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Dashboard Rehabilitation Services Reform Summary

Below are the Rehabilitation Services (RS) Reform efforts.
Expected completion date: 07/2022

​The more quickly an individual can begin receiving VR services, the more likely there will be employment success. Therefore, a major goal of RS is to facilitate expedited processes for applications, eligibility determination. development of Individual Plans for Employment (IPEs), and delivery of services. A variety of actions are underway. For example, in offices where more than one counselor is stationed, RS has established procedures for making same-day appointments available for individuals who inquire about services. Open office hours are being established in smaller offices to facilitate quicker initial interviews. Informational materials will be developed to help potential applicants understand VR eligibility and to encourage them to bring supporting documentation to their first appointments. Development of staff training is underway on eligibility and assessments. Process redesign efforts are focusing on consolidated interviews to cover initial intake, eligibility and plan development. These functions have previously occurred in multiple appointments. RS will also be working with community partners, such as centers for independent living, to assist individuals with disabilities in the referral and application processes. In October 2018, the average timeframe from eligibility to IPE was 65 days, well below the 150 days currently allowed by federal regulations. The October 2018 timeframe represents a 13-day, or 13% reduction compared to the same time period last year.

Expected completion date: 07/2022

Pre-ETS and VR services are designed to empower youth with disabilities to achieve successful outcomes in post-secondary education, employment and self-sufficiency. Therefore, these services can be a source of significant support for foster care youth in the Prevention and Protection Services (PPS) independent living program. Working in conjunction with RS, PPS will emphasize the importance of its providers making referrals and coordinating services with Pre-ETS. PPS plans to update its policies and procedures to reflect this emphasis. The Pre-ETS State Manager is emphasizing outreach to entities that interact with foster care youth to discuss the benefits of Pre-ETS and encourage referrals.  A recent presentation was to the Statewide Independent Living Meeting which included KVC, St. Francis, and DCF employees. Work continues on developing a service delivery flow chart to assist staff from various programs and providers in understanding when to make referrals. For example, Pre-ETS can begin working with students with disabilities at age 16. There are currently 100 Pre-ETS cases with students in foster care, representing 11.5 percent of the total open Pre-ETS cases.

Expected completion date: 12/2018

​VR counselors are the foundation of our efforts to empower Kansans with disabilities to achieve competitive integrated employment.  Therefore, a priority is to improve our ability to recruit and retain qualified staff, and thus enhance the quality and timeliness of services and number of employment outcomes.   After consulting with the State Rehabilitation Council, RS submitted a state plan revision to establish a career ladder.  This revision has been approved at the federal level with an effective date of July 1, 2018.  The career ladder to be implemented is as follows.  A new category will be established called VR Counselor 1 — this level of position will require a bachelor’s degree in rehabilitation or a closely related field, and experience working with people with disabilities will be preferred.  Once onboard as an RS employee, the VR Counselor 1 will have five years to complete the master’s level rehabilitation counselor educational requirements.  Once the educational requirements are completed, the individual will move up to a Rehabilitation Counselor 2 position.  Rehabilitation Counselor 2 positions —  Individuals with master’s degrees in rehabilitation counseling or closely related fields may be hired at this level.  Rehabilitation Counselor 3 — This new level will be established as a career ladder for Rehabilitation Counselor 2 positions after three years of successful experience.  Work continues with RS, Personnel Services, the Department of Administration and DCF leadership on next steps to implement this career ladder.