Issuance No: P15
Issuance Date: December 03, 2019
Subject: VR / RSB Coordination Policy
WIOA places heightened emphasis on coordination and collaboration at the Federal, State, and local levels to ensure a streamlined and coordinated service delivery system for all job-seekers, including those with disabilities. Vocational Rehabilitation (VR) and Rehabilitation Services for the Blind (RSB) are regional resources to enhance the service delivery to individuals with disabilities. Coordination opportunities in the NW region include:
Coordinating referrals across programs
All WIOA Title I programs will take advantage of the strengths of each other’s program and make cross-agency referrals. For example, VR agencies can refer with disabilities to the WIOA programs for training and work experience services. Likewise, WIOA programs can refer individuals with disabilities, as appropriate, to the VR program for pre-employment transition services provided through funds reserved for such services, transition services, and VR services. As is true with the provision of most VR services to eligible individuals, VR agency staff must determine whether comparable services and benefits exist prior to providing transition and other such services individuals with disabilities. The referral processes must be meaningful and will require cooperation between all partners.
Developing linkages for recruitment and placement
VR program staff and WIOA Title I program staff will collaborate on providing business services to better serve employers and to meet the needs of individuals with disabilities more effectively. Work-based learning experiences under pre-employment transition services can align with work experiences offered through the WIOA programs. The programs may also share business account information to ensure efficient and effective service delivery to employers and to ensure the best candidates from all programs are referred to employers for employment, work experience, or other opportunities.
Promoting information-sharing between programs
VR and WIOA Title I program staff will obtain signed releases of information forms allowing the programs to share participant information that would be necessary for the administration of the programs, such as the referral of individuals from one program to another and for the coordination of services between the programs. The sharing of personal information between the programs, pursuant to informed written consent, must be consistent with requirements for the release of personal information set forth at 34 C.F.R. § 361.38 and 20 C.F.R. part 603.
Collaborating to evaluate and improve services
The partnership between WIOA Title I and VR programs will encourage building of internal understanding, knowledge, and access to resources. Because the WIOA and VR programs share some of the same performance indicators, we will strengthen the coordination of services and evaluate and improve the outcomes of participants, including individuals with disabilities. Pursuant to the policies established by Department of Labor, the Missouri Office of Workforce Development, and the NW WDB, referrals, recruitment/placement, information sharing, and collaboration are required activities as the NW region supports coordination of services for individuals with disabilities.