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(Effective October 1, 2014)
In partnership with the Wisconsin Rehabilitation Council (WRC), the Division of Vocational Rehabilitation (DVR) annually updates its State Plan for vocational rehabilitation (VR) and supported employment services. Updates are effective on 10/1/2014.
The Vocational Rehabilitation Services State Plan provides a blueprint for how the Wisconsin Department of Workforce Development (DWD) and the Division of Vocational Rehabilitation will achieve service goals and commitments.
With a $70 million annual investment in people with disabilities, their training and placement in good paying jobs, VR services have a positive impact on Wisconsin's families and economy. Wisconsin's Vocational Rehabilitation Services continue to be an important part of Wisconsin's future economic success.
State Plans must be submitted to the Rehabilitation Service Administration no later than July 1, 2014. State agencies must make assurances that VR and Supported Employment (SE) plans are in conformance with federal guidelines. Additionally, states are asked to attach 6 sections reflecting input from the Rehabilitation Council, staff resources, population estimates, order of selection and how consumers will be waitlisted if resources do not adequately cover all those requesting services, the goals and plans for distribution of funds and a report on the state’s progress. Links are provided for each of these draft attachments and can be found in sections (I-VI).
RSA Required Updates of the DVR State Plan Include:
I. Recommendations from the Wisconsin Rehabilitation Council (WRC)
The WRC is the advisory and oversight body for the Division of Vocational Rehabilitation. The WRC makes recommendations for establishing priorities and for sharing key information with the advisory members. The council members have requested regular updates on:
- DVR funding levels and DVR’s ability to meet its budget commitments;
- The number of applicants on DVR’s wait list and the number of DVR staff vacancies and any impact on services;
- Employment Specialist activities and observations on job readiness;
- Training of staff on how to use supported employment and customized employment options when long term employment supports are not available;
- Tools and strategies for improving communication, collaboration and outcomes;
- Options to secure confidential space for all counselor interactions with consumers, ergonomic upgrades, and other facility upgrades as needed;
- Strategies to improve the minority service rate; and
- Pilots and projects related to connecting students with disabilities to employment.
Learn more about the WRC recommendations, roles and responsibilities at
II. DVR’s Qualified Staff Recruitment, Training and Retention Plan
DVR outlines its human resource plan for recruiting, training and retaining qualified vocational rehabilitation personnel and for assuring sufficient vocational rehabilitation counselor resources to support DVR job-seekers.
Learn more about DVR’s qualified staff and the agency’s comprehensive system of personnel development at:
III. Annual Estimates of Individuals to be Served and Costs of Services
The demand for vocational rehabilitation services among jobseekers with disabilities in Wisconsin exceeds the Division’s human and fiscal resources. DVR annually estimates current job seekers who will continue working with DVR in the next year, the number of new applicants, and the capacity to provide VR services. Fiscal and human resources are assessed against the need and the DVR forecasts whether some applicants will be waitlisted for services.
Learn more about the DVR annual estimate of individuals to be served and costs of services at:
IV. Report of Progress in Achieving Identified Goals and Priorities and the Use of VR Funds for Service Innovations and Service Expansion
DVR reports on performance progress for prior year state plan goals and priorities and indicates where performance improvement is still needed. DVR also reviews the purpose of funds invested in vocational rehabilitation service innovation and service expansion projects.
Learn more about the DVR progress on prior year goals and priorities and the use of VR funds for service innovations and expansions at:
V. Quality, Scope and Extent of Supported Employment Services
The DVR describes its collaborative efforts aimed at expanding integrated, competitive community employment opportunities for those in need of supported employment services. The Department of Health Services (Medicaid Agency), the Community Rehabilitation Program provider community, and the regional Managed Care Organizations are all current collaborative partners.
Learn more about DVR supported employment services and the funding for these services at:
VI. Order of Selection
Because the DVR has not had sufficient fiscal resources to serve every eligible applicant, DVR implemented an Order of Selection (OOS) effective 12/5/1994. This section of the plan describes the OOS categories and the Division’s process for making an OOS category assignment. An explanation of how the OOS wait list is managed and suggestions for changing the OOS wait list category assignment process are also included.
Learn more about the DVR Order of Selection at:
Remaining DVR State Plan Components:
VII. State Strategies and Use of Funds:
A description of the strategies intended to improve the number of employment outcomes, the percent of individuals achieving an employment outcome; the number of individuals achieving an employment outcome at or above minimum wage; the service rate to individuals with the most significant disabilities; the service rate for minority individuals; and the employment outcome rate for minority individuals are included in this section of the plan.
Learn more about the DVR strategies to increase employment outcomes at:
VIII. Annual Goals and Priorities:
The goals and priorities identified in this section of the plan address the issues related to the results of the DVR and WRC comprehensive needs assessment activities. The goals and priorities also for the basis of the DVR performance targets related to the federal VR program standards and indicators.
Learn more about the DVR annual goals and priorities at:
IX. DVR Written Agreements to Collaborate and to Coordinate Services with Public and Private Agencies Serving Common Customers on a Statewide Basis Including
- The Wisconsin Department of
Family Services/Division of Family Supports for individuals with disabilities
seeking DVR services who are also served in the Wisconsin Works (W-2) program.
- The Wisconsin Department of
Corrections for coordination of employment and training services to ex-offenders
- The Wisconsin Department of
Public Instruction for coordination of services to youth with disabilities while
in high school and to facilitate the transition from school to receiving
vocational rehabilitation services. A particular focus is on coordinating
services to youth with the most significant disabilities in need of supported
employment and long term employment supports to secure and maintain employment.
- The Wisconsin Department of
Health Services/Division of Long Term Care for coordination of short and long
term employment supports for youth and adults with significant disabilities in
need of supported employment and long term employment supports to secure and
- The Great Lakes Intertribal
Council (GLITC) American Indian Vocational Rehabilitation Program for
coordination of vocational rehabilitation services to Wisconsin Tribal members
living on or near Tribal lands.
- The University of Wisconsin
System and Wisconsin Technical College System agreement for coordination of
services to DVR customers who are enrolled in a higher education training
Learn more about State Plan agreements with public agencies at:
X. Agreements to Cooperate with Private Non-Profit Vocational Rehabilitation Service Providers
DVR will purchase more than $43 million dollars in necessary services and goods to support more than 25,000 DVR job-seekers in preparing for and, when job-ready, entering jobs earning competitive wages.
DVR uses a statewide service rate and fee payment structure and standardized specifications for the most commonly purchased services and products. Some of the most frequently purchased services from non-profit vocational rehabilitation service providers include: vocational evaluation, benefits analysis, supported employment, on-site job coaching and job development. Agencies wishing to provide these services sign a fee-for-service agreement with DVR which is renewed annually.
Learn more about DVR service agreements with private non-profit vocational rehabilitation service providers at:
XI. DVR’s Statewide Assessment of the Rehabilitation Needs of Individuals with Disabilities
The comprehensive statewide assessment process includes an annual review of Wisconsin disability statistics and recent disability needs assessment data, DVR customer and service federal report data, and public comment and input provided to the Wisconsin Rehabilitation Council (WRC) throughout the year. The DVR and the Wisconsin Rehabilitation Council work cooperatively in the needs assessment process to identify rehabilitation needs of individuals with disabilities. The DVR and WRC prioritize the rehabilitation needs and develop DVR systemic and service delivery goals to address the needs.
Learn more about the results of the statewide needs assessment - including the needs of those who have been identified as individuals with disabilities from minority groups and those who are considered to be unserved or underserved at: