Meeting of the Board of Regents | March 2008
THE STATE EDUCATION DEPARTMENT / THE UNIVERSITY OF THE STATE OF NEW YORK / ALBANY, NY 12234
Rebecca H. Cort
VESID Vocational Rehabilitation Revised Policy on the Individualized Plan for Employment
February 27, 2008
Goals 2, 4 and 5
Issue for Discussion
The Individualized Plan for Employment (IPE).
Reason for Consideration
To inform the Regents about the revised IPE policy and process.
Time did not permit discussion of this item at the February Regents meeting. This item is being resubmitted to the VESID Committee during its March 2008 meeting.
VESID provides the Board of Regents with information regarding changes in policy related to the provision of vocational rehabilitation services.
The Individualized Plan for Employment (IPE) is a written plan that identifies:
- the employment outcome, also referred to as the employment goal;
- the services that will be provided to achieve the employment goal and the time frames for those services; and
- the steps that will measure progress toward the employment goal.
The IPE outlines how the individual will achieve a specific employment goal that is consistent with the individual’s unique strengths, resources, priorities, concerns, abilities, capabilities, career interests and informed choice. The employment goal and specific vocational rehabilitation (VR) services are determined through an assessment of the eligible individual’s vocational rehabilitation needs. During the process of developing the IPE, the individual will be informed of his/her rights and responsibilities and the steps necessary to achieve an employment outcome. The VESID counselor and the eligible individual agree on the criteria to evaluate progress toward the employment goal.
Individuals with disabilities must be active and responsible participants in their own rehabilitation programs, including making informed, yet practical and realistic choices about the selection of their employment goal, the vocational rehabilitation services they receive and the providers of those services.
Timelines for IPE Development
VESID has revised this policy and procedure by adding a specific timeframe for development of the IPE, as required by Rehabilitation Services Administration (RSA), U.S. Department of Education. RSA regulations indicate that timeframes are needed to avoid delays in service delivery that may be due to delays in the IPE development process. Nationally, consumer advocacy groups have complained about the timeliness of VR services. In some cases, delays in IPE development may lead to consumers dropping out of the VR process. However, in other cases, extended timeframes may be necessary to properly evaluate an individual’s needs and the appropriate type and level of services to be recommended.
After review of other State’s standards, VESID policy will state that the IPE should be developed as soon as possible, within 90 days of the determination of eligibility. If the counselor anticipates that IPE development will be delayed, the consumer will be informed regarding the reasons for the delay and the steps necessary to develop the IPE. This change in policy is beneficial to our consumers in that it establishes a clear statewide standard for timely VR service delivery.
Basic Requirements of the IPE
The individual and the counselor develop the IPE as a result of the planning that begins during the assessment for determining eligibility. The IPE should be consistent with applicable policies and procedures; sound judgment and planning considerations; and the responsible use of public funds. An approved IPE confirms the agreement between the individual and the counselor regarding the employment goal and the VR services necessary to achieve that goal.
- The IPE must be agreed to and signed by the eligible individual (or, if appropriate the individual's authorized representative) and reviewed, approved and signed by the counselor or supervisor before the IPE may be implemented.
- Amendments to the IPE are required for any change in the IPE. All amendments that require a substantive or major change to an individual's IPE must be agreed to and signed by the individual (or individual's authorized representative), and reviewed, approved and signed by the counselor or supervisor before the IPE amendment is implemented. A substantive change, that is a major change, is when there is a change in the individual's employment goal, the services to be provided, the provider(s) of the service(s) or an increase in the individual’s participation in the cost of services. Minor changes do not require the signature of the individual to go into effect.
- To the maximum extent possible, a written copy of the IPE, including any amendments, should be provided to the individual (or individual's representative) in the native language or mode of communication of the individual.
- The IPE should be reviewed as often as necessary, but must be reviewed at least annually by the individual and counselor.
The revised policy and procedure will be posted under VR Policies on the VESID Internet webpage at http://www.vesid.nysed.gov/vrpolicy/policies/home.html. This will allow consumers, family members and service providers to access both the policies and their corresponding procedures.
The Board of Regents will continue to support VESID’s efforts to improve the quality and effectiveness of employment services for individuals with disabilities. The Board of Regents will continue to provide leadership in employment policy for individuals with disabilities in New York State.
Timetable for Implementation
The revised policy became effective February 14, 2008. With Regents support, the described activities will continue to move forward.