38 U.S.C. 4103A (a). An eligible veteran or eligible spouse who is identified as having a SBE must be immediately referred to a DVOP specialist or, in instances where a DVOP specialist is not available, another CareerCenter provider of intensive/individualized services. For planning purposes, ETA and VETS anticipate that approximately 30 percent of veterans seeking CareerCenter services nationwide will be identified as having an SBE. Case management continues to be an appropriate service delivery strategy or framework within which intensive services may be delivered, particularly for veterans. Intensive/individualized career services should be delivered following the case management framework in most cases. However, case management itself is a process, not a service, and is therefore not to be reported as a service, intensive/individualized career or otherwise. Managing the DVOP Caseload In the event that a DVOP specialist does not have a full case—load of eligible veterans and eligible spouses who meet the criteria in paragraphs a. and b. above the DVOP specialist may perform additional activities, in the order specified below: 1. Review all open case files of current participants with an SBE or in a priority category and perform case management duties. 2. Conduct relationship building, outreach and recruitment activities with other service providers in the local area, to enroll SBE and priority category veterans. In addition, W— P, WIOA, and other partner staff will continue to provide services, including intensive/individualized career services, to veterans and eligible spouses as appropriate under the programs the staff administer. This guidance does not limit the ability of non—JVSG staff to provide intensive/individualized career services to veterans who do not have an SBE or are not in a veteran category specified by USDOL. Also, veterans with an SBE or in a specified category must have access to all appropriate CareerCenter services and are not limited to receiving services only from DVOP specialists. Those veterans not meeting the SBE definition or not within a specified category identified by DOL are to be referred to appropriate non—JVSG CareerCenter staff member(s) to receive core/basic career, intensive/individualized career, and/or training services, on a priority of service basis. MDOL will provide technical assistance to local areas to assist in the coordination of efforts between DVOP specialists and CareerCenter staff to ensure that all veterans are receiving needed services. Sequence of Priority USDOL does not interpret the VPL to require priority to be given in the order that these groups are listed in the VPL. Instead, DVOP specialists must provide the same priority to serving special disabled, other disabled and other veterans prioritized by USDOL, including those identified as having Significant Barriers to Employment in this guidance. (Page 379 -380) Title VI

Behavioral / Mental Health

~~Division of Vocational Rehabilitation (DVR) works with other state agencies and many Councils and Committees whose focus is on individuals with disabilities. DVR has a long standing relationship and works very closely with the Maine Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS). DVR and DHHS have two memorandums of understanding (MOU); one MOU is with the Office of Aging and Disability Services, which serves individuals with developmental disabilities; the other MOU is with the Office of Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services (SAMHS) which serves individuals with mental health issues. The MOU’s address the combined efforts that DVR and DHHS have initiated and clarify roles to improve the successful outcomes for these jointly served populations. • DHHS Office of Aging and Disability Services and DVR/DBVI MOU (updated November 2013) “This Memorandum is intended to guide the Maine Department of Labor’s Bureau of Rehabilitation Services (BRS), through its Division for the Blind and Visually Impaired and Division of Vocational Rehabilitation, and the Office of Aging and Disability Services (OADS) in the Maine Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS), through a system change planning process for the purpose of implementing an aligned service delivery system that promotes evidence—based practices. It contains information about policies and processes that pertain to maintaining and enhancing the relationship between these two entities. (Page 217) Title II

DVR has a close working relationship with our partners at DHHS Office of Aging and Disability Services and Mental Health Services we have developed a procedural directive which spells out how wavier services will fund career planning (specifically they fund Discovering Personal Genius© as the career planning model) and once Discovery is completed (waiver services will fund up to 50 hours), a referral is made to DVR who will work with the case manager and agency to proceed with job development and perhaps further exploration as needed. Then, when an individual has been successfully placed in a job and is stable and closed out successfully (may utilize extended services for this as needed), waiver funds will then pick up again and cover long term support services (usually job coaching) which will help the individual continue to remain stable on the job. (Page 243-244) Title II

DVR will partner with the Department of Health and Human Services’ Office of Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services to explore opportunities available through the I SPA b. DVR will work with the Department of Corrections through its quarterly joint meetings to identify effective practices in referring and supporting individuals for whom mental health is a barrier to employment.
Objective: Maine DVR will maintain statewide consistency in its practices with regard to “Clubhouses” offering services to DVR clients as measured by client case review.
Strategies:
a. DVR will maintain a liaison to the local Clubhouse in each office.
b. DVR will invite Clubhouse program staff to participate in DVR training opportunities. (Page 251) Title II

The Department of Health and Human Services, in conjunction with other State Agencies and partners, has begun to implement the recommendations that were developed by the Employment First Maine Coalition. The Offices of Substance Abuse and Mental Health, Child and Family Services, and Aging and Disability Services have committed to work together to ensure that the outcome of employment of people with disabilities is a strong focus of the services they provide. During the past year, DHHS has created new resources, developed additional employment services, and has begun to expand expectations that service providers all have a responsibility to promote employment as the first and preferred outcome.
SAMHS contracts with Maine Medical Center’s Vocational Services to provide Employment Specialists that are embedded in behavioral health organizations across the state to assist individuals living with serious mental illness. They assist with career exploration and securing employment, and provide other supports as needed. In keeping with best practices, these Employment Specialists work as a team with behavioral health professionals to improve outcomes. This service is supplemental and not necessarily a replacement service for Vocational Rehabilitation services through the DOL Bureau of Rehabilitation Services. (Page 262) Title II

Division for the Blind and Visually Impaired (DBVI) works with other state agencies and many Councils and Committees whose focus is on individuals with disabilities, including out-of-school youth who are blind or visually impaired. BRS has a long standing relationship and works very closely with the Maine Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS). BRS has two memorandums of understanding (MOU); one MOU is with the Office of Aging and Disability Services, which serves individuals with developmental disabilities; the other MOU is with the Office of Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services (SAMHS) which serves individuals with mental health issues. The MOU’s address the combined efforts that BRS and DHHS have initiated and clarify roles to improve the successful outcomes for these jointly served populations. • DHHS Office of Aging and Disability Services and DVR/DBVI MOU (updated November 2013) “This Memorandum is intended to guide the Maine Department of Labor’s Bureau of Rehabilitation Services (BRS), through its Division for the Blind and Visually Impaired and Division of Vocational Rehabilitation, and the Office of Aging and Disability Services (OADS) in the Maine Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS), through a system change planning process for the purpose of implementing an aligned service delivery system that promotes evidence-based practices. It contains information about policies and processes that pertain to maintaining and enhancing the relationship between these two entities. (Page 301-302) Title IV

The Division continues to use Title VI—B money to provide services for individuals with the most severe disabilities as an integral part of our VR program. Securing long—term employment resources continues to be a primary challenge for the Division. DBVI continues to collaborate with Department of Health and Human Services’ Offices of Aging and Disability Services and Substance Abuse Mental Health Services to explore long—term support mechanisms for those individuals completing their VR plan and who have been utilizing Title VI, Part B funds. (Page 331) Title IV
 

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

During 2012, representatives of the Workers Compensation Board (WCB) and Maine Division of Vocational Rehabilitation worked together to create a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU). The MOU was completed and signed, effective November 2012. DVR and the WCB are committed to working together to improve services and employment outcomes for individuals who, as a result of injury, are in need of vocational rehabilitation services to return to employment. Through the efforts outlined in the MOU, DVR and the WCB will strive to maximize employment opportunities for injured Maine workers, minimize duplication of services, improve information sharing and referrals, and coordinate activities in accordance with all applicable statutes and regulations. (Page 219) Title II

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

Policies and Initiatives

Displaying 1 - 10 of 71

Office of Aging and Disability Services Update - 05/07/2020

“The Maine Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS) provides home and community-based services to adults with intellectual or developmental disabilities (IDD, ORC), Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD), and brain injury primarily through MaineCare-funded programs. These are often called waiver programs because they operate with special exceptions from the federal government and are referred to by their Section number, which is where they can be found in the MaineCare rules.”

This page contains a quarterly update on Supporting Adults with Developmental Disabilities and Brain Injury in their Homes and Communities as of May 7, 2020.

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

Disability Rights Maine: COVID-19 Resources for People with Disabilities - 04/08/2020

This page contains links to COVID-19 resources for people with disabilities available through Disability Rights Maine, as well as other state and national resources.

Systems
  • Other
Topics
  • Mental Health
  • Asset Development / Financial Capability
  • Cross-Agency Collaboration / Partnerships
  • Resource Leveraging
  • Veterans

Notice of Statewide Transition Plan for Home and Community-Based Services Settings - 03/02/2020

“The revised Maine HCBS Statewide Transition Plan will be submitted to CMS in April 2020 and will be effective upon CMS approval. For the aspects of the rule that apply to HCBS settings, states have until March 2022 to ensure alignment of the states policies, programs, and provider settings with the federal settings criteria. States must submit a Statewide Transition Plan (STP) that describes the states overall strategies, processes, and resources it will deploy to complete all implementation efforts by the end of the transition period. The STP is also intended to serve as the states roadmap for implementing the federal HCBS rule with fidelity and outlines a detailed work plan and timeline for ensuring that all settings in which HCBS services are provided comply with the new standards by March 2022. The State of Maine is deeply committed to implementing the federal HCBS requirements with fidelity, and is using the rule as a catalyst for implementing other improvements to policy, payment, and practice associated with Medicaid-funded HCBS in an effort to improve access to and quality of HCBS services and options throughout the state. As such, the state has been working with stakeholders on several additional systems change efforts that complement the vision of the federal HCBS rule.”

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

Disabled Employee Resources - 02/27/2020

“All employees have their strengths and weaknesses. Those with disabilities are no different although some of their abilities may be more pronounced which can be a tremendous asset in the diverse field of agriculture. People with disabilities bring different talents, backgrounds and perspectives which can lead to increased productivity. Those with disabilities are often the most loyal and long-term employees, bringing a sense of pride and commitment to the work so many farmers are looking for. There are several organizations with the skills and resources to assist these individuals work safely and productively in agriculture.”

Click on the link to “Disabled Employee Resources” to learn more.

Systems
  • Other
Topics
  • Cross-Agency Collaboration / Partnerships

283 Veterans Hired During the 2019 Maine Hire-A-Vet Campaign - 02/12/2020

“The Maine Hire-A-Vet Campaign is a partnership between the Maine Department of Labor and its CareerCenters, Boots2Roots, Easter Seals and their Veterans Count program, the Maine National Guard Employment Support Program, Maine Bureau of Veterans Services, Transition Assistance Advisors, VA Vocational Rehabilitation and Employment, and State Vocational Rehabilitation and Employment.”

Systems
  • Other
Topics
  • Cross-Agency Collaboration / Partnerships
  • Veterans
  • WIOA

Supporting Adults with Developmental Disabilities and Brain Injury in their Homes and Communities - 01/24/2020

“The Maine Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS) provides home-and community-based services to adults with intellectual or developmental disabilities (IDD), Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD), and brain injury primarily through MaineCare-funded programs. These are often called waiver programs because they operate with special exceptions from the federal government and are referred to by their Section number, which is where they can be found in the MaineCare rules.”

“For most of us, work is part of our identity. And for many people, work is an important part of the recovery process. Experience and research have shown that mental health consumers want to work and can work. Some of those individuals will need support in finding and keeping a job; others will not.

Work can have many benefits. It gives structure to our days, can boost self-esteem, and provides income that affords us more choices. It also offers opportunities to be a part of, and give back to, our community.”

This page has a list of resources related to disability employment.

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

1115 Waiver Application: Substance Use Disorder Care Initiative - 11/26/2019

“Home-based Skill Development Services:

Home-based skill development services are services Maine has historically covered via State Plan and Waiver authority for our members with SMI and members with intellectual disabilities who meet institutional level of care, respectively. While these members may display extreme deficits in their ability to function independently in their environment, their challenges are not unique. Parents with SUD may have similar challenges surrounding self-care, daily living skills, personal adjustment, socialization, relationship development, use of community resources, and adaptive skills necessary to reside in community settings.”

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

Maine Economic Development Strategy 2020-2029 - 11/15/2019

“ACTION B1: Increase the labor force participation of existing residents. There are approximately 100,000 people living in Maine that are of working age but are not currently engaged in the workforce. A study done several years ago estimated that Maine can increase its workforce by over 30,000 people by increasing the labor force participation of seniors, people with disabilities, veterans, and young people who are disengaged from school and work. While all of these people may not be able to enter the workforce, many will be able to access work opportunities with encouragement, direct support, physical accommodations in the workplace, flexible work arrangements and mentoring….”

ACTION B5: Promote “Quality of Place” investments. The quality of our recreational opportunities, historic places, and arts and culture are a draw for tourists and residents alike. Each area of Maine has special attributes. We will work directly with local communities to explore asset development that attracts and retains people.”

Systems
  • Other
Topics
  • Asset Development / Financial Capability
  • Cross-Agency Collaboration / Partnerships
  • Veterans

Supported Employment - 11/02/2019

“Trained staff provide ongoing support to individuals after they have completed the Vocational Rehabilitation and Job development process and have secured paid employment in a community setting.

Supported employment staff provide assistance in all aspects of the employment one they have obtained a job. Once an employee completes initial training, job coaches will work with consumer at their new place of employment, making sure they know the requirements of their position and that they are ready to handle any situation that may come up. Job coaches assist with attention to task, quality assurance, scheduling requests, communication with employer and coworkers, and any other employment related activities that may be needed.”

Systems
  • Other
Topics
  • Cross-Agency Collaboration / Partnerships

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

~~“Western Maine Community Action was awarded a statewide 2019 CMS Navigator Cooperative Agreement serving “Left behind” populations, such as: hourly wage workers (including retail and hospitality workers), self-employed and contract workers (including loggers and fishermen), people living rurally, and those who lack general knowledge about health insurance and do not have easy access to, or familiarity with, the internet.  The Sub-awardee/Subrecipient Contracted Organizations are; Aroostook County Action Program, Midcoast Maine Community Action, Penquis, Waldo Community Action Partners, York County Community Action Corporation, The Opportunity Alliance, and the Health Community Coalition.  They will partner with: Faith-based organizations (Catholic Charities), Local community colleges. Community health centers and county health departments, Pine Health Services, Fish River Rural Health, Local libraries and nonprofits, Schools, Head Start programs, and agencies serving children, Adult education centers, Partners for Peace, County Chambers of Commerce, Sheriff's Depts., Maine Coastal Regional Reentry Center, Maine Prisoners’ Reentry Network, Rapid Response teams, Legal Services for the Elderly, and Area Agencies on Aging. For more information, please contact the designated project lead.Contact:Milton MarrPhone: (207) 860-4472Email:  mmarr@wmca.org  ”

 

Systems
  • Other
Topics
  • Cross-Agency Collaboration / Partnerships
Displaying 1 - 5 of 5

An Act to Encourage Maine Employers to Offer and Employees to Enroll in Disability Income Protection Plans in the Workplace - 01/01/2017

“This bill authorizes an employer to provide its employees a group disability income protection plan, which is a group policy instituted by an employer that provides income benefits to an employee who is unable to work for an extended period of time because of sickness or an accident. The group disability income protection plan may be either a short-term plan offering at least 6 months of benefits or a long-term plan offering at least 24 months of benefits. The premium paid by an employee for participation in an employer-sponsored group disability income protection plan is considered a premium that the employee has agreed to pay, as long as certain conditions are met.”

Systems
  • Other
Topics
  • 14(c)/Income Security

Maine LD 1549: Kim Wallace Adaptive Equipment Loan Program Fund - 03/29/2016

There is established the Kim Wallace Adaptive Equipment Loan Program Fund, which must be used to provide funding for loans to qualified borrowers within the State in order to acquire adaptive equipment designed to assist the borrower in becoming independent and for other purposes as allowed under section 376. The fund must be deposited with,  the Treasurer of State and contain appropriations provided for that purpose, interest accrued on the fund balance, funds received by the program administrator to be applied to the fund and funds received in repayment of loans. This fund is a nonlapsing revolving fund. All money in the fund must be continuously applied to carry out the purposes of this chapter.

Systems
  • Other
Topics
  • Asset Development / Financial Capability

Employment First Maine Act - 06/22/2013

“In carrying out its duties to provide services and supports to persons with disabilities, a state agency shall include as a core component of its services and supports the opportunity for persons with disabilities to acquire integrated community-based employment or customized employment… When entering into contracts with providers of services to persons with disabilities, a state agency shall include appropriate provisions regarding facilitating integrated community-based employment or customized employment "and ensuring measurable outcomes…A state agency shall incorporate standards for integrated community-based employment and customized employment into its processes for program monitoring and quality assurance.”
Systems
  • Other
Topics
  • Employer Engagement
  • Provider Transformation
  • Cross-Agency Collaboration / Partnerships

Maine Act To Provide Integrated Community-based & Customized Employment - 06/01/2013

The Bill promotes: 1. “Employment as core component of services and supports. In carrying out its duties to provide services and supports to persons with disabilities, a state agency shall include as a core component of its services and supports the opportunity for persons with disabilities to acquire integrated community-based employment or customized employment.”   2. “First and preferred service or support option. When providing services or supports to a person with a disability, a state agency shall offer to the person, as the first and preferred service or support option, a choice of employment services that will support the acquisition by the person of integrated community-based employment or customized employment.”   3. “Coordination of efforts and information.”   4. “Pursuit of employment; option. Nothing in this chapter may be construed to require a person with a disability who receives services from a state agency to accept employment services from that state agency or to experience a loss of services as a result of choosing not to explore employment options.”  
Systems
  • Department of Mental Health
  • Department of Education
  • Other
Topics
  • Customized Employment
  • Home and Community Based Services (HCBS)

Maine State Agency and Departments Protection and Advocacy of People with Disabilities (Title 5 c.11)

The agency has the following powers and duties:   Information and referral.  The agency may provide information on and referral to programs and services addressing the needs of persons with disabilities.  Advice.  The agency may advise and educate individuals on the rights of persons with disabilities and otherwise support and assist those persons in the protection of and advocacy for those rights.  Pursuit of remedies.  The agency may pursue administrative, legal and other appropriate remedies on behalf of persons with disabilities…  Report.  The agency shall prepare an annual report for submission to the Governor, the Legislature, the Commissioner of Health and Human Services and the Secretary of the United States Department of Health and Human Services. The report must describe the activities, accomplishments and expenditures of the agency during the most recently completed fiscal year  
Systems
  • Department of Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities
  • Other
Topics
  • Mental Health
  • Asset Development / Financial Capability
  • Home and Community Based Services (HCBS)
  • Employer Engagement
  • Cross-Agency Collaboration / Partnerships
  • Resource Leveraging
  • Data Sharing

No Executive Orders have been entered for this state.

Displaying 1 - 10 of 29

Office of Aging and Disability Services Update - 05/07/2020

“The Maine Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS) provides home and community-based services to adults with intellectual or developmental disabilities (IDD, ORC), Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD), and brain injury primarily through MaineCare-funded programs. These are often called waiver programs because they operate with special exceptions from the federal government and are referred to by their Section number, which is where they can be found in the MaineCare rules.”

This page contains a quarterly update on Supporting Adults with Developmental Disabilities and Brain Injury in their Homes and Communities as of May 7, 2020.

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

Disability Rights Maine: COVID-19 Resources for People with Disabilities - 04/08/2020

This page contains links to COVID-19 resources for people with disabilities available through Disability Rights Maine, as well as other state and national resources.

Systems
  • Other
Topics
  • Mental Health
  • Asset Development / Financial Capability
  • Cross-Agency Collaboration / Partnerships
  • Resource Leveraging
  • Veterans

Disabled Employee Resources - 02/27/2020

“All employees have their strengths and weaknesses. Those with disabilities are no different although some of their abilities may be more pronounced which can be a tremendous asset in the diverse field of agriculture. People with disabilities bring different talents, backgrounds and perspectives which can lead to increased productivity. Those with disabilities are often the most loyal and long-term employees, bringing a sense of pride and commitment to the work so many farmers are looking for. There are several organizations with the skills and resources to assist these individuals work safely and productively in agriculture.”

Click on the link to “Disabled Employee Resources” to learn more.

Systems
  • Other
Topics
  • Cross-Agency Collaboration / Partnerships

283 Veterans Hired During the 2019 Maine Hire-A-Vet Campaign - 02/12/2020

“The Maine Hire-A-Vet Campaign is a partnership between the Maine Department of Labor and its CareerCenters, Boots2Roots, Easter Seals and their Veterans Count program, the Maine National Guard Employment Support Program, Maine Bureau of Veterans Services, Transition Assistance Advisors, VA Vocational Rehabilitation and Employment, and State Vocational Rehabilitation and Employment.”

Systems
  • Other
Topics
  • Cross-Agency Collaboration / Partnerships
  • Veterans
  • WIOA

Supporting Adults with Developmental Disabilities and Brain Injury in their Homes and Communities - 01/24/2020

“The Maine Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS) provides home-and community-based services to adults with intellectual or developmental disabilities (IDD), Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD), and brain injury primarily through MaineCare-funded programs. These are often called waiver programs because they operate with special exceptions from the federal government and are referred to by their Section number, which is where they can be found in the MaineCare rules.”

“For most of us, work is part of our identity. And for many people, work is an important part of the recovery process. Experience and research have shown that mental health consumers want to work and can work. Some of those individuals will need support in finding and keeping a job; others will not.

Work can have many benefits. It gives structure to our days, can boost self-esteem, and provides income that affords us more choices. It also offers opportunities to be a part of, and give back to, our community.”

This page has a list of resources related to disability employment.

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

Maine Economic Development Strategy 2020-2029 - 11/15/2019

“ACTION B1: Increase the labor force participation of existing residents. There are approximately 100,000 people living in Maine that are of working age but are not currently engaged in the workforce. A study done several years ago estimated that Maine can increase its workforce by over 30,000 people by increasing the labor force participation of seniors, people with disabilities, veterans, and young people who are disengaged from school and work. While all of these people may not be able to enter the workforce, many will be able to access work opportunities with encouragement, direct support, physical accommodations in the workplace, flexible work arrangements and mentoring….”

ACTION B5: Promote “Quality of Place” investments. The quality of our recreational opportunities, historic places, and arts and culture are a draw for tourists and residents alike. Each area of Maine has special attributes. We will work directly with local communities to explore asset development that attracts and retains people.”

Systems
  • Other
Topics
  • Asset Development / Financial Capability
  • Cross-Agency Collaboration / Partnerships
  • Veterans

Special Education Laws & Regulations - 05/24/2019

~~This page has information and links for state and federal regulations

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

Resource Links for Special Education Administrators - 05/14/2019

~~This page has links to Maine departments and organizations as well as others. “These links are tested periodically and our hope is that they will work for you when you try them. However, due to the dynamic nature of the Internet, they may not work from one day to the next. Please contact MADSEC if you have trouble connecting to any of these web sites.” 

Systems
  • Other
Topics
  • School-to-Work Transition
  • Cross-Agency Collaboration / Partnerships

Maine Department of Labor Program and Service Guide- Employment Services - 02/01/2019

Employment Services Provided by the Bureau of Rehabilitation Services

For Employers

• Pre-employment services — connect with potential employees through internships, mentoring opportunities and training that is customized to your needs or delivered on-the-job.

• Recruitment and referral — professional help with recruiting and matching you with qualified candidates.

• Staff training — get training for your staff on disability awareness, the Americans with Disabilities Act and topics related to disabilities and assistive technology in the workplace.

• Diversity — learn new strategies to support the inclusion of people with disabilities as customers and employees.

• Retention — get support services for employees who may develop or acquire a disability.

• Financial supports — find out the latest information on available tax credits and/or deductions for hiring or accommodating people with disabilities.

Systems
  • Department of Workforce Development
Topics
  • Employer Engagement

Guidance for IEP Teams on Participation Decisions for the Maine’s Alternate Assessments “Participation Decision Flowchart” - 12/01/2018

~~The Dept. of Education issued guidance on alternative assessments. Options are described and available at its website.

Systems
  • Department of Education
Topics
  • School-to-Work Transition
Displaying 1 - 7 of 7

Maine Department of Labor and DHHS Collaborate on Welfare-to-Work Initiative - 04/01/2014

“AUGUSTA— Maine’s Department of Health and Human Services and the Maine Department of Labor’s Bureau of Employment Services have launched a program designed to successfully transition those on welfare to meaningful employment.

 

Through its programs for Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF) and Additional Support for People in Retraining and Employment (ASPIRE), DHHS is working with DOL’s CareerCenters on this joint initiative to develop an individual's skills that are essential for employment.”

Systems
  • Department of Workforce Development
  • Other
Topics
  • School-to-Work Transition

Employment First Maine Coalition - 07/02/2013

Employment First Maine (EFM) is a broad based coalition of individuals with disabilities, families, advocates, providers and state agency representatives committed to improving and enhancing employment outcomes for Maine citizens with disabilities, including veterans with service-connected disabilities. EFM has worked for over 18 months, participated in the national Alliance for Full Participation and is now an active member of the U.S. Department of Labor’s Office of Disability    Employment Policy’s Employment First State Leadership Mentoring Program’s Community of Practice.

Systems
  • Department of Rehabilitation Services
  • Department of Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities
  • Department of Workforce Development
  • Department of Education
Topics
  • Cross-Agency Collaboration / Partnerships

Maine Worker’s Compensation Board Memorandum of Understanding - 11/01/2012

“DVR and the WCB’s commitment to work together to improve services and employment outcomes for individuals who, as a result of injury are in need of vocational rehabilitation services to return to employment” 

Systems
  • Department of Rehabilitation Services
Topics
  • Cross-Agency Collaboration / Partnerships

Maine Department of Education, Special Services, Career and Technical Education and Adult Education Memorandum of Understanding - 09/01/2011

“BRS [of Maine Department of Labor] and DOE agreement to cooperate to meet the needs of students with disabilities in particular to better coordinate the process of student transition” 

Systems
  • Department of Rehabilitation Services
  • Department of Workforce Development
  • Department of Education
Topics
  • School-to-Work Transition
  • Cross-Agency Collaboration / Partnerships

Maine Developmental Disabilities Council

“The Maine Developmental Disabilities Council (MDDC) is a partnership of people with disabilities, their families, and agencies which identifies barriers to community inclusion, self determination, and independence. The Council acts to effect positive change through advocacy, training, demonstration projects, and support for other inclusive and collaborative systemic change activities.”

Systems
  • Department of Rehabilitation Services
  • Department of Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities
  • Department of Workforce Development
  • Department of Education
  • Other
Topics
  • Cross-Agency Collaboration / Partnerships

Maine’s Ticket To Work program

“Since 2003, the Social Security Administration (SSA) has mailed Tickets in Maine to eligible beneficiaries. SSA disability beneficiaries who receive a Ticket may use it to obtain the services they need from an Employment Network (EN) of their choice.” ENs currently accepting Tickets include Katahdin Friends, Inc., Maine Department of Labor Bureau of Employment Services-CareerCenters, Maine Bureau of Rehabilitation Services Division for the Blind and Visually Impaired and Division of Vocational Rehabilitation, Maine Medical Center Department of Vocational Services, and Work Opportunities Unlimited.

Systems
  • Department of Rehabilitation Services
  • Department of Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities
  • Department of Workforce Development
Topics
  • Cross-Agency Collaboration / Partnerships

Maine Business Leadership Network

“The Maine Business Leadership Network is an employer-led affiliate of the US Business Leadership Network, a national organization that serves as the collective voice of over 60 Business Leadership Network affiliates across North America, representing over 5,000 employers."

“The Maine BLN will be focused on assisting businesses in attracting and retaining new employees and customers with disabilities, developing business leaders who value diversity and actively work to promote strong communities that include individuals with disabilities, and increasing opportunities for businesses to expand their diversity recruiting efforts, not as a social model but as a business case to recruit talent and better serve their customers.”

Systems
  • Other
Topics
  • Employer Engagement
Displaying 1 - 5 of 5

Maine Department of Labor Receives Grant to Improve Employment Rates of Youth with Disabilities - 10/11/2016

“Commissioner of Labor Jeanne Paquette is pleased to announce that the U.S. Department of Education has awarded the Bureau of Rehabilitation Services, part of the Maine Department of Labor, $9 million to help students with disabilities prepare for postsecondary education and competitive integrated employment…

 

Commissioner of Labor Jeanne Paquette stated, “Our goal is to have at least 90 percent of study participants in postsecondary education or competitive integrated employment within one year of their high school graduation. We will align our work with in-school youth with disabilities using proven models, and we will be working with the Maine Departments of Education and Health and Human Services as well as others to make it happen.”

 

Maine’s vocational rehabilitation programs will use the progressive employment model to expand employer relationships and align this dual-customer—students and employers, community-based strategy with enhanced programs for students with disabilities through Jobs for Maine Graduates. These interventions, per year, will serve at least 200 students with disabilities who are within two years of graduation from high school.

 

The grant will enhance statewide collaboration that facilities the transition process from secondary and postsecondary schools or other pre-vocational training settings to competitive integrated employment in jobs at or above minimum wage.”

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

Maine Disability Employment Initiative (DEI) - 10/01/2013

The Disability Employment Initiative (DEI) is a three-year federal grant program that improves education, training, employment opportunities, and employment outcomes for youth and adults with disabilities who are unemployed, underemployed, and/or receiving Social Security disability benefits. In 2010, Maine was awarded a Round 1 DEI grant from the U.S. Department of Labor’s Employment Training Administration. When this grant ended in 2013, a Round 4 grant was awarded. This grant began in 2013 and will end in 2016.

Systems
  • Department of Rehabilitation Services
  • Department of Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities
  • Department of Workforce Development
  • Medicaid Agencies
Topics
  • Asset Development / Financial Capability
  • Employer Engagement
  • Cross-Agency Collaboration / Partnerships
  • Resource Leveraging

Maine Medicaid Balancing Incentives Program - 05/01/2013

The Balancing Incentive Program authorizes grants to States to increase access to non-institutional long-term services and supports (LTSS) as of October 1, 2011. The Balancing Incentive Program will help States transform their long-term care systems by: • Lowering costs through improved systems performance & efficiency • Creating tools to help consumers with care planning & assessment • Improving quality measurement & oversight The Balancing Incentive Program also provides new ways to serve more people in home and community-based settings, in keeping with the integration mandate of the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA), as required by the Olmstead decision. The Balancing Incentive Program was created by the Affordable Care Act of 2010 (Section 10202). Maine applied for the BIP enhanced FMAP May 1, 2012. Maine’s application was awarded effective July 1, 2012

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

Maine Money Follows the Person ("Homeward Bound")

“Money Follows the Person (MFP), known as Homeward Bound in Maine, is assisting individuals transitioning from institutional to community care and has provided enhanced public awareness of community services. MDS Section Q training for nursing facility staff in conjunction with the Maine Long Term Care Ombudsman Program is ensuring identification and referral of individuals interested in considering community living.”

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

Maine Promoting the Readiness of Minors in Supplemental Security Income (PROMISE) Program

“PROMISE is a joint initiative of the US Department of Education, Social Security Administration, US Department of Health and Human Services and US Department of Labor. Under PROMISE, states will be funded to develop and implement model demonstration projects that promote positive outcomes for children who receive Supplemental Security Income (SSI) and their families. PROMISE will improve the provision and coordination of services and supports for child SSI recipients and their families to enable them to achieve improved outcomes. Outcomes include: graduating from high school ready for college and a career, completing postsecondary education and job training, and obtaining competitive employment in an integrated setting and, as a result, achieving long-term reductions in the child recipients’ reliance on SSI.”

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
  • School-to-Work Transition
  • Cross-Agency Collaboration / Partnerships
Displaying 1 - 10 of 11

Supported Employment - 11/02/2019

“Trained staff provide ongoing support to individuals after they have completed the Vocational Rehabilitation and Job development process and have secured paid employment in a community setting.

Supported employment staff provide assistance in all aspects of the employment one they have obtained a job. Once an employee completes initial training, job coaches will work with consumer at their new place of employment, making sure they know the requirements of their position and that they are ready to handle any situation that may come up. Job coaches assist with attention to task, quality assurance, scheduling requests, communication with employer and coworkers, and any other employment related activities that may be needed.”

Systems
  • Other
Topics
  • Cross-Agency Collaboration / Partnerships

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

~~“Western Maine Community Action was awarded a statewide 2019 CMS Navigator Cooperative Agreement serving “Left behind” populations, such as: hourly wage workers (including retail and hospitality workers), self-employed and contract workers (including loggers and fishermen), people living rurally, and those who lack general knowledge about health insurance and do not have easy access to, or familiarity with, the internet.  The Sub-awardee/Subrecipient Contracted Organizations are; Aroostook County Action Program, Midcoast Maine Community Action, Penquis, Waldo Community Action Partners, York County Community Action Corporation, The Opportunity Alliance, and the Health Community Coalition.  They will partner with: Faith-based organizations (Catholic Charities), Local community colleges. Community health centers and county health departments, Pine Health Services, Fish River Rural Health, Local libraries and nonprofits, Schools, Head Start programs, and agencies serving children, Adult education centers, Partners for Peace, County Chambers of Commerce, Sheriff's Depts., Maine Coastal Regional Reentry Center, Maine Prisoners’ Reentry Network, Rapid Response teams, Legal Services for the Elderly, and Area Agencies on Aging. For more information, please contact the designated project lead.Contact:Milton MarrPhone: (207) 860-4472Email:  mmarr@wmca.org  ”

 

Systems
  • Other
Topics
  • Cross-Agency Collaboration / Partnerships

Maine Organization Awarded $285,000 Grant for Work with Veterans - 07/01/2019

~~“The Maine Department of Labor is pleased to congratulate Easterseals Maine, a member of the Veteran's Committee of the State Workforce Board (SWB), on its award of a $285,823 grant from the U.S. Department of Labor.

U.S. Secretary of Labor Alexander Acosta announced on June 28 that the Department is awarding 149 Homeless Veterans Reintegration Program (HVRP) grants, totaling $48.1 million. This funding will provide workforce reintegration services for more than over 18,000 homeless veterans….Along with being a member of the State Workforce Boards Veterans Committee, Easterseals Maine is also a partner in the Maine Hire-A-Vet Campaign, a statewide effort to commit at least 100 employers to hire at least 100 veterans and military family members during a 100-day period.”

Systems
  • Other
Topics
  • Employer Engagement
  • Cross-Agency Collaboration / Partnerships

2019 Maine Hire-A-Vet Campaign Kick-Off Event and Hiring Fair to be held August 29 at Augusta Civic Center - 06/19/2019

~~“Maine's annual Hire-A-Vet campaign is a statewide effort to commit at least 100 employers to hire at least 100 veterans and military family members during a 100-day period. A kick-off event and hiring fair is being held from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. on August 29 at the Augusta Civic Center, 76 Civic Center Drive. Opening remarks will be followed by a hiring fair with more than 200 expected employers that are looking to recruit veterans, military members, and civilians. The event is open to the public. The 2019 campaign officially begins on Labor Day.”

Systems
  • Other
Topics
  • Employer Engagement
  • WIOA

Maine Department of Labor Program and Service Guide - 06/01/2019

Staff training — get training for your staff on disability awareness, the Americans with Disabilities Act and topics related to disabilities and assistive technology in the workplace.

Systems
  • Department of Workforce Development
Topics
  • Employer Engagement
  • Provider Transformation

Maine CITE (Assistive Technology Training) - 04/19/2017

~~“Training is an integral part of the Maine CITE Coordinating Center’s mission. Training activities range from face-to-face conference and smaller group presentations to on-line training webinars.”

Systems
  • Other
Topics
  • Cross-Agency Collaboration / Partnerships

Maine CareerCenter Staff Guide to Disability Work Incentives - 01/15/2011

“This resource guide is for CareerCenter staff and individuals who request information on Supplemental Security Income (SSI) Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) and Work Incentives Planning and Assistance in order to prepare job seekers for employment options and related opportunities."

Systems
  • Department of Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities
  • Department of Workforce Development
  • Other
Topics
  • Self-Employment

Maine College of Direct Support - Work Supports Certificate

“Completion of the Maine College of Direct Support (ME CDS) is required for Direct Support Professionals supporting Maine citizens with intellectual disabilities and replaces the Direct Support Professional (DSP) Curriculum as meeting the training requirements for MaineCare Sections 21 and 29. ... Currently, there are four types of certificates available in the Maine College of Direct Support that can only be obtained through an agency providing services to people with intellectual disabilities:” (1) Maine College of Direct Support Certificate; (2) Maine College of Direct Support - Shared Living Provider Certificate; (3) Maine College of Direct Support - Work Supports Certificate; and (4) Maine College of Direct Support – Case Manager Orientation Certificate.

Systems
  • Department of Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities
  • Other
Topics
  • Provider Transformation

Maine Department of Health and Human Services' Staff Education and Training Unit

The Maine Department of Health and Human Services’ Staff Education and Training Unit offers a variety of in-person and online trainings for staff working with persons with disabilities.

Systems
  • Department of Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities
  • Other
Topics
  • Home and Community Based Services (HCBS)

Center for Learning (CFL) at the Muskie School of Public Service

“By overseeing competency-based certification programs for staff working in the mental health field, CFL supports best practice and informs policy in the area of workforce development. In administering the Mental Health Rehabilitation Technician (MHRT) certification programs, CFL develops knowledge competencies, designs and implements quality assurance processes, and assesses workers' qualifications. CFL also collaborates with academic institutions and other agencies in Maine that provide education and training to ensure that mental health courses, programs and trainers meet standards outlined in the MHRT/C Procedural Guidelines and Trainer and Curriculum Standards”.

Systems
  • Department of Mental Health
  • Other
Topics
  • Cross-Agency Collaboration / Partnerships
Displaying 1 - 3 of 3

Carnicella v. Mercy Hospital - 07/20/2017

“Plaintiff, a registered nurse, filed a complaint alleging that Mercy Hospital discriminated against her in violation of the Maine Human Rights Act (MHRA) by terminating her employment because of her alleged disability and refusing to provide her with a reasonable accommodation. The superior court entered summary judgment for Mercy. The Supreme Court affirmed, holding that the district court properly granted summary judgment on Plaintiff’s disability discrimination claim because there was no genuine issue of material fact that Plaintiff was not a “qualified individual with a disability” as defined by the MHRA.”

Systems
  • Other
Topics
  • Employer Engagement

Christy Dorr v. Woodlands Senior Living of Brewer, LLC - 05/10/2017

“After a three-day trial, a jury determined that in terminating Plaintiff’s employment, Defendant discriminated against Plaintiff because of a disability, and that Defendant interfered with Plaintiff’s right to take family medical leave. (Jury Verdict, ECF No. 102.) The jury declined to award Plaintiff damages on the discrimination claim, but awarded Plaintiff $15,000 in back pay on the family medical leave claim. The matter is before the Court on Plaintiff’s Motion for Supplemental Relief, through which motion Plaintiff requests reinstatement, certain injunctive relief regarding Defendant’s policies and Plaintiff’s employment records, and the award of nominal and liquidated damages together with interest. (Motion, ECF No. 104.) After consideration of the parties’ arguments and the record evidence, the Court grants in part and denies in part Plaintiff’s motion. The Court also directs the entry of judgment in accordance with the jury’s verdict and the findings herein.”

Systems
  • Other
Topics
  • 14(c)/Income Security

Consent Decree Plan Pursuant to Paragraphs 36, 37, 38 and 279 of the Settlement Agreement in Bates v. DHHS - 10/13/2006

This vocational plan:

•     Provides training and education to community support staff about the importance of employment to recovery and the engagement of the consumers in discussions about work, and adds the requirement for certification and ongoing education in employment as a required competency module;   

•     Funds additional Benefit Specialists so that misinformation and lack of information are removed as barriers to pursuing work; and

•     Increases both the prominence and possibility of employment by adding Employment Specialists to agencies in each of the seven community service networks.  The employment specialists will work directly with consumers, serve as a resource to providers, and coordinate employment support services between OAMHS and BRS.

Systems
  • Department of Mental Health
Topics
  • Mental Health
  • Provider Transformation
Displaying 1 - 10 of 11

Notice of Statewide Transition Plan for Home and Community-Based Services Settings - 03/02/2020

“The revised Maine HCBS Statewide Transition Plan will be submitted to CMS in April 2020 and will be effective upon CMS approval. For the aspects of the rule that apply to HCBS settings, states have until March 2022 to ensure alignment of the states policies, programs, and provider settings with the federal settings criteria. States must submit a Statewide Transition Plan (STP) that describes the states overall strategies, processes, and resources it will deploy to complete all implementation efforts by the end of the transition period. The STP is also intended to serve as the states roadmap for implementing the federal HCBS rule with fidelity and outlines a detailed work plan and timeline for ensuring that all settings in which HCBS services are provided comply with the new standards by March 2022. The State of Maine is deeply committed to implementing the federal HCBS requirements with fidelity, and is using the rule as a catalyst for implementing other improvements to policy, payment, and practice associated with Medicaid-funded HCBS in an effort to improve access to and quality of HCBS services and options throughout the state. As such, the state has been working with stakeholders on several additional systems change efforts that complement the vision of the federal HCBS rule.”

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

1115 Waiver Application: Substance Use Disorder Care Initiative - 11/26/2019

“Home-based Skill Development Services:

Home-based skill development services are services Maine has historically covered via State Plan and Waiver authority for our members with SMI and members with intellectual disabilities who meet institutional level of care, respectively. While these members may display extreme deficits in their ability to function independently in their environment, their challenges are not unique. Parents with SUD may have similar challenges surrounding self-care, daily living skills, personal adjustment, socialization, relationship development, use of community resources, and adaptive skills necessary to reside in community settings.”

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

MAINECARE ELIGIBILITY MANUAL - 04/17/2019

~~‘The Maine Department of Health and Human Services is responsible for administering the MaineCare Program in compliance with Federal and State statutes and administrative policies. It is also responsible for state funded assistance programs found within this manual. Within the Department, the Office for Family Independence (OFI) establishes and applies written policies and procedures for taking applications and determining eligibility for assistance, consistent with the objectives of the Program."

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

Request for an Amendment to a §1915(c) Home and Community-Based Services Waiver - 10/26/2018

~~“Program Title:Support Services for Adults with Intellectual Disabilities or Autism Spectrum DisorderWaiver Number:ME.0467Original Base Waiver Number: ME.0467.The State of Maine is planning to amend the Home- and Community-based Services waiver, known in Maine as Section 29 of the MaineCare Benefits Manual.  The waiver serves participants with Intellectual Disabilities and Autism Spectrum Disorder.  DHHS is proposing to make changes to comply with legislative directive P.L. 2017, ch. 459, Parts A and B, which provided funding to increase reimbursement rates for Home Support, Shared Living, Community Support, Employment Specialist Services, Work Support, Career Planning, and Respite services .” 

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

MaineCare Benefits Manual Chapter II “Home and Community Based Services for Adults with Other Related Conditions” - 03/01/2017

~~“Application: After receiving the choice letter, the DHHS Care Monitor will meet with the member and guardian or legal representative (where applicable) and complete the initial ORC application. If the member appears to qualify and is interested in Money Follows the Person/ Homeward Bound MFP/HB, the member will be referred for MFP/HB determination for Money Follows the Person/ Homeward Bound MFP/HB. Enrollment and Transition coordination through MFP/HB will be provided per Money Follows the Person/ Homeward Bound MFP/HB program requirements as outlined in the CMS approved Operational Protocol for Money Follows the Person/ Homeward Bound MFP/HB.”

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

ME Home & Community Services for Adults w/ID or Autism Spectrum Disorder (0159.R06.00) - 07/01/2015

Provides community support, home support (1/4 hr), per diem home support, work support, communication aids, consultation, counseling, crisis assessment, crisis intervention, employment specialist services, home accessibility adaptations, non-traditional communication consultation, non-medical transportation, non-traditional communication assessment, OT (maintenance), PT, (maintenance), specialized medical equipment and supplies, speech therapy (maintenance) for individuals w/autism, IID ages 18 - no max age

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

Maine HCBS Transition Plan - 04/14/2015

This Transition Plan is required by the federal government as part of new Medicaid regulations. It tells the federal government how Maine will meet the new Medicaid rules. All states must follow the federal rules for the Medicaid program. Medicaid is a joint federal and state program that pays for certain medical and related services.  In Maine, the Medicaid program is called MaineCare. An individual who gets services from MaineCare is called a member. The federal agency that is responsible for Medicaid is called the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid (“CMS”).  
Systems
  • Medicaid Agencies
Topics
  • Home and Community Based Services (HCBS)

Maine Department of Education ESEA Flexibility - 08/12/2013

“The Maine Department of Education's ESEA flexibility request was approved on August 12, 2013 and amended on August 13, 2015."

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

Maine Balancing Incentives Program - 05/01/2013

“The Balancing Incentive Program authorizes grants to States to increase access to non-institutional long-term services and supports (LTSS) as of October 1, 2011. The Balancing Incentive Program will help States transform their long-term care systems by: • Lowering costs through improved systems performance & efficiency • Creating tools to help consumers with care planning & assessment • Improving quality measurement & oversight The Balancing Incentive Program also provides new ways to serve more people in home and community-based settings, in keeping with the integration mandate of the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA), as required by the Olmstead decision. The Balancing Incentive Program was created by the Affordable Care Act of 2010 (Section 10202). Maine applied for the BIP enhanced FMAP May 1, 2012. Maine’s application was awarded effective July 1, 2012”

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

Maine Support Services for Adults w/ID or Autistic Disorder (0467.R01.00) - 01/01/2011

"Provides community support, home support 1/4 hr, respite, work support-group, assistive technology, career planning, employment specialist services, home accessibility adaptations, home support remote support, transportation, work support-individual for individuals w/autism and ID ages 18 - no max age."

 

Waiver expired 12/31/2015.

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

States - Phablet

Snapshot

The state of Maine knows that Employment First is "The Way Life Should Be" for all people with disabilities who dream of having a successful career in their community.

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 Maine’s VR Rates and Services

2019 State Population.
0.43%
Change from
2018 to 2019
1,344,212
2019 Number of people with disabilities (all disabilities, ages 18-64).
-5.37%
Change from
2018 to 2019
108,204
2019 Number of people with disabilities who are employed (all disabilities, ages 18-64).
0.28%
Change from
2018 to 2019
42,532
2019 Percentage of working age people who are employed (all disabilities).
5.37%
Change from
2018 to 2019
39.31%
2019 Percentage of working age people who are employed (NO disabilities).
-0.3%
Change from
2018 to 2019
82.53%

State Data

General

2019
Population. 1,344,212
Number of people with disabilities (all disabilities, ages 18-64). 108,204
Number of people with disabilities who are employed (all disabilities, ages 18-64). 42,532
Number of people without disabilities who are employed (ages 18-64). 574,540
Percentage of working age people who are employed (all disabilities). 39.31%
Percentage of working age people who are employed (NO disabilities). 82.53%
State/National unemployment rate. 3.00%
Poverty Rate (all disabilities). 19.90%
Poverty Rate (NO disabilities). 9.10%
Number of males with disabilities (all ages). 109,258
Number of females with disabilities (all ages). 106,332
Number of Caucasians with disabilities (all ages). 203,581
Number of African Americans with disabilities (all ages). 2,340
Number of Hispanic/Latinos with disabilities (all ages). 2,622
Number of American Indians/Alaska Natives with disabilities (all ages). 2,600
Number of Asians with disabilities (all ages). 1,333
Number of Hawaiians/Pacific Islanders with disabilities (all ages). N/A
Number of persons of two or more races with disabilities (all ages) 5,149
Number of persons of some other race alone with disabilities (all ages) 576

 

SSA OUTCOMES

2019
Number of SSI recipients with disabilities who work. 2,042
Percentage of SSI recipients with disabilities who work relative to total SSI recipients with disabilities. 5.70%
Old Age Survivor and Disability Insurance (OASDI) recipients/workers with disabilities. 54,497

 

MENTAL HEALTH OUTCOMES

2019
Number of mental health services consumers who are employed. N/A
Number of mental health services consumers who are part of the labor force (employed or actively looking for employment). N/A
Number of adults served who have a known employment status. N/A
Percentage of all state mental health agency consumers served in the community who are employed. N/A
Percentage of supported employment services evidence based practices (EBP). N/A
Percentage of supported housing services evidence based practices (EBP). N/A
Percentage of assertive community treatment services evidence based practices (EBP). 8.00%
Percentage of medications management evidence based practices (EBP). N/A
Number of evidence based practices (EBP) supported employment services. N/A
Number of evidence based practices (EBP) supported housing services. N/A
Number of evidence based practices (EBP) assertive community treatment services. 722
Number of evidence based practices (EBP) medications management. N/A

 

WAGNER PEYSER OUTCOMES

2015
Number of registered job seekers with a disability. 2,591
Proportion of registered job seekers with a disability. 0.04

 

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. 18
Total number of people with a disability that is a substantial barrier to work who entered unsubsidized employment. 12
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. 67.00%
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. 0.90

 

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. 24.00%
Number of employment network (EN) and vocational rehabilitation (VR) tickets assigned. 2,209
Number of eligible ticket to work beneficiaries. 82,311
Total number of ID closures using supported employment services with or without Title VI-B funds expended (VI-C prior to 2002). 130
Total number of ID competitive labor market closures. 117

 

IDD OUTCOMES

2017
Dollars spent on day/employment services for integrated employment funding. $3,372,224
Dollars spent on day/employment services for facility-based work funding. $0
Dollars spent on day/employment services for facility-based non-work funding. $0
Dollars spent on day/employment services for community based non-work funding. $60,138,416
Percentage of people served in integrated employment. 18.00%
Number of people served in community based non-work. 4,038
Number of people served in facility based work. N/A
Number of people served in facility based non-work. N/A
Number supported in integrated employment per 100,000 individuals in the general state population. 67.49

 

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). 56.41%
Percent of children with IEPs aged 6 through 21 served inside the regular class less than 40% of the day (Indicator 5b). 10.33%
Percent of children with IEPs aged 6 through 21 served in separate schools, residential facilities, or homebound/hospital placements (Indicator 5c). 3.07%
Percent of youth with IEPs aged 16 and above with an IEP that includes appropriate measurable postsecondary goals (Indicator 13). 95.12%
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). 17.27%
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). 71.21%
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). 80.91%
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). 53.94%

 

ABILITYONE/JWOD PROGRAM

2014
Number of overall agency blind and SD hours. 225,419
Number of overall total blind and SD workers. 484
Number of AbilityOne blind and SD hours (products). 169,951
Number of AbilityOne blind and SD hours (services). 55,468
Number of AbilityOne blind and SD hours (combined). 225,419
Number of AbilityOne blind and SD workers (products). 394
Number of AbilityOne blind and SD workers (services). 82
Number of AbilityOne blind and SD workers (combined). 476
AbilityOne wages (products). $1,766,990
AbilityOne wages (services). $899,291

 

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). 0
Number of 14(c) certificate holding patient workers. 0
Total Number of 14(c) certificate holding entities. 0
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). 0
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. 0

 

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

~~In Section C of the Unified State Plan, this has been updated as follows: • Department of Corrections and VR MOU — Procedural Guidance The Maine Department of Labor— Bureau of Rehabilitation Services and the Maine Department of Corrections (DOC) have worked together to establish procedural guidance on collaboration between the two agencies. Work thus far has resulted in two procedural directives outlining how the two agencies will work together to best meet the needs of individuals who are currently incarcerated or on probation and may be eligible for vocational rehabilitation services. In each of the larger offices a DVR staff member has been identified who serves as the liaison to the correctional agencies in their region. DVR corrections liaisons meet as a group on a quarterly basis with DOC staff to share updates and best practices. (Page 203) Title II

In June 2014, Maine’s legislature enacted the Employment First Maine Act (Sec. A-1. 26 MRSA c.3), which was a natural progression in Maine’s focus on competitive integrated employment as a valued outcome for the state’s citizens with disabilities. It set forth that the Departments of Health and Human Services, Labor, and Education must implement employment as a core component of services and supports provided and is the first and preferred service or support option offered to individuals with disabilities.
The Act also convened a time-limited coalition of interested parties, including employers, state agency representatives, advocacy organizations, and people with disabilities, to review and make recommendations regarding the improvement of the administration of employment services and the employment outcomes of people with disabilities. Before its sunset in October 2016, the Employment First Maine Coalition produced a report summarizing the work that was completed and identifying twenty-seven recommendations for consideration by the Governor, the Legislature and state agencies, primarily identifying strategies that encourage the employment of youth and adults with disabilities, engage the business community, and improve EFM performance measures. (Page 233) Title II

The Department of Health and Human Services, in conjunction with other State Agencies and partners, has begun to implement the recommendations that were developed by the Employment First Maine Coalition. The Offices of Substance Abuse and Mental Health, Child and Family Services, and Aging and Disability Services have committed to work together to ensure that the outcome of employment of people with disabilities is a strong focus of the services they provide. During the past year, DHHS has created new resources, developed additional employment services, and has begun to expand expectations that service providers all have a responsibility to promote employment as the first and preferred outcome. (Page 234) Title II

Objective: To increase the number of individuals with significant intellectual disabilities who access the available waiver employment support for long term employment support needs after closure from BRS.
Strategies:
b. Continue to work with the Maine Department of Health and Human Services to ensure that all individuals who have the waiver — but have not taken advantage of employment services — are aware of employment supports open to them through coordination between the two Departments
c. Continue to provide access and training to the BRIDGE —Career Exploration Workshop, appropriate for individuals with intellectual disabilities
Objective: Maine DVR will undertake efforts to continue to embrace and implement an “Employment First” philosophy during the next year as documented by a decrease of 5% in the statewide unemployment rate of people with intellectual disabilities. (Page 246) Title II
 

Customized Employment

~~Expanded use of technology to increase access to workforce development services; • Quality work experiences, including job placement assistance and ideally, quality sector/occupation specific pre—employment work experiences (e.g., apprenticeships, internships). With this customized approach, all participants, including the target populations, are able to access the programming and services necessary to become fully engaged in the workforce system. For example, by working with individuals using various tools, such as Discovering Personal Genius and Customized Employment, the Bureau of Rehabilitation Services will encourage some individuals with significant disabilities to consider self—employment as a viable option with appropriate supports. (Page 55) Title I

With the implementation of WIOA and reauthorization of the Rehabilitation Act, Maine DVR has revisited its personnel requirements and hiring practices. Maine DVR recognizes that the standards for rehabilitation counseling personnel outlined in WIOA represent the minimum standards for qualification. These standards require a minimum of attainment of a baccalaureate degree in a field of study reasonably related to vocational rehabilitation, to indicate a level of competency and skill demonstrating basic preparation in a field of study such as vocational rehabilitation counseling, social work, psychology, disability studies, business administration, human resources, special education, supported employment, customized employment, economics, or another field that reasonably prepares individuals to work with consumers and employers; and
(2) Demonstrated paid or unpaid experience, for not less than one year, consisting of -
(i) Direct work with individuals with disabilities in a setting such as an independent living center;
(ii) Direct service or advocacy activities that provide such individual with experience and skills in working with individuals with disabilities; or
(iii) Direct experience in competitive integrated employment environments as an employer, as a small business owner or operator, or in self-employment, or other experience in human resources or recruitment, or experience in supervising employees, training, or other activities; or
Maine DVR continues to give priority to applicants and staff who possess master’s degrees in counseling or a counseling—related degree, defined as Social Work, Psychology, Special Education, Rehabilitation and Counseling in alignment with WIOA’s alternative requirement of attainment of a master's or doctoral degree in a field of study such as vocational rehabilitation counseling, law, social work, psychology, disability studies, business administration, human resources, special education, management, public administration, or another field that reasonably provides competence in the employment sector, in a disability field, or in both business-related and rehabilitation-related fields. (Page 230) Title II

DVR has a close working relationship with our partners at DHHS Office of Aging and Disability Services and Mental Health Services we have developed a procedural directive which spells out how wavier services will fund career planning (specifically they fund Discovering Personal Genius© as the career planning model) and once Discovery is completed (waiver services will fund up to 50 hours), a referral is made to DVR who will work with the case manager and agency to proceed with job development and perhaps further exploration as needed. Then, when an individual has been successfully placed in a job and is stable and closed out successfully (may utilize extended services for this as needed), waiver funds will then pick up again and cover long term support services (usually job coaching) which will help the individual continue to remain stable on the job. (Pages 243-244) Title II
 

Blending/ Braiding Resources

~~Co—training with and for partners will be considered to best use resources and help system partners’ staffs to “be on the same page.” Blending and braiding training resources will be a guiding principle. All one—stop center staff will be trained and required to demonstrate competency in serving diverse populations and knowledge of related policies across the system and among partner agencies. One—stop center certification will depend on demonstrating that employees have achieved the required competencies in universal access. Policies: Existing policies will be reviewed and updated to reflect WIOA intent and to meet the standards articulated in the Section 188 Checklist. Universal access policies that will govern one—stop center certification will be developed in collaboration with the Bureau of Employment Services’ Division of Policy and Evaluation and the State Board Program Policy Committee. Examples of immediate policy priorities include assistive technology and equipment responsibility, website/social media accessibility, programmatic and physical accessibility of workshops and events, service animal protocols, customer flow for the employment network, prohibition of automatic referrals to vocational rehabilitation, alternative formats for required tests/assessments, and consistent use of equal employment and accommodations tag lines. Program participation rules governing required orientation workshops, the RESEA program, and other mandatory programs will be examined to ensure full accessibility, especially access to alternative formats and accommodations. (Page 98-99) Title I

A system of staff development for professionals and paraprofessionals within the designated State unit, particularly with respect to assessment, vocational counseling, job placement, and rehabilitation technology, including training implemented in coordination with entities carrying out State programs under section 4 of the Assistive Technology Act of 1998; and
In an effort to maximize training resources, staff often solicit local training resources to provide free or low cost workshops, attend trainings with a ‘train the trainer’ perspective to provide turn—around training to other staff, and share internal expertise through in—house training opportunities. In past years, DBVI has been successful at leveraging training funds through collaboration with Region I TACE center, Perkins School for the Blind training funds, and the Lovill Trust. (Page 316-317) Title IV
 

Disability Employment Initiative (DEI)

~~Goal 4 Maine DVR will partner with the larger workforce development system to improve opportunities and access for DVR clients as measured annually by documented collaborative activities, technical assistance, and training.
Objective: Maine DVR will continue to partner with Maine’s Disability Employment Initiative (DEI) Grant to include 50 non—VR CareerCenter customers with disabilities in Career Exploration Workshops Strategies in FFY 2016
Strategies: a. The DEI team will include one VR Rehabilitation Counselor I who will assist in piloting a jointly—delivered Career Exploration Workshop b. DVR will participate in DEI Integrated Resource Team meetings c. DVR will work with the DEI team and others in the Bureau of Employment Services to ensure accessibility in Maine’s CareerCenter network d. DVR will partner with DEI staff in the delivery of an asset development summit in FY 2016
Objective: DVR will work with the Maine Department of Labor’s Center for Workforce Research and Information to maintain a triennial snapshot of the employment status of people with disabilities in Maine as well as a webpage where disability data can be easily accessed. (Page 255) Title II

Staff from the VA Blind Rehab. program attended a DBVI training to present on their program so staff would gain a better understanding of how the two agencies can best serve consumers who are blind or have low vision. In addition, DBVI Director met with the Blindness Rehabilitation Outreach Specialist and the Vision Impairment Services Team Coordinator to refine a more streamlined referral process….
Objective: DBVI will partner with Maine’s Disability Employment Initiative (DEI) Grant to identify non—VR CareerCenter customers who are blind or have low vision who may require DBVI services.
Strategies: Maine DBVI will work with a designated point of contact with the Bureau of Employment Services. (Page 350) Title VI

In 2017, the DEI grant ended and MDOL chose not to pursue another round of funding. Even though the DEI grant has ended, DBVI will continue to work with Career Center staff to ensure referrals are made for DBVI services and to provide technical assistance for consumers who are blind or visually impaired.
Objective: To increase the number of DBVI clients achieving an employment outcome at one of the BRS Single Point of Contact businesses from one to three in the next year.
Strategies: DBVI will have direct representation on the business liaison teams utilizing the single point of entry approach and the Walgreen’s universal design model.
Update: The BRS Single Point of Contact position has been vacant. However, DBVI staff have been successful working with employers, such as the Iris Network, AAA, Cuddledown and Seafax Inc. to find competitive employment for consumers. (Page 351) Title VI
 

Financial Literacy /Economic Advancement

~~Use of Governor’s Set Aside Funding: Maine will utilize the Governor’s Set—Aside funds for required and allowable statewide employment & training activities to facilitate the successful transition and implementation of WIOA, Statewide employment & training activities include: o Rapid Response activities; o Providing assistance to State entities and agencies, local areas, and one—stop partners in carrying out the activities described in the State plan, including the coordination and alignment of data systems used to carry out the requirements of this Act; o Disseminating the State list of eligible providers of training services, including eligible providers of nontraditional training services and of apprenticeship programs, and information identifying eligible providers of on—the—job training, customized training, incumbent worker training, internships, paid or unpaid work experience opportunities, or transitional jobs; o Operating a fiscal and management accountability information system and carrying out monitoring and oversight of activities; o Implementing innovative programs and strategies designed to meet the needs of all Maine employ—ers, as well as developing strategies for effectively serving individuals with barriers to employment and for coordinating programs and services among one—stop partners; o Improving coordination of employment and training activities with child support services, programs that serve individuals with disabilities, adult education and literacy activities, including financial literacy and activities in the corrections system that assist ex—offenders in reentering the workforce; o Conducting research and demonstration projects related to meeting the employment and education needs of adult and dislocated workers in Maine. (Page 127) Title I

Documentation of ability to connect youth participants with all fourteen required youth service elements, either through direct provision or through partnerships, MOUs, or other methods, to include provision of: a. Tutoring and/or Study Skills; b. Access to drop out recovery programs or alternative education; c. Work-based learning; d. Occupational Skills Training; e. Education offered concurrently with and in the same context as occupational training; f. Leadership development; g. Adult Mentoring; h. Support Services; i. Follow-up Services; j. Comprehensive guidance and counseling; k. Financial Literacy; l. Entrepreneurial Skills/ Training; m. Career guidance and counseling, including provision of local and state labor market information and information about how to prepare to enter occupations that are in demand in the local area and in Maine; and n. Activities that prepare youth for entry into post-secondary education. M. Evidence of employment of professional staff, including requisite credentials and experience and demonstration of a commitment to staff development that prepares staff to deliver the services identified above. (Page 396) Title IV
 

School to Work Transition

~~(P) Evaluation and Reports of Progress: VR and Supported Employment Goals (Goal 1 Objective 3 d)
SRC: Is there a plan to renew this partnership? CNA and nursing positions seem to be in high demand. It would be advantageous for DOL to pursue this further.
(P) Evaluation and Reports of Progress: VR and Supported Employment Goals (Goal 2 Objective 1a)
SRC: Can you please provide more specific data on the impact of the CEW and days to plan? It seems that if people need to wait a month or possibly two to attend the CEW it may create a delay in developing an IPE. The CEW seems to have become the standard practice for career exploration. Please elaborate on other tools that can be used as an alternative rather than the CEW. (Page 201) Title II

AGENCY RESPONSE: Section C (Cooperative Agreements) states the following: DVR does support staff involvement in the USDA’s AgrAbility project. In Maine, the AgrAbility project is administered by Alpha One, Goodwill Industries of New England and the University of Maine. The liaison to the project ensures that DVR staff is knowledgeable about AgrAbility and related resources. Grant funding for AgrAbility is ending during 2014 and DVR anticipates development of a fee for service agreement for AgrAbility services.
(d) Coordination with Education Officials
SRC: Without exception, once a DVR client, DVR has 90 days to develop the IPE. This cannot be contingent on the student leaving school as implied in this section.
AGENCY RESPONSE: The language in this section comes from DVR’s current Memorandum of Understanding with the Maine Department of Education. The MOU will be updated following the issuance of new regulations under WIOA.
(d) Coordination with Education Officials
SRC: DVR should not be determining the appropriateness of a referral. The onus of long term support should be on DVR not the school. (Page 204) Title II

SRC: Can you please provide more specific data on the impact of the CEW and days to plan? It seems that if people need to wait a month or possibly two to attend the CEW it may create a delay in developing an IPE. The CEW seems to have become the standard practice for career exploration. Please elaborate on other tools that can be used as an alternative rather than the CEW.
AGENCY RESPONSE: Training has been completed with VRC’s that if the CEW is determined to be the best tool to use to assist with career exploration, then they can write a plan for employment that includes the use of the CEW and or other exploration. VR is also using Discovering Personal Genius™ in conjunction with DHHS, or paying for it as a stand alone service if that tool is determined to be the best fit. VR also regularly refers for on the job assessments which can be included as part of someone’s plan. (Page 213) Title II

Provide information on the formal interagency agreement with the state educational agency: DVR will assist in transition planning and in the development of student’s individualized education program (IEP). For students eligible for services with an agreed upon vocational goal, DVR is expected to develop an Individualized Plan for Employment (IPE) before the student leaves the school setting. In providing transition services, DVR will facilitate the use of available and appropriate community—based services. Services will be provided in the most cost effective manner. In recognition of the importance of promoting information sharing and in order to ensure an effective and timely system of referrals for DVR services, DVR requests that school personnel adopt the following process: When a student with an Individualized Education Program (IEP) begins the transition planning process prior to entering ninth grade, the student and his/her parents or guardians will receive general information about VR services. This information will introduce VR and will inform the parents/guardians when it is appropriate to make a VR referral. When the student to be referred is within two years of school graduation or exit, the services offered by VR should be re—introduced at the student’s IEP or 504 meeting. Both the student and the parents/guardians should have an opportunity to receive materials outlining VR services and to ask questions concerning the referral. (Page 220-221) Title II

When recruiting or hiring new staff, Maine DVR gives preference to qualified individuals who demonstrate a current understanding of the labor force and needs of individuals with disabilities. Maine DVR supports staff to obtain and practice 21st century skills through opportunities for training through the Technical Assistance Centers and state and local workforce development partners.  (Page 230-231) Title II

Since passage of WIOA and promulgation of the final rules, Maine DVR has worked to develop, adopt and implement procedural guidance, programming and training to support the identification and registration of students with disabilities who are eligible or potentially eligible for Pre-Employment Transition Services. Through previously established relationships with school districts and through outreach initiatives and pilot activities, Maine DVR has sought to offer Pre-Employment Transition Services across the state. According to data from the Maine Department of Education, during school year 2015-16, there were 9,3338 students with a disability enrolled in grades 9-12. An additional 2,993 students grades 9-12 were identified as having a 504 plan. This is a represents a small but significant increase over figures from the previous year. Maine DVR has targeted the problem of early exiters from VR services and is collecting data and implementing targeted initiatives for transition-age youth designed to engage youth with disabilities and get them involved in community-based work experiences -and other work-based learning sooner.  (Page 236) Title II

State Plan Estimates for FFY 20 19 & 20 During FFY 2016, DVR determined that it could no longer serve individuals in OOS Category 3 due to lack of resources. The projected number of clients to receive services after being found eligible is 10,000 of which 6,000 are expected to be served under an employment plan. Since open cases in Category 3 will continue to be served, they are included below. The expected services provision by priority category was as follows: Maine implemented an Order of Selection for Category 3 on January 18, 2016. . The projected numbers of clients to be served under an IPE is 6000 in FFY 2019. The proposed case service budget is $8,400,000. The expected services provision by priority category is as follows:
OOS Category 1 55% $4,620,000
OOS Category 2 40% $ 3,360,000
OOS Category 3 5% $ 420,000 (this reflects those already in Category 3 at the time of the OOS implementation) Maine DVR projects FFY 2019 closures goals to be the following
OOS 1 55% 550
OOS 2 40% 400
OOS 3 5 % 50 Total: 1000 The projected number of clients to receive services after being found eligible is 10,000. (Page 238) Title II

Assistive technology services and assistive technology devices are provided to individuals with disabilities as determined by each individual’s vocational goal, and appear as prescribed services on the respective individual’s signed IPE. DVR services include assistive technology and assistive technology devices if required for the individual’s IPE, necessary for the attainment of the individual’s employment goal. DVR works closely with Maine cohorts, Alpha One and ALLTECH, assistive technology organizations which provide assistive technology technical assistance services as well as assistive technology devices. (Page 250) Title II

Many changes designed to help youth and adults with disabilities access employment education, job training and support services, have been made, including:
• Establishing a much larger role for public vocational rehabilitation (VR) as youth with disabilities make the transition from school to adult life. Public VR funds in the amount of a 15% set-aside, must now be used for transition services, specifically pre-employment transitions services that include job exploration counseling, work-based learning experiences, counseling on post-secondary opportunities, workplace readiness training, and training on self-advocacy. Each local VR office must also undertake pre-employment transition coordination activities and they must involve schools and workforce development system in these activities.
• Focusing supported employment state grants to VR agencies on youth. Half the money the state receives under these grants will now have to be used to support youth up to age 24 with the most significant disabilities to achieve supported competitive integrated employment. (Page 258) Title II

Objective: To reduce the average time in plan development (status 10) from 300 days in FFY 2011 to 240 days in FFY 2012 to 210 days in FY 2013 to 180 days in FY 2014 & FY 2015.
Strategies: a. Increase use of the Career Exploration Workshop, which has been shown to decrease case length time.
REPORT ON PROGRESS: Time to plan continues to drop across the state. At the close of FFY 2017, time from eligibility to IPE across the state was at 92.6 days, a significant improvement over past years. This trend continues into FFY 2018. DVR continues to use the Career Exploration Workshop (CEW) as a powerful tool in assisting clients to clarify their career goals. The 2017 Customer Satisfaction Survey found that 25% of clients surveyed had participated in CEW and they had an 87% favorability rating of the CEW. In training delivered during FFY 17, the DVR Director and Assistant Director offered examples for staff on how usage of the CEW could support more timely plan development. During FFY 17, the CEW was modified to allow for delivery of core elements during a 2-day administration. This approach was done to also allow for more frequent administration in the field and in more off-site locations. The goal of this is to increase easy access to the CEW for VR clients. (Page 266) Title II

BRS supports staff involvement in the USDA’s AgrAbility project. In Maine, the AgrAbility project is administered by Alpha One, Goodwill Industries of New England and the University of Maine. The liaison to the project ensures that BRS staff is knowledgeable about AgrAbility and related resources. Grant funding for AgrAbility ended during 2014 and DBVI uses AgrAbility services on a fee for service basis when these services are applicable to a client’s IPE. (Page 301) Title II

The purpose of this collaboration with DOE is to promote and establish a process that results in an effective working relationship between state agencies on behalf of, and with youth with disabilities, in order to gain the greatest benefit from their respective programs and services. Specific areas of collaboration include: consultation, technical assistance, transition planning, roles and responsibilities, financial responsibilities of each agency and procedures for outreach and identification in order to better coordinate and facilitate the process of student transition.
The MOU defines and strengthens the relationships with DOE and calls for identification of students with disabilities, both in Special Education and regular programs, in order to plan their transition before graduation from high school. The agreement focuses upon the needs of the individual student and allows for flexibility and professional judgment to be exercised by personnel. It also spells out the roles of each agency in referral, outreach, and the provision of service. The blindness—specific curriculum services that are identified in the Individual Education Plan (IEP) and 504 plans facilitate the achievement of the employment goal, which is further developed in the Vocational Rehabilitation Individual Plan for Employment (IPE). DBVI, the student and parent(s) develop the IPE, utilizing the interests, strengths, and needs of the student. (Page 303-304) Title II

Supported Employment Program — The Division has remained committed to assuring that individuals with the most severe disabilities receive supported employment services when this is appropriate. An Individual Plan of Employment (IPE) is developed that describes the services provided, the need for extended services, if appropriate, and an assurance that the individual has been able to make an informed choice in the provision of these services and the goal itself. (Page 337) Title IV
 

Career Pathways

~~E. A description regarding how the Local Area will utilize work-based learning approaches through such programs as Registered Apprenticeship, On-the-Job Training, Customized Training, Industry and Sector Strategies, Integrated Education and Training strategies, Career Pathways initiatives, utilization of business intermediaries, and other business services and strategies designed to meet the needs of businesses ;
F. A description of how the Local Board will coordinate workforce development activities carried out in the Local Area with economic development activities carried out in the Local Area to promote entrepreneurial skills training and microenterprise services and training and placement of participants;
G. A description of how the Local Board will leverage and coordinate supportive services in the delivery of workforce development activities carried out in the Local Area, including how the Local Board will work with other providers to deliver supportive services to job seekers;
H. A description of how the Local Board intends to promote a greater business voice in the delivery of workforce development activities carried out in the Local Area. This description should include how the board will engage businesses on decisions regarding the type and content of training activities required of the local workforce;
I. A description of how the Local Board will promote and cultivate industry-led partnerships and career pathways in delivery of workforce training opportunities;
J. A description of the role of faith-based or community-based organizations in the local one-stop system. (Page 403) Title IV
 

Apprenticeship

The share of long term unemployed remains elevated FIGURE 5: LONG TERM UNEMPLOYED AS A PERCENT OF TOTAL UNEMPLOYED, 2003—2014 In an environment in which the labor force is shrinking, Maine does not have the luxury of tens of thousands of people being less than fully engaged in the workforce. The State Board’s committees for Older Workers, Women’s Employment Issues, Younger Workers, Veteran’s Employment, Apprenticeship and the Commission on Disability and Employment are charged with addressing many of these issues. Later in this plan, strategies to engage populations that tend to have lower labor participation rates including, but not limited to, people with disabilities, veterans, women, older workers, people without a high school diploma, ex— offenders, individuals with language barriers, female heads of households with dependent children and out of school youth are discussed. LABOR MARKET TRENDS Workforce conditions in Maine continue to improve, though there has been virtually no real economic growth for a decade. Underlying these seemingly contradictory statements is a rapidly advancing age structure of the population that is constraining growth and tightening the labor market at the same time. Through 2014, real gross domestic product (GDP) has been little changed since 2004, after relatively steady growth in previous decades. Meanwhile, the number of jobs is up since the 2010 post—recession low, but still nearly two percent short of the 2008 peak level. In the middle of 2015 the state has about the same number of jobs as in 2004. This situation is in stark contrast to the nation, which began reaching new highs in GDP in 2012 and in nonfarm payroll jobs in 2014. (Page 14) Title I

The SWDB has six constituent committees that make recommendations to the Board about service delivery or policy related to the cohort group they represent — Apprenticeship, Commission on Disability & Employment, Older Workers, Veterans, Women’s Employment Issues and Younger Workers. These committees meet four to eight times annually. The SWDB and the State Workforce Agency (SWA - Maine Department of Labor) will work together to establish and convene workgroups that focus on required implementation and service delivery components of WIOA. Some groups will complete their work and be dissolved while other will need to be on going for the foreseeable future. Service Providers and Local Workforce Development Board staff will be included on each workgroup as appropriate. The workgroups include; - Program Policy Committee (Ongoing) - WIOA State Plan Steering Committee - State Plan Implementation Committee - Staff Development / Cross Training - America’s Job Link Alliance (New database implementation) - One Stop Certification - Memorandums of Understanding - Priority of Service - Accessibility - Employer Outreach - Youth Service Delivery - Integrated Intake - Unemployment Insurance Linkages - Eligible Training Provider List (Page 33) Title I

Since passage of WIOA and promulgation of the final rules, Maine DVR has worked to develop, adopt and implement procedural guidance, programming and training to support the identification and registration of students with disabilities who are eligible or potentially eligible for Pre-Employment Transition Services. Through previously established relationships with school districts and through outreach initiatives and pilot activities, Maine DVR has sought to offer Pre-Employment Transition Services across the state. According to data from the Maine Department of Education, during school year 2015-16, there were 9,3338 students with a disability enrolled in grades 9-12. An additional 2,993 students grades 9-12 were identified as having a 504 plan. This is a represents a small but significant increase over figures from the previous year. Maine DVR has targeted the problem of early exiters from VR services and is collecting data and implementing targeted initiatives for transition-age youth designed to engage youth with disabilities and get them involved in community-based work experiences -and other work-based learning sooner. (Page 236) Title II

Work Incentives & Benefits

~~The OSOS system collects and dispatches the data required for current formula program performance reports. Reports are created for a variety of programs spanning formula and Wagner Peyser, to Trade and Apprenticeship. OSOS also collects data pertaining to the RESEA program, the Migrant and Seasonal Farmworker, Veterans, Ticket to Work, Work Opportunity Tax Credit and other state funded programs such as the Competitive Skills Scholarship Program, plus more. Major changes to OSOS are necessary to conform to the new WIOA requirements which is a major reason that Maine is as quickly as possible migrating to America’s Job Link Alliance (AJLA), which is expected to be fully WIOA compliant when all the rules are finalized. (Page 63) Title I

Through its collaboration with DHHS and specifically the coordination of Maine’s benefits counseling network DVR has been able to develop opportunities and overcome barriers to competitive integrated employment for individuals with visual impairments who are eligible for MaineCare, the State’s Medicaid program. DVR entered into the Ticket to Work Partnership Plus agreement with the Bureau of Employment Services in July 2014. The purpose of this agreement is to strengthen the partnerships within CareerCenters in the provision of vocational rehabilitation and employment and training services to individuals with disabilities seeking employment in Maine. This agreement expands service options and the overall capacity of Maine’s workforce investment activities and offers individuals the opportunity to achieve employment outcomes, decrease reliance on public benefits and increase personal economic assets and resources. (Page 225) Title II

Interagency Support of Benefits Counseling DBVI/DVR continue to work closely with many other state partners to ensure that Maine’s benefits counseling services remain available to beneficiaries of SSI/SSDI, and specifically, DBVI applicants and eligible clients. This allowed the services to remain intact while a resolution was determined on a federal level as to the continuation of this critical service in 2013. DBVI/DVR currently administer a single contract with Maine’s approved WIPA provider, Maine Medical Center’s Department of Vocational Services, which includes funding from four sources of state and federal funds, including from the Division of Vocational Rehabilitation, Division for the Blind and Visually Impaired, Office of Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services, and Office of Aging and Disability Services. The contract’s scope of work includes direct service provision of benefits counseling, training of VR counselors and case managers, and service capacity building through quarterly system development network meetings, which include representatives from the Disability Rights Center’s Protection and Advocacy for Beneficiaries of Social Security (PABSS) and the Bureau of Employment Services’ Disability Employment Initiative. (Page 300-301) Title II

BRS entered into the Ticket to Work Partnership Plus agreement with the Bureau of Employment Services in July 2014. The purpose of this agreement is to strengthen the partnerships within CareerCenters in the provision of vocational rehabilitation and employment and training services to individuals with disabilities seeking employment in