If you have trouble reading this e-mail, go to http://dwd.wisconsin.gov/dvr/rehab_resource/default.htm
A recent post on the Facebook page "You Know You're From WAUSAU, WI if ..." reminded followers of an article that appeared in the Wausau Daily Herald in 1996. The article mentions DVR's role (in 1952) in helping Wally Bessert start his business. Click on the picture to link to the Facebook post.
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IPS is an evidenced based practice model of supported employment for individuals with severe and significant mental illness. In Wisconsin, DWD/DVR has partnered with the Department of Health Services, Division of Mental Health, to establish IPS in Wisconsin as part of a grant with Dartmouth College and Johnson and Johnson. Mental health services in Wisconsin are provided by each county. IPS is available in 10 counties (see map) and will expand in 2013 to Milwaukee and Outagamie Counties as well.
Individuals with a mental health diagnosis represent the largest disability group that DVR serves.
IPS uses a team approach where an Employment Specialist and a DVR Counselor become part of a treatment team, and employment becomes a focus of mental health services. Adherence to the prescribed model is essential. Fidelity reviews are conducted until "good" fidelity is achieved. Technical assistance is provided as part of the grant and can be provided for counties wishing to implement IPS.
DVR Contract Specialist Kathleen Enders said IPS works well for counties. "It is a sustainable model because many of the services that the county provides under IPS are billable to Medicaid or DVR." In addition, the county sees long-term savings, as there is a decrease in the need for other services related to the individual's mental health.
While the number of counties participating in IPS is limited, many have expressed an interest in developing the model, and participating counties are expanding the program. Kathleen said she anticipates that IPS will be available statewide in the next five years.
DVR has created technical specifications for services, a fee schedule, criteria for selection and a list of approved counties. Counties not included in a grant must have a written agreement with DVR. If you are interested in learning more about IPS and the possibilities for bringing it your area, talk with your WDA Director.
The Job Accommodation Network (JAN) has several resources available for employers, individuals with a mental health diagnosis and vocational rehabilitation professionals to help effectively accommodate job-seekers and employees with mental health disabilities.
The Job Accommodation Network (JAN) is the leading source of free, expert, and confidential guidance on workplace accommodations and disability employment issues. Working toward practical solutions that benefit both employer and employee, JAN helps people with disabilities enhance their employability, and shows employers how to capitalize on the value and talent that people with disabilities add to the workplace. JAN is a Wisconsin DVR partner in assisting job-seekers with disabilities to successfully connect to employment.
Submitted by Audrey Merten, DVR Web Coordinator
Definition of Study Hall:
Join us for some "set aside" time for study - learn more about future IRIS enhancements, topics based on your feedback/questions and policy updates!
There is a study hall scheduled for today from 1:00 - 3:00 PM.
More DVR Study Hall dates will be announced soon! These will be listed on the IRIS Home Page (System Messages section).
Anna Eggebrecht (WDA 5 Director) and Allison Gordon (Policy Analyst) participated in the 2011 Enterprise Leadership Academy. Participants work with peers from across state agencies to develop and manage a project.
The 2011 project was a Wisconsin Works Well proposal that addressed workplace wellness for state employees. The project was implemented by DVR and has resulted in various wellness activities throughout the state.
In addition, the group's proposal was also used as the model for developing the statewide Well Wisconsin program. Well Wisconsin encourages state employees to take advantage of financial incentives offered by their insurance companies, in return for completing an annual biometric screening and health risk assessment.
The WDA 3 collection box. Photo submitted by Kay Lechner - VRC, Waukesha.
Submitted by Jill Rios - VRC, West Bend
The DVR Workplace Wellness Committee would like to extend a heartfelt thank you to everyone who participated in the 2013 Hygiene Drive. Boxes were placed in each WDA to collect donations of various hygiene items from February 18 - March 22. Along with DVR staff, Job Center partners across the state participated in the effort.
This initiative was in response to a plea from homeless shelters who stated they were in desperate need of specific hygiene items. The DVR wellness coordinators chose to help with this need, because when we work to support others' well-being, we benefit our own wellness.
As our Workplace Wellness Committee tallied up the donations across our state, we were truly amazed at the contribution. The final totals amounted to over 1300 donations!
Thank you to Matthew Maloney of WDA 5 for helping coordinate efforts and track the final numbers. WDA 8 took the lead with collecting 284 items. Each WDA has selected organizations in their area to which they have donated their items; for example, donations went to the following: Shalom Center (WDA 1), Hebron House and Youth and Family Shelter (WDA 3), Help for the Homeless (WDA 5), the Stepping Stones Food Pantry (WDA 8), the River Food Pantry (WDA 10), and many more.
Once again, our sincere gratitude is extended to all those across our state who opened their hearts to help those in need across Wisconsin.
Items collected in the WDA 9 Hygiene Drive, which was coordinated by VRC Jessica Wallace.
Jessica Wallace - VRC, La Crosse
Email from WDA 9 Director, Amy Grotzke
You did an exceptional job leading the Hygiene Drive in our office!
Brock Hansen - VRC, Madison
Email to Brock and a DVR service provider
I am writing this letter to pass on good news. I am currently doing really well at my current job. I am now at the moment working without much supervision. I have really learned through the process of going through DVR and through Career Ladder is to keep moving forward and to be getting educated to pursue greater obstacles that might be in my way.
Thanks again for all the hard and dedicated work.
Christopher Gerou - VRC, Kenosha
I am writing to inform you that I received the check for my tuition today. Thank you so much for providing me with the help that I need to complete my degree. Again, I really appreciate all of the help that DVR has provided to me. I don't think that I would have been able to complete my degree without this help. Thank you for caring.
Greg Paquette (VRC) and Rita Brinker (CCC) - Rice Lake
Just wanted to let you know I am typing this on my new ergo keyboard which Dr. Rodriguez (service provider) ordered for me, and share with you how excited I am to have this super new equipment. Dr. Rodriguez is coming this afternoon to adjust all the equipment: keyboard, mouse and chair to personalize it for my use.
I feel like I won the lottery and want you to both know how very grateful I am to have you both being so supportive of me. And, this opportunity to work with Dr. Rodriguez has been amazing.
Thank you, thank you, thank you!