Requesting Feedback Related to State VR Agency Technical Assistance Needs

As part of OSERS’ commitment to rethink its work to ensure that it is in the best position to achieve its mission, the Rehabilitation Services Administration (RSA) is rethinking the way it supports and partners with its key stakeholders to improve employment outcomes for individuals with disabilities.

One aspect of this ongoing work is rethinking how RSA evaluates the technical assistance needs of State Vocational Rehabilitation (VR) agencies and RSA’s strategies for disseminating resources and tools that help State VR agencies provide services to individuals with disabilities and the business community.

Through this blog, RSA is interested in receiving feedback from State VR agencies and stakeholders related to two areas: employer services and career advancement under the VR program. In particular, RSA requests that commenters respond to the following questions:

  1. Do State VR agencies need technical assistance or additional information from RSA related to on-demand training (e.g., online videos) for businesses and other employers related to disability issues?
  2. If so, what topics should RSA specifically address related to on-demand training for businesses related to disability issues and through what mode(s) should RSA provide this technical assistance to State VR agencies?
  3. Do State VR agencies need technical assistance or additional information from RSA related to the provision of career advancement services for individuals with disabilities who are employed?
  4. If so, what topics should RSA specifically address related to career advancement and through what mode(s) should RSA deliver this technical assistance to State VR agencies?

RSA will consider comments submitted to the OSERS Blog through December 5, 2019. We appreciate your thoughtful feedback as we work to maximize employment opportunities for individuals with disabilities.


Note:  To help us in our review, we ask that you only address the questions in the comment section. To protect your privacy and the privacy of others, please do not include personally identifiable information, such as a Social Security number, an address, a phone number or an email address in the body of your comment. Comments containing the aforementioned information, or that do not address the above questions, will not be allowed.

4 Comments

  1. 1.Do State VR agencies need technical assistance or additional information from RSA related to on-demand training (e.g., online videos) for businesses and other employers related to disability issues?
    Our agency has utilized our TA providers for many ongoing WIOA concerns: OOS, waitlist, Pre-ETS service delivery, collaborative funding models, etc. We have found that the TA and presenters are knowledgeable and experienced. Gotten some great feedback along the way. I think providing such information to employers and businesses in an easily digestible format is essential to our field.
    2.If so, what topics should RSA specifically address related to on-demand training for businesses related to disability issues and through what mode(s) should RSA provide this technical assistance to State VR agencies? Disability awareness, customized employment, how to meet the changing needs of employers and employees, and increase percentages of persons with disabilities in employment.
    3.Do State VR agencies need technical assistance or additional information from RSA related to the provision of career advancement services for individuals with disabilities who are employed? Our staff may request that, but we have a lot going on now.
    4.If so, what topics should RSA specifically address related to career advancement and through what mode(s) should RSA deliver this technical assistance to State VR agencies? Business engagement and career advancement as part of the overall employment and hiring practice.

  2. RSA feedback on employer services and career advancement under the VR program
    1. Do State VR agencies need technical assistance or additional information from RSA related to on-demand training (e.g., online videos) for businesses and other employers related to disability issues?
    Yes
    2. If so, what topics should RSA specifically address related to on-demand training for businesses related to disability issues and through what mode(s) should RSA provide this technical assistance to State VR agencies?
     Available tax credits and incentives
     On the job training support
     Wage reimbursement
     Disability awareness tools and resources
     On-site customized training and support

    3. Do State VR agencies need technical assistance or additional information from RSA related to the provision of career advancement services for individuals with disabilities who are employed?
    Yes
    4. If so, what topics should RSA specifically address related to career advancement and through what mode(s) should RSA deliver this technical assistance to State VR agencies?
    There is a significant need to provide training and resources on developing career pathways and workforce customized training that leads to a career ladder and/or enhanced employment. Using TPCA to establish innovative programs and services.
    Developing diversity talent pipelines to in-demand careers.
    Braiding and blending of workforce and VR funds to build responsive career training pathways.

  3. 1) Do State VR agencies need technical assistance or additional information from RSA related to on-demand training (e.g., online videos) for businesses and other employers related to disability issues?
    Yes
    2) If so, what topics should RSA specifically address related to on-demand training for businesses related to disability issues and through what mode(s) should RSA provide this technical assistance to State VR agencies?
    a) The alignment of Career Pathways and Apprenticeships and services to Businesses
    i) Web-based Training Web-based Training: brief, multiple, and segmented recorded training for practitioners; coaching strategies for supervisors based on the training for practitioners and recorded training on system strategies for executive leadership.
    ii) TA consultation
    b) Strategic alignment of Services to Business among the WIOA Core Parents (including TANF), the State entity responsible for home and community-based waiver Programs, Community Rehabilitator Providers and other stakeholders
    i) System Self-Assessment of current strategies (WINTAC Integration Continuum, SWOT, McKinsey 7 S, etc.)
    ii) Web-based Training: brief, multiple, and segmented recorded cross-training for partner practitioners; coaching strategies for supervisors based on the training for practitioners; and recorded training on system strategies for executive leadership.
    iii) TA – Facilitated planning with partners
    3) Do State VR agencies need technical assistance or additional information from RSA related to the provision of career advancement services for individuals with disabilities who are employed?

    Yes

    4) If so, what topics should RSA specifically address related to career advancement and through what mode(s) should RSA deliver this technical assistance to State VR agencies?
    a) Career Progression through Career Pathways
    i) Web-based Training: brief, multiple, and segmented recorded training for practitioners; coaching strategies for supervisors based on the training for practitioners; and recorded training on system strategies for executive leadership.
    ii) Cohort based TA consultation with individual State measurable outcomes and impacts
    b) Strategies for engaging customers with disabilities and business customers in planned career advancement
    i) Web-based overview of Best Practices
    ii) System Self-Assessment of current strategies (Adapted WINTAC Integration Continuum, SWOT, McKinsey 7 S, etc.)
    iii) Cohort based TA consultation with individual State measurable outcomes and impacts

  4. 1. Yes, specific information, ideas, examples, talking points to help VR staff address business specific topics like ADA, Affirmative Action, Federal Hiring, Disability Sensitivity topics.
    2. TA monies that would allow us to contract with local professional experts doing the work in the field. A train the trainer approach or direct messaging to VR staff and or business partners in consultation to provide value to our business partners on service delivery options. The value is the sharing of current professional expertise either through business professionals or post secondary educators who cover these topics on a routine basis.
    3. The concept of career advancement is understood.
    4. Technical assistance in the area of understanding Services to Employers and how to track that data to result in career advancement would be valuable. Improved understanding of performance measures for business services and data collected in regards to what constitutes a business service and how to track accurate data to help inform quality career advancement services. Current guidance is leaning towards broad definitions and DOL programming. Webinars or written guidance to provide clear expectations and strategies, ideas would be helpful.

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