On June 19, 2017, Dr. Jennifer Walthall, Secretary of the Indiana Family and Social Services Administration welcomed representatives from federal and state programs to a Roundtable Summit co-hosted by the Bureau of Rehabilitation Services and the Department of Workforce Development. Representatives from the 12 Indiana Workforce Development regions, higher education, veterans’ organizations and public assistance programs participated in this proactive convening of stakeholders that provided attendees with background on the Vocational Rehabilitation (VR) program and informed them of the implementation of order of selection in August 2017. The discussion focused on how these changes could potentially impact these stakeholder organizations with an increase in referrals to their respective programs.
Attendees had an opportunity to ask questions about the impact of order of selection and to brainstorm around solutions to better prepare them for a potential increase in referrals from the VR program. Although it is difficult to predict the exact number of referrals who will apply for services though partner programs, the general consensus was that there is a need for access to training and best practices for effectively serving job seekers with disabilities, including disability etiquette and the reasonable accommodation process. Since the Roundtable Summit, multiple resources have been distributed, follow-up meetings have been scheduled, training is in development, and there are plans for continued conversations as order of selection is implemented. Meaningful collaboration throughout the state is critical to ensure the State continues to provide services to Hoosiers with barriers to employment.
Deferred Services Resources
Eligible individuals for vocational rehabilitation services who are determined not to meet the criteria as an individual with a most significant disability, will be placed in Priority Category 2 or 3 based on his/her severity determination assessment. Individuals in Priority Categories 2 and 3 without an Individualized Plan for Employment will be placed on a deferred services list according to the individual’s application date.
The following list highlights only a few resources across Indiana. Please note that individuals who are placed on the deferred services list will be provided information by their local vocational rehabilitation counselor best suited to address the specific employment needs of that individual.
- WorkOne - WorkOne is the heart of the workforce development system and where an individual can find a new or better job, choose a career, access training or get the information needed to succeed in today’s job market.
- IMPACT (Job Training) - The local office of the Division of Family Resources in each of Indiana's 92 counties has the responsibility for determining eligibility for IMPACT services of Education, Training, Job search and Job placement activities. For information on services available in your county, contact the local office of Family Resources in your county of residence.
- Ticket to Work - Ticket to Work is an employment support program for people with disabilities who are interested in going to work or increasing their work. The program’s goal is to increase opportunities and choices for Social Security disability beneficiaries to get vocational rehabilitation, employment and other support services from public and private providers, employers, and other organizations. Participation in the Ticket to Work program begins when a person reaches an agreement with an employment network (EN) or state vocational rehabilitation agency. An EN is an entity that contracts with the Social Security Administration to either provide or coordinate the delivery of the necessary services to Social Security disability beneficiaries. The EN can be a single person, a partnership/alliance (public or private), or a consortium of organizations collaborating to combine resources to serve eligible people Below is a list of the Indiana ENs:
Centers for Independent Living (CILs)
CILs are consumer-controlled, cross-disability, nonresidential, private, nonprofit agencies that are designed and operated within local communities by individuals with disabilities. They promote the independent living philosophy to empower all people with disabilities.
Each center is unique but operate under the same five core services:
- Peer counseling;
- information and referral;
- individual and systems advocacy;
- independent living skills training; and
- services that facilitate transition from nursing homes and other institutions to the community, provide assistance to those at risk of entering institutions and facilitate transition of youth to postsecondary life.
INData Project - Assistive Technology - Easterseals Crossroads has been providing assistive technology solutions in Indiana since 1979. In 2007, Easterseals Crossroads partnered with the State of Indiana, Bureau of Rehabilitative Services to establish the Indiana Assistive Technology Act (INDATA) Project. The INDATA Project is one of 56 similar federally-funded projects designed to increase access and awareness of assistive technology. INDATA core services include:
- Information and referral;
- funding assistance;
- public awareness and education;
- device demonstration;
- device loan;
- reutilized computers; and equipment reutilization.
Indiana Association on Higher Education and Disability (Indiana AHEAD) - The primary purpose of Indiana AHEAD is to foster professional development opportunities and to facilitate communication among disability service providers and others interested in disability-related issues in order to support the implementation of services to students with disabilities at Indiana universities and colleges. The goals of Indiana AHEAD are to:
- share information and resources through a network of postsecondary institutions and organizations;
- facilitate communication among college disability service providers in Indiana;
- provide members with opportunities for professional development;
- monitor current legislation affecting disability issues;
- promote equal access for students with disabilities in higher education;
- distribute information generated by Indiana AHEAD
For Hoosier Veterans and Servicemembers
The Federal Veterans’ Vocational Rehabilitation and Employment (VR&E)
You may receive Vocational Rehabilitation and Employment (VR&E) services to help with job training, employment accommodations, resume development, and job seeking skills coaching. Other services may be provided to assist Veterans in starting their own businesses or independent living services for those who are severely disabled and unable to work in traditional employment. Eligibility:
- Transitioning Servicemembers within six months prior to discharge from active duty
- Veterans within one year following discharge from active duty
- Any Servicemember/Veteran currently eligible for a VA education benefit
- All current VA education beneficiaries
VRE& E also offers the Veteran’s Administration's Education and Career Counseling program for Veterans and Servicemembers to get personalized counseling and support to help guide their career paths, ensure the most effective use of their VA benefits, and achieve their goals. Learn more and apply for education and career counseling.
State of Indiana Department of Veterans’ Affairs
Since its establishment in 1945, the Indiana Department of Veterans Affairs (IDVA) has remained focused on aiding and assisting Hoosier veterans, and qualified family members or survivors, who are eligible for benefits or advantages provided by Indiana and the U.S. government. The County Veterans Service Offices are a local point of contact for veterans in their county to assist with all veteran issues.