The Maryland Division of Rehabilitation Services (DORS) has been operating under an Order of Selection (OOS) policy since the late 1980s. The DORS has faced multiple issues related to federal distributions of vocational rehabilitation (VR) funds, state financial support, and increasing cost of services and demands for services. To address these problems, the agency has focused on serving individuals with the most significant disabilities (MSD) and significant disabilities (SD).
Order of Selection
The West Virginia Division of Rehabilitation Services (WVDRS) went into Order of Selection (OOS) in 1985, establishing four categories to prioritize rehabilitation services to individuals with more significant disabilities. Up until 2006, the agency had been able to serve customers in the first three OOS categories. In 2006, due to overextended financial resources, a waitlist was implemented, and for one year, no new customers were served.
The Oregon Office of Vocational Rehabilitation Services (OVRS) has adopted the “Enhancing Employment Outcomes” model of services. This project trains staff to recognize and target services based on level of customer preparation for employment, and to provide enhanced job-development services. Customer preparation is based on the concept of motivational intervention (MI). The MI approach assists customers with examining and resolving their ambivalence about employment.
The Wisconsin Division of Vocational Rehabilitation (DVR) has been in an Order of Selection since 1994. Developed by a former deputy administrator in 2006, DVR uses a projection tool to effectively manage fiscal and staffing resources to ensure priority-service delivery for individuals with the most significant disabilities (MSD), while also engaging customers with less significant disabilities who are on a waitlist. Using this tool has helped the agency to meet its performance goals and to increase its rehabilitation rate for customers with MSD.
The Florida Division of Vocational Rehabilitation (DVR) implemented an Order of Selection (OOS) in 2008 due to insufficient resources to serve all eligible customers. The agency had a long waitlist and a backlog of customers waiting to be seen by counselors for employment planning. In response to this situation, DVR used American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (ARRA) funds to establish a call center in 2009, hiring hourly, non-benefitted staff to contact customers on the waitlist.
In Fiscal Year 2001, the Washington Division of Vocational Rehabilitation (DVR) did not have adequate funds to serve all eligible customers, and was required to implement an Order of Selection (OOS) policy.
In February 2009, the Maine Division of Vocational Rehabilitation began to closely examine all agency practices. The purpose was to identify and address inefficiencies with the goal of eliminating the waitlist that had been in place since 2001 and moving out of an Order of Selection policy. To implement this effort, called the No Queue For You (NOQ4U) project, the agency formed a steering committee and assigned each member a focus area of the vocational rehabilitation (VR) process, including entering the program, developing and accomplishing an employment plan, and exiting the program.
VR-RRTC researchers conducted case-study research to identify: how state VR agencies effectively manage outreach, service access, and case flow to ensure that individuals with MSD are served on priority basis; what practices they use, and what evidence exists for their effectiveness; and how to make them easily transferable to other states given the variation in how states are organized.
Download (Case Study)
Bobby Silverstein provides an overview of the OOS policy and analysis he completed of 41 VR programs. There was a discussion of how this material and the resources of the VR-RRTC could be utilized in collaboration with the TACE programs.
This webinar is the first in a series looking at promising practices in prioritizing and delivering of services to individuals with Most Significant Disabilities (MSD). Presenters will discuss results from case studies identifying strategies that VR agencies have used to manage outreach, service access, and case flow to ensure that individuals with MSD are served on a priority basis. Strategies include tools to manage priority categories, fiscal and human resources, performance, waitlists, and stakeholder communication. The goal of this webinar is to provide VR agencies examples of strategies utilized by their fellow VR state agencies under Order of Selection to help them improve employment services and outcomes for individuals with MSD. Presenters will also address the impact on direct service delivery and case management.