“The purposes of the Rehabilitation Act, as amended, are-
…to empower individuals with disabilities to maximize employment, economic self-sufficiency, independence, and inclusion and integration into society …; and to ensure that the Federal Government plays a leadership role in promoting the employment of individuals with significant disabilities, and in assisting states and providers of services in fulfilling the aspirations of such individuals with disabilities for meaningful employment and independent living.”
The Rehabilitation Act of 1973, as amended
TABLE OF CONTENTS
1. INFORMED CHOICE
2. CASELOAD MANAGEMENT
3. FISCAL MANAGEMENT
4. OUTREACH, REFERRAL AND APPLICATION PROCESS 5. DEFINITION OF TERMS
6. SERVICE PRIORITY CATEGORIES
7. ELIGIBILITY FOR INDEPENDENT LIVING SERVICES 8. CONDITIONS NOT AFFECTING ELIGIBILITY 9. APPEAL RIGHTS
11. VOCATIONAL REHABILITATION CONSUMERS
REFERRED FOR INDEPENDENT LIVING SERVICES
12. INDEPENDENT LIVING REFERRAL OF CONSUMER
TO VOCATIONAL REHABILITATION PROGRAM
13. ASSESSMENT OF NEED FOR INDEPENDENT LIVING
14. INDEPENDENT LIVING PLAN
15. PROVISION OF SERVICES
16. CUSTOMER PARTICIPATION AND COST OF SERVICES 17. INFORMATION AND REFERRAL SERVICE TO OTHER
18. ADAPTIVE DEVICES INVENTORY
19. AMENDMENT OF SERVICE PLAN
20. CASE CLOSURE
21. POST CLOSURE SERVICES/SINGLE SERVICES
22. THE CASE FILE
23. PROGRAMS/SERVICES UNIQUE TO THE OFFICE
23.1 ASSISTIVE REHABILITATION TECHNOLOGY
23.3 KENTUCKY BUSINESS ENTERPRISES
23.4 CHARLES W. McDOWELL REHABILITATION CENTER
23.5 ORIENTATION AND MOBILITY
23.6 KENTUCKY ASSISTIVE TECHNOLOGY SERVICES
24. SUGGESTED ADAPTIVE EQUIPMENT
I. ADA INFORMATION
II. STATE REHABILITATION COUNCIL
III. CENTERS FOR INDEPENDENT LIVING
IV. INDEPENDENT LIVING ADVISORY BOARD
FOR THE BLIND
Building Working Relationships
The Office for the Blind, an office within the Department of
Workforce Investment of the Education Cabinet, provides services
to individuals with visual disabilities so they may improve their
opportunities for employment and become more independent and
productive in the community and workplace.
This manual revised fall 1999, and again in 2004 with updates in 2006, 2008, has been developed to give Independent Living Counselors an overview of the Independent Living Services program within the Office for the Blind.
The Center for Independent Living was established in October 1980, through a federal grant channeled through the Kentucky Department for the Blind. It was based in Louisville and opened with a staff of four, serving Louisville and Jefferson County. Early in the second year, two satellite Centers were established – one in Owensboro and one in Lexington, and services were expanded to cover the entire state of Kentucky. Since that time, the Owensboro office was moved to Bowling Green, and offices were established in Murray, Somerset, and Prestonsburg. In 2002, the Murray office was closed due to staff retirement. An IL Specialist was located in Paducah in 2003.
There was a name change and program redesign in 1993. The awarding of the federal grant to private Centers for Independent Living necessitated this.
The Independent Living Services program is operated in accordance with the Rehabilitation Act of 1973 as amended in 1998 and the Kentucky Revised Statutes (KRS 163.450 to KRS 163.470) and Kentucky Administrative Regulations.
All services of the Office for the Blind are provided to assist consumers in achieving employment and independence. Consumers are encouraged to participate in the development of their Independent Living Plan by exercising informed choice.
The program is designed to be flexible and to meet individualized needs. The focus must be directed toward independence in the home, community, and/or employment.
Consumers are assured the right to choose the available services, support, and training they desire. Information is available to assist consumers in exercising this right of informed choice.
At the time of application, the Client Assistance Program (CAP) is discussed with the consumer to assist with making these choices. The Client Assistance Program (CAP) is available for additional assistance and advocacy during the period of time the consumer’s case remains active. The consumer is given a copy of the CAP services, address, and telephone numbers. Please refer to the Forms section for this document.
An Independent Living Plan is developed and implemented in a manner that affords the eligible individual the opportunity to exercise informed choice in selecting goals, objectives, outcomes, and the specific independent living services or training to be provided under the plan.
Caseload Management is a skill that must be learned and continuously refined. Organization is the key factor that results in successful management. The Independent Living Counselor and the assistant (if applicable) are responsible for outreach, referral, and the application process. It is recommended that the Independent Living Counselors monitor their caseloads monthly in order to determine referral rates, caseload numbers, case closures, and provide or arrange needed services for the consumer. It is important to anticipate the needs of the consumer, the requirements of the Office, and plan accordingly.
The Independent Living Counselor is responsible for organizing collected data and monitoring the movement of cases as they progress through the various phases of the Independent Living Services program. The computerized systems (Case Management System – CMS and Consumer
Communication System – CCS) will assist the Independent Living
Counselor in monitoring the caseload. Various techniques may be utilized to manage the caseload depending upon the Counselor’s preference; however, all required forms and documents as listed in this manual must be utilized consistently by staff.
Fiscal management is the responsibility of the Independent Living Counselor. Fee schedules must be adhered to as well as agency policies and third party funding. As monitoring of caseload monies is essential, the Independent Living Counselor will receive by e-mail a monthly list of their expenditures.
While the agency does not have a financial need policy, it is suggested that the consumer participate in the cost of services, if possible.
OUTREACH, REFERRAL AND
OUTREACH – DEVELOPING REFERRAL SOURCES
The Independent Living Counselor is responsible for establishing and maintaining productive contacts within the community that result in appropriate referrals to the agency. Success of the Independent Living Services program depends in part on the ability to develop appropriate referral sources. The Independent Living Counselor should take the initiative for making contact with individuals such as physicians, educators, clergy, social workers, health agencies, Senior Citizens Centers, and others who have contact with individuals with visual disabilities who may need Independent Living Services.
The Office has a responsibility to provide all persons who have significant visual impairments, as well as their friends, family and representatives, with accurate information about Office for the Blind services and benefits. The Office will also provide information about other agencies and organizations that assist individuals with visual disabilities. The Office provides brochures, pamphlets and public presentations. The Office for the Blind has implemented an information and referral system to ensure that individuals with visual impairments are provided accurate information and guidance in order to live as independently as possible. Individuals must be appropriately referred to other community resources and programs that can assist them in their independent living and community integration needs.
The Office maintains working and cooperative agreements with agencies, institutions and non-profit groups through which the referral of applicants may be made. Copies of applicable cooperative agreements with other agencies are provided for Independent Living Counselor use and should be kept on file at each office. It is the responsibility of the Counselor to maintain close working relationships with groups within the local community.