California State Rehabilitation Council Annual Report 2011



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California

State Rehabilitation Council

Annual Report

2011

(Text Version)







Edmund G. Brown Jr., Governor

State of California


Health and Human Services Agency



Office of the Director

721 Capitol Mall

Sacramento, CA 95814

(916) 324-1313 Voice

(916) 558-5807 TTY

(916) 558-8506 Fax








Honorable Edmund G. Brown Jr., Governor

Lynnae M. Ruttledge, RSA Commissioner

As Director of the California Department of Rehabilitation (DOR), and as an ex officio member of the State Rehabilitation Council (SRC), it is my pleasure to join in presenting the SRC's 2011 Annual Report to you and other interested parties.

During these uncertain economic times, it is more critical than ever for the DOR and the SRC to continue the partnership we have developed over the years. The cornerstone of this partnership is strong two-way communication and collaboration. In accordance with its federal mandates, the SRC shares with the DOR its findings and recommendations. The DOR, in turn, seeks the guidance of the SRC at key decision-making points in the development and implementation of its plans, programs and policies. This partnership continues to provide a consumer-driven orientation to California's vocational rehabilitation service delivery system.

In this year of continuing fiscal crisis we honor how far we've come; while acknowledging the progress still needed to achieve equality, accessibility and independence for Californians with disabilities.
Sincerely,

Anthony “Tony” P. Sauer, EMMDS

Director

California Department of Rehabilitation



Letter from the SRC Chair

The California State Rehabilitation Council (SRC) is pleased to present to you and all stakeholders its Annual Report for Federal Fiscal Year (FFY) 2011 (October 1, 2010 -- September 30, 2011). The SRC is proud of the successful outcomes made possible through its ongoing collaborative efforts with the Department of Rehabilitation (DOR). The primary focus of this partnership is to provide effective employment preparation, access, and opportunities for Californians with disabilities, served by the DOR. This report summarizes the shared efforts of the SRC and the DOR over the past year, and exemplifies how a true collaboration with stakeholders can lead to exciting and rewarding employment outcomes for Californians with disabilities.


This year, much like last year, presented all of us with continuing fiscal challenges. Yet, as a result of creativity, persistence, and dedication, the SRC, DOR, and community partners have continued to create new paths to employment, aimed at meeting the emerging needs of individuals with disabilities.
Having the pleasure and honor of serving as a member of the SRC for the past four years, I am proud of the efforts of the SRC and DOR to carry out its mission to serve Californians with disabilities. I believe our continuing joint efforts to overcome barriers to employment for individuals with disabilities will serve to enhance the lives of all Californians.

Robert Hand, Chair

California State Rehabilitation Council

The Overall Picture
The State of California, similar to the country as a whole, continued its economic struggles in 2011, while showing some improvement over 2010. The California Employment Development Department (EDD) reported an 11.9% seasonally adjusted unemployment rate for September, the final month of Federal Fiscal Year (FFY) 2011. This is greater than the national reported rate of 9.1% for the same time period.
While the national unemployment rate showed a slight recovery over the September 2010 figures, declining from 9.6 to 9.1 percent, California's September 2010 to September 2011 unemployment rate also decreased by .5% – dropping from 12.4% to 11.9%, thus maintaining the gap between the employment picture in California and the country as a whole.
Added to the overall economic challenges, California state government struggled through another year of continuing state budget shortfalls in the billions, and state agency furloughs that reduced the available work hours (and employee paychecks) by roughly 5%.
DOR in 2011
The employees of the California DOR, including more than 750 rehabilitation counselors in 85 offices throughout the state, exemplify its mission:

The California Department of Rehabilitation works in partnership with consumers and other stakeholders to provide services and advocacy resulting in employment, independent living and equality for individuals with disabilities.

In spite of a year of extraordinary challenges within state government and throughout the California economy, the employees of the DOR, in particular the rehabilitation counselors, continued to serve the DOR consumers and fulfill their mission. During FFY 2011, the DOR served 114,737 consumers; processed 40,522 new applications, wrote 26,737 new Individualized Plans for Employment (IPEs), and achieved successful employment outcomes for 11,752 DOR consumers.
DISCLAIMER: At the direction of RSA, this report contains the preliminary data not yet validated for FFY 2011 (October 1, 2010 - September 30, 2011). The validated data will not be available until early 2012. If substantive changes are found, this report will be updated. As well, in 2011 the DOR transitioned to the AWARE case management system and some data validation issues are lingering, soon to be resolved. Therefore, at this time, all figures in this section of the report are projections based on in-depth trend analysis using 5 years of data. If substantive changes are found, this report will be updated.
The Year at a Glance
Applications – 40,522

Waiting List – 238

Pre-Plan – 13,085

Accepted – 34,310

New Plans – 26,737

In Plan – 60,600

Total Open (as of September 30, 2011) – 74,160

Total Closed – 40,577

Closed - Employed – 11,752

Closed - Not Employed – 13,000


How DOR Measured Up
The federal Rehabilitation Services Administration (RSA) requires states to track and report on a series of benchmarks, commonly referred to as Standards and Indicators. RSA requires each State to pass a minimum of two out of three "primary indicators" and four out of six overall indicators. Based on preliminary raw data (subject to validation), California passed the required two of the three primary indicators, and four of the four overall indicators.
DISCLAIMER: At the direction of RSA, this report contains the preliminary data not yet validated for FFY 2011 (October 1, 2010 - September 30, 2011). The validated data will not be available until early 2012. If substantive changes are found, this report will be updated. As well, in 2011 the DOR transitioned to the AWARE case management system and some data validation issues are lingering, soon to be resolved. Therefore, at this time, all figures in this section of the report are projections based on in-depth trend analysis using 5 years of data. If substantive changes are found, this report will be updated.
The preliminary raw data shows the following:
Primary Indicators Met


  • The percentage of successfully employed consumers who obtained competitive employment was 86.8%, exceeding the RSA Benchmark of 72.6% (Performance Indicator 1.3).




  • The percentage of the successfully employed consumers who have a significant disability was 99.8%, far exceeding the RSA Benchmark of 62.4% (Performance Indicator 1.4).


Additional Indicator Met


  • The percentage of successfully employed consumers who are self-supporting is 69.0%, again exceeding the RSA Benchmark of 53% (Performance Indicator 1.6).




  • In 2011 the DOR achieved 893 more employment outcomes than in 2010. RSA requires states to achieve successful employment for at least as many consumers as the preceding year. (Performance Indicator 1.1)



Indicators Not Met


  • The percentage of total closures whose cases were closed because they were successfully employed was 43.4%. The Benchmark for RSA is 55.8%. (Performance Indicator 1.2)




  • California’s successfully employed case closures earned, on average, 48.4% of the California 2010 average hourly wage of $25.23, as identified by the US Department of Labor. The RSA Benchmark is at least 52% (Performance Indicator 1.5).



Who DOR Served
California's population is among the most diverse in the nation. Consequently, there is a tremendous diversity in the population DOR serves. In 2011, DOR identified 12 primary languages spoken by its consumers. This is the identified language in which they primarily communicate, and does not include those who are bilingual. As can be expected from a border state, Spanish is the most common non-English language spoken, with 4,821 Spanish-speaking consumers in the total DOR caseload of 114,737. The second most prevalent primary language was American Sign Language, the primary form of communication for 3,498 DOR consumers. Rounding out the top21 five primary languages spoken are Chinese, Vietnamese, and Tagalog. Again, these reflect only those whose primary languages are other than English, and does not reflect the number of consumers with some level of English-speaking ability.
Consumers who achieved employment success this year are working an average of 30.21 hours a week. The wages of this year's successfully employed consumers average $12.21 per hour.
The following tables provide a breakdown of each demographic segment served by DOR.
DISCLAIMER: At the direction of RSA, this report contains the preliminary data not yet validated for FFY 2011 (October 1, 2010 - September 30, 2011). The validated data will not be available until early 2012. If substantive changes are found, this report will be updated. As well, in 2011 the DOR transitioned to the AWARE case management system and some data validation issues are lingering, soon to be resolved. Therefore, at this time, all figures in this section of the report are projections based on in-depth trend analysis using 5 years of data. If substantive changes are found, this report will be updated.
Statewide by Age Group

ALL: 114,737, total caseload, of which 11,752 (10.2%) closed as successfully employed

19 or Younger: 19,505 (17% of the total caseload), of which 1,466 (7.5% of consumers in this age group) closed as successfully employed

Ages 20-29: 28,684 (25% of the total caseload), of which 3,061 (10.7% of consumers in this age group) closed as successfully employed

Ages 30-39 17,211 (15% of the total caseload), of which 2,143 (12.5% of consumers in this age group) closed as successfully employed

Ages 40-49: 24,095 (21% of the total caseload), of which 2,556 (10.6% of consumers in this age group) closed as successfully employed

Ages 50-59: 19,505 (17% of the total caseload), of which 1,660 (8.5% of consumers in this age group) closed as successfully employed

Age 60 or Older: 5,737 (5% of the total caseload), of which 866 (15.1% of consumers in this age group) closed as successfully employed


Statewide by Gender

ALL: 114,737, of which 11,752 (10.2%) closed as successfully employed

Female: 48,648 (42.4% of the total caseload), of which 4,643 (9.5% of this group) closed as successfully employed

Male: 65,745 (57.3% of the total caseload), of which 7,109 (10.8% of this group) closed as successfully employed

Not Reported: 344 (0.3% of the total caseload), of which none closed as successfully employed
Statewide by Ethnicity

ALL: 114,737, of which 11,752 (10.2%) closed as successfully employed

American Indian*: 803 (0.7% of the total caseload), of which 109 (13.6% of this group) closed as successfully employed

Asian: 4,819 (4.2% of the total caseload), of which 531 (11% of this group) closed as successfully employed

Black: 22,030 (19.2% of the total caseload), of which 1,846 (8.4% of this group) closed as successfully employed

Hispanic: 29,946 (26.1% of the total caseload), of which 3,295 (11% of this group) closed as successfully employed

Multi: 2,639 (2.3% of the total caseload), of which 297 (11.3% of this group) closed as successfully employed

Not Reported: 549 (0.5% of the total caseload), of which 0 closed as successfully employed

Pacific Islander: 1,033 (0.9% of the total caseload), of which 98 (9.5% of this group) closed as successfully employed

White: 52,918 (46.1% of the total caseload), of which 5,576 (10.5% of this group) closed as successfully employed


* This figure does not include American Indians served through the American Indian Vocational Rehabilitation Program (121 Projects)
Statewide by Disability Category

ALL: 114,737, of which 11,752 (10.2%) closed as successfully employed

Psychiatric Disabilities: 33,388 (29.1% of the total caseload), of which 2,904 (8.7% of this group) closed as successfully employed

Physical Disabilities: 28,340 (24.7% of the total caseload), of which 1,970 (7% of this group) closed as successfully employed

Learning Disabilities: 20,080 (17.5% of the total caseload), of which 2,369 (11.8% of this group) closed as successfully employed

Developmental Disabilities: 7,802 (6.8% of the total caseload), of which 1,504 (19.3% of this group) closed as successfully employed

Blind/Visually Impaired: 6,769 (5.9% of the total caseload), of which 1,129 (16.7% of this group) closed as successfully employed

Deaf/Hearing Impaired: 6,655 (5.8% of the total caseload), of which 686 (10.3% of this group) closed as successfully employed

Other: 6,540 (5.7% of the total caseload), of which 629 (9.6% of this group) closed as successfully employed

Cognitive Impairments: 3,442 (3.0% of the total caseload), of which 394 (11.4% of this group) closed as successfully employed

Acquired Traumatic Brain Injury: 1,721 (1.5% of the total caseload), of which 167 (9.7% of this group) closed as successfully employed
Statewide by work status at time of successful closure

ALL: 11,752

Employment Without Supports 8,986 (76.5%)

Supported Employment 1,884 (16%)

Homemaker 809 (6.9%)

Self-Employed (Not Business Enterprise Program) 61 (0.5%)

Business Enterprise Program (BEP) 5 (NA)

Unpaid Family 7 (NA)


Statewide by occupation at time of successful closure

ALL: 11,752

Clerical/Sales 3,266 (26.7%)

Services 2,387 (19.5%)

Professional/Technical/Manager 2,363 (19.3%)

Miscellaneous 1,309 (10.7%)

Homemaker/Family Worker 809 (6.6%)

Processing 551 (4.5%)

Structural Work 417 (3.4%)

Farm/Fishing/Forestry 306 (2.5%)

Machine Trades 221 (1.8%)

Bench Work 123 (1.0%)



DOR highlights in 2011

20th Anniversary of the Youth Leadership Forum (YLF)

The YLF is an intensive, five-day training program for high school juniors and seniors with disabilities who are chosen through a competitive process based on their leadership potential, involvement in extra-curricular activities, and community involvement. YLF provides youth with disabilities a vehicle and context to launch their dreams into reality and learn how to advocate for a brighter tomorrow. Alumni of YLF have contributed to major policy like Assembly Concurrent Resolution 162 Disability History Week and the creation of Youth Organizing! Disabled and Proud, an organization that connects, organizes and educates youth with disabilities.


This year marked the 20th Anniversary of YLF and this year’s theme was Awareness, Progress, and Catalysts for Change. The event was held July 24-28, 2011 and 20 of the 60 delegates were DOR consumers. YLF Luncheon presenters included Richard Pimentel, an internationally acclaimed trainer and expert on disability and employment, who was the first YLF speaker in 1992; and Brooke Fox, an award-winning New York-based vocalist, who is a 1994 YLF alumna.

Vocational Rehabilitation (VR) Modernization Project

The VR Modernization (VR Mod) Project refers to two DOR efforts - the implementation of our new electronic records system, an Accessible Web-based Activity Reporting Environment (AWARE), and the design and implementation of a new VR Service Delivery (VRSD) Model.


AWARE Implementation

This summer the DOR implemented its new electronic records system, AWARE, which replaced the Field Computer System electronic case management tool. Staff are already reaping the benefits of AWARE's enhanced tools for case documentation, service authorization, and communications with consumers.


The DOR expects the implementation of the AWARE system, in conjunction with the new VRSD Model, will streamline VR service delivery and enhance the quality and effectiveness of the services provided to consumers. The AWARE system better captures counselor decisions, ensures mandated case timelines are met, and documents interested person referrals.
VRSD Model Overview

The centerpiece of the new VRSD Model is the shift to a more consumer-centric team approach to service delivery. VRSD Teams will make the best use of counselor and support staff skills and DOR resources to provide consumers with more frequent and direct contact with our staff.


In addition, with the full implementation of the VRSD Model in 2013, the Department will be in compliance with a 1992 federal mandate requiring that five non-delegable counseling functions be provided by a Senior Vocational Rehabilitation Counselor-Qualified Rehabilitation Professional (SVRC-QRPs). In the new VRSD Model, while SVRC-QRPs spend more time counselling, their teammates will be able to help with other tasks that support the consumer including coordinating services and processing referrals. In the new model, consumers will have more than one DOR contact to provide them support and answer their questions. Working in teams will allow counseling staff to have back-up and support. The team approach is expected to increase job satisfaction among all staff.
Currently, the majority of job placement services are performed by external providers. The Department relies on these providers for job identification and placement. The new Model brings some of those services in-house with the addition of a new Employment Coordinator classification.
The three overarching goals for the redesign of the VRSD Model are:

  • Cultivate a team environment that will support the recruitment and retention of qualified staff to provide exceptional services to consumers.

  • Refine and standardize practices to provide timely, cost effective and quality services to consumers.

  • Increase the number and quality of employment outcomes for consumers.

While DOR began piloting the new Model with sixteen teams across the State in October 2011, the following pilot preparation activities occurred during FFY 2011:




  • Staff and stakeholder education about the goals, benefits, and changes associated with the new VRSD Model

  • Team Formation Training

  • Employment Coordinator Training

The DOR will gather data through March 31, 2012 to help determine how best to rollout the new VRSD Model statewide. The Pilot will end in December of 2012, with expected statewide implementation beginning in January 2013.


California Committee on Employment of People with Disabilities

On May 16th, 2011 Governor Brown released his revisions to the 2011/12 fiscal year budget. The revision identified areas of duplication and opportunities to centralize government functions. This plan included transitioning the Governor's Committee on Employment of People with Disabilities (GCEPD) from the EDD to the DOR on January 1, 2012.


Along with the transfer, the name has been changed to the California Committee on Employment of People with Disabilities (CCEPD). With strong support of the California Health and Human Services Agency and the DOR, the new committee will build upon the legacy of the Governor's Committee to further advance employment opportunities for people with disabilities in California.

The CCEPD is established in California statute to advance the employment of people with disabilities in the state. Policy-related responsibilities of the committee were first defined in the Workforce Inclusion Act (Aroner, Statutes of 2002) and amended as part of the Budget Act of 2011, under Assembly Bill 119. The primary function of the committee is to consult with and advise the Secretary of the Labor and Workforce Development Agency and the Secretary of the California Health and Human Services Agency on all issues related to full inclusion in the workforce of persons with disabilities, in order to:




  1. Bring individuals with disabilities into gainful employment at a rate that is as close as possible to that of the general population.

  2. Support the goals of equality of opportunity, full participation, independent living, and economic self-sufficiency for these individuals.

  3. Ensure that state government is a model employer of individuals with disabilities.

  4. Support state coordination with, and participation in, benefits planning training and information dissemination projects supported by private foundations and federal grants.

During the last half of FFY 2011, the DOR has worked collaboratively with the EDD to prepare for the establishment of the new CCEPD within the DOR effective January 1, 2012.



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