RFI-9-65 QNA Due 3:00PM March 26, 2009    
     
Question Topic Answer
     
1. Who are the vendors you are currently using for: Scope of Work  
a.  Video   Communication Access Center
b.  Face-to-face ASL   14 Interpreting Agencies/20 Freelance Interpreters
2.  What rate are you paying under the current contract for Video and face-to-face? Scope of Work Video is $40.00/hour, Face to Face between $25.00 - $60.00/hour, depending on interpreter certification level and if using an interpreting agency.
3.  Is the Video equipment currently used wireless? Scope of Work Depending on which device we are using, it can be wireless, although hard wired has better reception.
4. What is the current volume of interpreter encounters on an average month? Scope of Work This varies greatly.  During the past 30 days, BRS authorized over 4,000 hours of face to face interpreting services.  For VRI, the agency uses approximately 280 hours per month.
5. What is the process for receiving request for services and how is it disseminated to contract vendors? Scope of Work The RFS will be posted on the Indiana Department of Administration (IDOA) website http://www.in.gov/cgi-bin/idoa/cgi-bin/bidad.pl.  Please register with IDOA at http://www.in.gov/idoa/2464.htm to be notified when new RFI/RFS are added to IDOA website.  
6. How is the administration of services currently handled? Is this a contracted cost or an internal cost of services? Scope of Work Contracted cost for interpreting agencies, an Administration Fee is paid to the interpreting agency per number of interpreters for each interpreting hour worked
7. What is the breakdown of these costs?  (e.g. salaries, agency fees, etc.) Scope of Work Video Remote Interpreting is paid a base pay of $40.00/hour and time is accumulated in minutes for all VRI VR Services statewide.  Interpreters are paid between $25.00 - $45.00/hour of interpreting (first state job of the day is a guaranteed two-hour minimum), Administrative Fee is $15.00 per hour of interpreting time, per interpreter. Travel time is paid (anything over 50 miles one-way) at the same rate as interpreting fee (no administrative fees are paid for travel), and mileage is paid at the current state rate (.44/mile) for anything over 20 miles one-way.
8. How are the current vendors used?  Regionally or do they travel across the state? Scope of Work Most counselors contact local vendors.  Current system is set up to allow counselors to contact any interpreter/agency any where in the state of Indiana.  Interpreting agency can hire an interpreter in the local area of the assignment.
9. Where would you like to see the expansion of Video happening?  Rural areas or expanding metropolitan areas? Scope of Work In all areas of the state of Indiana
10. Are you interested in using Video for foreign language interpretation for Voc Rehab clients? Scope of Work The agency will explore this if/when the need arises.
11. Is the state going to provide adequate funding to support the infrastructure necessary to establish a statewide VRI system?  Is it possible VR  could use some of the stimulus monies the state received for providing the funding for the infrastructure of this project. Funding BRS is committed to providing adequate funding and there is possibility of using stimulus money.  
12.  How is consumer choice addressed in a single coordinating unit providing statewide interpreters? Scope of Work Consumers will continue to have choice in type of services needed, including appropriate interpreter skill/style (ASL, PSE, SEE).   Specific local interpreters could be requested when needed.
13.  How will the single coordinating unit know the modality of the deaf client and be able to match that with local interpreters?   Scope of Work The coordinating unit must have knowledge of the various interpreting services.  VR counselors, who understand the needs of consumers, will continue to be the point of contact for authorizing and requesting interpreter services.
14.  Is the state prepared for 24/7 coverage in a single coordinating unit because that is what will be required in order to provide interpreting services and VRI services  for VR interpreting requests?   Scope of Work Interpreting/VRI service requests would continue to be made during regular business hours.  In cases of interpreter cancellation, the scheduling of interpreters may need to occur outside of business hours.  Interpreting agencies are already responsible for obtaining replacement interpreters for their agency and this would also be expected of the coordinating unit.
15.  Does the state know of other states that are providing a single coordinating unit for statewide interpreting services including VRI services?  If so, are these systems improving quantity and quality of services and cutting down on administrative costs? Scope of Work Some states have a designated employee who fills interpreting assignments and coordinate additional interpreters as needed.  BRS staff have reviewed other state models and ongoing review will continue to ensure an effective and efficient system in Indiana.
16.  Will there be adequate funding to ensure the infrastructure of VRI services?  Will there be money from Indiana’s Stimulus Package available to fund this project? Funding Using some Stimulus money is a possibility.
17.  What other specific states has Indiana looked at that have implemented a statewide interpreter coordination and VRI system as referenced in this RFI, who are the contact people in these states and what is their contact information? Scope of Work Kentucky, Illinois, and Michigan have been contacted to learn about their services.  Information about Kentucky's model can be found at http://www.kcdhh.ky.gov/forms/ (click 'interpreter').  This model does not include VRI.  
18.  Please describe in detail how people who are Deaf in Indiana who are not state employees or contractors have been involved in the development of the statewide interpreter coordination and VRI system concept identified in this RFI.   This concept would change the way the state does business with providers, but we do not anticipate changes from the consumer perspective other than increased availability and accessibility of services.   Consumers will still receive services from qualified interpreters. In fact, we anticipate that more funding will be available for direct consumer services since admin costs should be reduced.  The RFI is being conducted to solicit input, suggestions, concerns, etc from interested vendors.  Responses will be evaluated and considered as BRS develops the concept of a single coordinating unit.  
19.  What mechanisms do state agency policy makers envision to ensure that people who are Deaf have choice and control over the interpreters assigned to them and the type of interpreting services they receive (VRI vs. community interpreting)?   Consumers will continue to have choice in type of services needed, including appropriate interpreter skill/style (ASL, PSE, SEE).   Specific local interpreters could be requested when needed.   
20.  This RFI was evidently listed on IDOA’s web site in two locations. As of this morning, one location led to an "Error - Page Not Found" page. The RFI was therefore not available until later this morning (the same day questions were due) for those of us who were trying to see the actual RFI. Is it possible for IDOA to extend the deadline identified in the RFI given the fact that it was not available through this channel?   The deadline for RFI responses has been extended to 3:00pm April 2, 2009.  The deadline for questions has been extended to 3:00pm March 26, 2009.
21.  What did this seminar mean to me?  Are you still using CART services for interpreter services?  Where does CART fit here? Scope of Work Yes, the agency is still using CART services when appropriate.  A determination will be made on whether to include CART services in the single coordinating unit concept. 
22.  Are there other states who are currently using a centralized scheduling/provider and how has that worked?  Scope of Work Kentucky, Illinois, and Michigan have been contacted to learn about their services.  Information about Kentucky's model can be found at http://www.kcdhh.ky.gov/forms/ (click 'interpreter').  This model does not include VRI.  
23.  How will the centralized service ensure that consumer choice remains intact? Some consumers prefer live interpreters and some prefer VRI. Some consumers and interpreters work very well together while the opposite can be said for other consumer and interpreter matches. Scope of Work Consumers will continue to have choice in type of services needed, including appropriate interpreter skill/style (ASL, PSE, SEE).   Specific local interpreters could be requested when needed.  State VR counselor will continue to be the main point of contact with the consumer and the interpreter/VRI coordinator.  The counselor will be the person who authorizes and request interpreter services.
24.  Will the deaf community’s thoughts and opinions be solicited while making this decision?  Scope of Work Input from consumers is important when client services are being modified or changed.  This concept would change the way the state does business with providers, but we do not anticipate changes from the consumer perspective other than increased availability and accessibility of services.   Consumers will still receive services from qualified interpreters. In fact, we anticipate that more funding will be available for direct consumer services since admin costs should be reduced.  The RFI is being conducted to solicit input, suggestions, concerns, etc from interested vendors.  Responses will be evaluated and considered as BRS develops the concept of a single coordinating unit.  
25.  What sort of research will be conducted before the state commits to a new course of action?  Scope of Work RFI responses will be evaluated as well as ongoing research of other state models.  The goal is to develop a Request for Service (RFS) later this spring, based on responses from this RFI.  
26.  What type of funding is available to establish the infrastructure needed in order to make the state’s efforts successful? VR has received stimulus money. Is this where the funding will be found? Funding BRS is committed to providing adequate funding and there is possibility of using stimulus money.  
27.  How will this aid in keeping local work local as indicated in the webinar, when by all appearances a centralized unit threatens to take local work away from the current providers?   Local interpreters will be used for appropriate jobs in their local areas.  The single coordinating unit will be responsible for scheduling services statewide and will network with statewide interpreters/agencies to fill jobs in their own areas.  The goal is that interpreters will obtain more work in their own area, thereby reducing time spent traveling and increasing their time spent interpreting. 
28.  To whom does one address concerns from this point forward? Contact Please address all questions and/or concerns to Stephanie Taylor at Sttaylor@idoa.in.gov.
29. Is the state of Indiana open to "On-Demand" video services without the need for scheduling in advance? Services This would be considered for situations where advanced request was unavailable.
30. Does the state require video conferencing equipment be provided or do they already own the VRI systems? Equipment The state already owns equipment, however there may be a need for updated equipment in the future.
31. If a vendor can provide VRI independent of "Interpreter Coordination" activities and/or on-site requirements, would that presentation be accepted?   The goal is to have a single coordinating unit to provide both coordination of face to face interpreting and VRI services,  however all RFI responses will be reviewed.  
32.  Is there a requirement that VRI interpreters be located in Indiana or can they be located elsewhere in the U.S.?   While it is always preferable to use in-state providers, Interpreters can live anywhere in the US, but need to have a valid Indiana Interpreter Certification (IIC) to work for the state of Indiana.  IIC requirements are listed at http://www.in.gov/fssa/files/460_Adm_Code_IIC.pdf (460 IAC 2-3-3 Certification Requirements).