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WRC Meeting Minutes
October 18, 2012
Present: Cayte Anderson, Rob Buettner, Wendi Dawson, Jim Dobrinksa, Stephanie Drum, Julie Ferchoff, Steve Gilles, Mike Greco, Jodi Hanna, Ron Jansen, John Lui, Kristin Stern, Linda Vegoe, Matthew Zellmer
Absent: Ben Anderson, Alvin Hill, Tina Koehn, Patricia Lerch, Roxan Perez, Don Pirozzoli
Resource staff/guests: Lea Collins-Worachek, Meredith Dressel, Deb Henderson-Guenther, Jim Kerlin, Gail Kolvenbach, Joe Leonard, Dan Loccoco, William Parke-Sutherland, JoAnna Richard
Recorder: Kristin Rolling
Call to Order
Linda Vegoe, Chair, called the meeting to order at 9:00 a.m.
Steve Gilles announced he is resigning from the WRC.
Glenn Olsen, who directed the Wisconsin Employment Initiative grant and who previously presented to the WRC about the grant, passed away.
W. Dawson/J. Ferchoff moved/seconded to approve minutes as presented.
Department of Public Instruction (DPI) – Wendi Dawson
- By the end of November, all schools in Wisconsin will be required to use a standardized form for all transition Individualized Education Plans. The form also collects data for DPI.
- An updated Opening Doors publication is available.
- The Wisconsin Statewide Transition Initiative has a new website - http://www.wsti.org/.
National Rehabilitation Association (NRA) – Deb Henderson-Guenther
- Executive Director Beverly Stafford resigned.
- The organization is working toward a virtual platform, where all employees will be connected electronically and there will no longer be a physical office.
- Wisconsin won State Chapter of the Year at the last national conference.
WRC Member Comment: The Wisconsin chapter won the award because of Deb’s leadership.
WRC Member Comment: The National Rehabilitation Association has an informative Facebook page.
The next national conference will be in Brooklyn, New York.
Independent Living Council - Wisconsin (ILCW) – Ron Jansen and William Parke-Sutherland
- A public hearing for the State Plan for Independent Living (SPIL) will be held on November 12 in La Crosse.
- The ILCW offices have moved to 3810 Milwaukee Street in Madison. The ILCW is now co-located with the independent living center that serves the Madison area, Access to Independence.
- ILCW is in the process of evaluating its performance against the previous SPIL.
Survival Coalition – Jodi Hanna
- Survival is currently asking people with disabilities to share their experiences with Wisconsin’s contracted vendor for Medicare transportation services, LogistiCare.
- Survival is looking at research that indicates government needs to take a lead if employment first policies are going to be successfully implemented in a state.
Agenda Item: DVR Reports
Mike Greco, DVR Administrator
JoAnna Richard, Deputy Administrator
WRC Member Question: What is the status of the DVR budget?
Answer: It is early in the process but DVR was exempted from the budget increase phase in order to maintain DVR’s Maintenance of Effort.
WRC Member Question: What are the reasons that consumers are not retaining a job after they have participated in an On the Job Training?
Answer: DVR is currently looking at why that might be happening so we can provide the services that are needed to help people maintain a hire.
WRC Member Question: Are the 3,250 successful case closures all full time employment?
Answer: The level of employment depends on the individual and what they have listed in their Individualized Plan for Employment (IPE) for the number of hours they want to/are able to work.
WRC Member Comment: DVR staff are still asking consumers about their satisfaction with the vendor being present. It can be awkward for both the consumer and the vendor and it may influence the consumer’s answers.
Answer: The issue will be added to the DVR policy academy for discussion and action.
WRC Member Question: Are retirements slowing down?
Agenda Item: Beyond Vision
Jim Kerlin, CEO/President Beyond Vision
WRC Member Question: Does Beyond Vision have a sub-minimum wage certificate?
Answer: No. Vision Forward no longer applies for one and everyone make at least minimum wage. The average wage for production staff is $9/hour.
WRC Member Question: Where does Beyond Vision advertise/recruit for open positions?
Answer: A wide variety of advertising is used to fill positions.
WRC Member Question: Is Beyond Vision able to provide most of the needed accommodations in-house?
Answer: Yes. We have most of the tools and technology to meet most requests. We do work with agencies like Vision Forward to make sure we are using the most current technologies.
Agenda Item: Workforce Development Area 3
Meredith Dressel, WDA 3 Director
Agenda Item: Department of Workforce Development
Reggie Newson, Secretary
- DWD and DVR are looking forward to a continued partnership with the WRC that encourages DVR to develop innovative practices to provide services to DVR customers.
- DWD is dedicated to a budget that honors DVR’s Maintenance of Effort.
- By using metrics and measuring outcomes, DVR is the best run division in DWD.
WRC Member Question: How has Wisconsin state government increased hiring people with disabilities?
Answer: DWD participates in the DVR State Internship program and encourages other state agencies to participate as well.
WRC Member Question: What will you do, and what WRC members do, to secure funding for DVR?
Answer: DWD is committed to funding to keep DVR at Maintenance of Effort levels and to increase GPR funding for DVR so that more federal funding can be drawn down. WRC members can talk to their legislators about DVR services and the importance of funding them.
WRC Member Question: What is the DWD vision for lean government?
Answer: DWD, including DVR, will be using value stream mapping to find improvements to processes and customer service to find efficiencies.
Agenda Item: Workforce Development Area 2
Lea Collins-Worachek, WDA 2 Director
- The Milwaukee Metro area is the pilot area for the Walgreens REDI - Retail Employees with Disabilities Initiative. The training program prepares people with disabilities for work in Walgreens retail locations. Of the 12 students that just graduated from the first cohort in the training program in Milwaukee, 11 have been placed in permanent positions with Walgreens.
- WDA 2 staff are working with Froedert Health to address their high turnover in environmental services and food service. They are interested in developing a customized training for people with disabilities to address labor shortages in those areas.
- Aurora Health Care has approached DVR about a similar partnership for their Milwaukee area facilities.
Agenda Item: Employment First
Lisa Mills, People First Wisconsin
WRC Member Question: How have other states dealt with lack of job development capacity?
Answer: Service providers say that developing capacity is difficult when the only payments are for outcomes. Research shows that tiered rates help to incent job developers to work with people with the most significant disabilities. Proper incentives and reimbursement strategies are the most effective.
WRC Member Question: Is there research being done to understand why there are pockets of excellence and what can be done to replicate what happens in those areas?
Agenda Item: Public Hearing
Cathy Stefke, Advocacy Specialist – Disability Rights Wisconsin
Consumer Example #1
- Able to graduate from high school with struggles related to his disability.
- He received successful transition services. He was referred to Goodwill and was let go from his job due to behavioral issues. DVR blamed him for the issues, without providing the supports that were needed.
Consumer Example #2
- A consumer on the autism spectrum worked part time at a grocery store.
- He was interested in more hours and possibly changing jobs.
- DVR denied him a paid assessment.
Consumer Example #3
- Has been a DVR consumer since he was 18. He is now 26 and has had little meaningful work.
- He was interested in the culinary arts program at the technical college.
- His DVR counselor suggested a dish washing placement. When he told her he didn’t like that idea, he was told that was all that would be available to him and to “take it or leave it.”
- Good transition services are important because if a student doesn’t explore work right after high school, we lose them.
- Job development is a sales job, not a human services job. Job developers need to be able to “sell” a person and their skills to an employer.
- Regarding the WRC meeting location (outside of Milwaukee and not accessible by bus line) – In order to get consumer input, the WRC should meet in places where consumers can easily get to.
- Business Review Committees (self-employment) don’t have the expertise to review business plans and determine which business plans are good.
DVR Consumer #1 Testimony
- She was told to pay for her own classes at technical college and she didn’t think that was fair.
- DVR won’t help her get into the environment or job that she wants.
DVR Consumer #2 Testimony
- Has been with DVR since 2009 and doesn’t feel he has gotten the same level of service that others have gotten.
- DVR only tells him what they can’t do, not what they can do.
- Has been told that nothing is being denied, but they aren’t helping him either.
- Frustrated with the hearing process – nothing changes after a hearing.
- Getting assistive technology has helped him academically.
- Feels like working with DVR is an uphill battle.
DVR Consumer #3 Testimony
- Completed school and found out he had an aptitude for business, banking and photography.
- Went through the business plan review process and the plan was denied.
- Was not allowed to attend the business plan review committee meeting to discuss his plan.
- Outside entities have said that he has a good business plan.
- DVR needs to be better at helping people with their business plans.
DVR Consumer #4 Testimony (parent of a DVR consumer)
- DVR staff are not knowledgeable about what services or opportunities are available to consumers.
- Frequent counselor changes/staff turnover make it difficult to develop a relationship with a counselor.