The DOR concurs with this recommendation. Upon promulgation of regulations, the DOR will ensure that all relevant parties are provided with appropriate information and guidance.
SRC Recommendation 2010.15
The SRC recommends that DOR collect data regarding closures made pursuant to CCR 7179.1(C)(1)(A) and CCR 7179.3(A)(9) and report to the SRC one year from the effective date.
While the DOR appreciates SRC's concern that this change not be used to inappropriately deny services, the DOR current and proposed Case Records System does not capture this data. The DOR commits to providing appropriate instruction and guidance to ensure this regulation is applied appropriately. As with all other decisions, applicants and consumers of the DOR have the full scope of due process procedures if they believe they have been incorrectly denied services.
SRC Recommendation 2010.16
The SRC recommends that the DOR evaluate the effectiveness and consistent application of existing department policies, procedures, guidelines and practices, relating to the timely procurement and delivery of employment and educational-related Assistive Technology, equipment, training, services and supports.
The DOR is committed to mitigating difficulties consumers may have with the timely receipt of equipment and services. Toward that end, the DOR has done copious amounts of review and research on the current and proposed business processes to identify efficiencies. Based on that information, the DOR has already undertaken the following steps:
Conducted a department-wide business process mapping project to identify possible efficiencies throughout the DOR service delivery system;
Funded, developed and launched a more efficient consumer electronic record system (ERS) that will streamline the decades-old case records system for all consumer services, including authorizations;
Established Program Technician II positions in each district to centralize the purchase of commodities to maximize efficiencies;
Hired Procurement Technician IIs in each DOR district throughout the state and provided individualized training to further streamline procurement processes and improve the timeliness of services; and
Joined a multi-agency workgroup exploring the utilization of alternate payment methods for consumer purchase of authorized goods.
The DOR appreciates the underlying intent of this SRC recommendation, which is to improve assistive technology services for DOR consumers. We believe allocating limited staff resources on an evaluation of…"existing department policies, procedures, guidelines and practices..." would be counterproductive to SRC's intention. The DOR acknowledges efficiencies can be achieved, and will utilize its resources to continue the forward momentum of the improvements already underway.
Consumer Success Stories
All names have been changed to protect privacy, unless otherwise noted.
Roy, a consumer with quadriplegia, first came to the DOR for services in 2003. Between 2003 and 2010, Roy received an array of services to accommodate his needs, including an accessible van, ergonomic worksite evaluations, workstation assessments and assistance with travel and participation in his final medical exams. These services allowed Roy to participate in an on-the-job training position in the Radiology Department of an internationally known university. He is now a Radiologist at a prominent Children’s Hospital, thanks to services and supports provided by DOR.
Nicole, a single mother of two, lacked the experience and resources to find employment when she stumbled upon the DOR in October 2009. Nicole never saw her mental illness as a barrier to her desire to become a long haul truck driver, a dream instilled in childhood by riding alongside her truck-driving uncle. DOR services and supports included training courses to earn her certification as a truck driver as well as Global Positioning System (GPS) and radio equipment. Within six months, Nicole landed a full-time job as a long haul truck driver in Utah.
Tim had not worked in more than 10 years when doctors suggested he go to the DOR. With an initial Regional Occupational Program (ROP) training in graphic design, Will excelled, and even assisted by providing photoshop lessons to the rest of the class. Unfortunately, the field was saturated with applicants and after two years of diligent searching and job club participation, he sensed a need to change direction. He shared his desire to consider computer repair with his counselor, who provided the services and supports to become certified in computer repair through a local community college. He now has a job and, in his own words, is “earning more money than I ever have in my life (and) also received my first ever bonus.” He continues, “I love what I do and the people that I support appreciate my assistance. My disability has largely been overcome. I have even found time to volunteer at a local public library by sharing my computer skills with others as a way of giving back. I am so grateful for my DOR counselors. The assistance DOR provided has clearly changed my life.”
Cindy recently wrote the following to her counselor: “Once again I would like to express my [gratitude] for the services provided to me by your department… (and) …the kindness, support and attentiveness that my Rehabilitation Counselors showed over the five-plus years my case was active. Were it not for the Vocational Rehabilitation program, I doubt that I would today be providing healthcare for the many patients I see each week. Since completing retraining and acquiring my acupuncture license almost three years ago, I have seen my practice grow into a multi-disciplinary clinic offering low-cost acupuncture, chiropractic, massage and health education services… the State's investment in me is coming full circle...”
Katrina, a person with cerebral palsy with right side hemi paresis, first came to the DOR as an 18 year old, first year student at a University of California (UC) school. She needed accommodations and assistive technology for full access to college courses, as well as assistance with school expenses. She completed her Bachelor of Science degree at the UC and was accepted into a Midwestern university's School of Optometry. The DOR provided the allowable portion of her tuition, while Katrina paid for housing and the balance of fees. The DOR staff worked with the university and a local optical instrument manufacturer to equip Katrina with modified optometric instruments. Katrina passed three nationally recognized licensure exams, including one for which she was not allowed time or instrument accommodations. As a result of tremendous fortitude, she is now licensed to practice optometry. In addition, she has made a two-year commitment to the university to serve as auxiliary faculty and mentor new students.
Jim was a registered nurse and chief anesthetist when his doctors diagnosed him with a brain tumor. For over 25 years, Jim had thoroughly enjoyed his work, specifically the helping aspect to nursing. Following the removal of the brain tumor Jim experienced cognitive impairments of his memory and speech processing abilities and decreased professional self-worth. Jim’s neuropsychologist determined he could not resume anesthesiology, but would be able to return to the nursing field in some other capacity. The counselor and Jim identified nursing positions compatible with his limitations and abilities. The DOR provided job leads and placement assistance, interview clothing, information and referral services, and an assistive technology device to accommodate the memory impairment and to retrieve medication/dosage information and reminder notes. After several months of services, counseling and guidance, Jim accepted a position with a local hospital in the “Preceptor Program,” which provided the close supervision and support he needed. With the DOR's support, Jim was able to re-enter the workplace ethically, responsibly, and with confidence.
Joyce applied to the DOR over 10 years ago, requesting training assistance in her chosen field of electrical engineering. Unfortunately, Joyce's medical conditions caused delays in her education, keeping her from completing her degree requirements at a California State University. With much effort and struggle on her part, Joyce attained her degree and began an active job search, working closely with Workability IV (a cooperative program between colleges and the DOR that promotes access and offers enhanced career services to students with significant disabilities). Recently, she achieved full-time employment as an engineer in an aerospace corporation.
Anthony came to the DOR at age 18, when a motorcycle racing accident resulted in paraplegia. Collaborative discussion with his rehabilitation counselor resulted in a chosen profession of cabinetmaker. The DOR provided funding for training and launched Anthony to own a cabinet-making business from 1979 to 1992. Realizing his commitment to disability issues, Anthony took a new career path -- one that included executive director of an independent living center and an in-home supportive services public authority, together with a Master's Degree in management and disability services. Anthony has, on numerous occasions, publicly acknowledged the outstanding services he received from the DOR and the opportunities his Counselor’s encouragement afforded him. The quality and long-term outcomes of those services remain uppermost in his mind in his current job -- where his friends and colleagues know him better as Tony -- Tony Sauer, Director of the California Department of Rehabilitation.
Acronyms and Abbreviations used in this Report
2010 Unless otherwise noted, references to 2010 refer to Federal Fiscal Year 2010 (October 1, 2009 - September 30, 2010)
Act The Rehabilitation Act of 1973, as amended in 1998
ADA Americans with Disabilities Act
ARRA American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009
BEP Business Enterprise Program
CAP Client Assistance Program
CBO Community Based Organizations
CCR California Code of Regulations
CFR Code of Federal Regulations
CHIIP California Health Incentives Improvement Project
CMEI California Model Employer Initiative
CRD Community Resources Development
CRP Community Rehabilitation Program
CSNA Comprehensive Statewide Needs Assessment
CSS Consumer Satisfaction Survey
DDS Department of Developmental Services
DGS Department of General Services
DMH Department of Mental Health
DOR Department of Rehabilitation
EDD Employment Development Department
EO Executive Order
EPC Executive Planning Committee
FFY Federal Fiscal Year
IL Independent Living
IPE Individualized Plan for Employment
MSOT Maintenance and Service Occupational Trainees
OIB Older Individuals who are Blind
QRP Qualified Rehabilitation Professional
RSA Rehabilitation Services Administration, U.S. Department Of Education
SE Supported Employment
SRC State Rehabilitation Council
SVRC Senior Vocational Rehabilitation Counselor
TBI Traumatic Brain Injury
VR Vocational Rehabilitation
The following source documents were utilized in developing this Annual Report:
2010 DOR/SRC CSS Report
2011 DOR State Plan
ARRA Status Report
California EDD Labor Market Review (September 2010)
CMEI Master Charter and Report
DOR "DOR-Ways" publications
DOR Preliminary Data Reports [DISCLAIMER: At the direction of RSA, this report contains preliminary raw data not yet validated for FFY 2010. The validated data will not be available until early 2011.]
Governor's Executive Order S-11-10
29 United States Code (USC) Section 725(b)
Rehabilitation Appeals Board Decisions (Redacted)
The SRC prepares and submits an annual report to the Governor of California and Commissioner of the RSA on the status of vocational rehabilitation programs operated within California. This document fulfills that mandate and is available to the public in a variety of formats. For additional information, please visit the SRC's webpage at: http://www.dor.ca.gov/execsrc.htm.
The SRC welcomes visitors. SRC meetings are open to the public and include time on the agenda for public comment. For additional information, please contact the State Rehabilitation Council at email@example.com or (916) 558-5868.