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Question: Our agency information needs to be updated to reflect our recent CARF re-accreditation. Who do I need to contact to see that this information is updated?
Response: DVR does not require or track CARF accreditation for our service providers.
Question: I have a DEAF consumer who reached his 90 days on the job. The employer, however, indicated many problems on the job with the consumer. The Service Provider proceeded to close and collect payment of 90 days hire. I said, no, we should meet to discuss what problems there are on the job.
Response: It was just for situations like this that we made sure to revise the technical specifications to clarify that 90 days is the minimum and all DVR case closure criteria must be met. You should not pay until this is achieved.
Question: Who handles confidentiality requirements regarding disclosure to employers?
Response: DWD 68.13 release of records to employers: Relevant information from a client's case record may be released to a potential employer without consent of the client in order to ascertain the possibilities of a job placement for the client if no client identifying information is disclosed. Oral consent of the client must be obtained, whenever possible. Client identifying information may be released to a potential employer only with the informed written consent of the client.
Question: Can DVR pay for services to a group that receives funding to provide the same service from another source?
Response: Services cannot be provided with DVR funds to entities that receive funds to provide the same service to the same consumer. For example, personnel from a school district cannot provide DVR funded services to a consumer/student from their district because they receive funding from another entity to provide the same services to that consumer/student. DVR can accept a service provider agreement from an entity to provide services that are substantially different than those services they provide with other public funding.
There may be circumstances where two entities share funding responsibilities for a service. These situations should be discussed in detail and agreement reached as to the funder of record. Please review published guidance and interagency agreements for additional detail and instructions.
Question: Basic Preparation is listed in the technical specifications for Job Preparation, Development and Placement. When would this service go over what is expected as part of the service?
Response: Consumers referred for job development should have most barriers addressed and be ready in large part to begin a search for employment. Some consumers have basic preparation needs, for example; updates to resumes, some practice interviewing, information to be compiled to fill out applications etc. These basic needs should be addressed and provided prior to the development of a job development plan. If the service provider feels the consumer will take a great deal more preparation to begin, they should contact the DVR Counselor to discuss other approaches.
Question: Would DVR have to pay for a hire if the consumer gets fired on the first day?
Response: Yes. A hiring milestone payment is made upon an offer of employment, acceptance of the job by the consumer and a start date is established. There would have to be extraordinary reasons for non-payment of a hire. If there is evidence of fraud or unethical behavior by the service provider an investigation could be done. This would be a rare occurrence.
Question: Under what circumstances will DVR pay for a second hire?
Response: This is a judgment call. Payment of a second hire fee should be handled as a rare occurrence and the team should agree on the appropriate action. Factors to consider include the reason for termination or quitting and whether the service provider fulfilled the expectations laid out in the Job Development Plan.
DVR Responsible: DVR coordinates and pays for ASL interpreting when DVR staff and/or an employer is present prior to hire. For example, DVR would coordinate and pay when a consumer is participating in an Internship/Temporary Work Experience. Interpretation services for ASL are available through a mandatory contract for State agencies. DVR staff must use the vendors listed at VendorNet.
Employer Responsible: The employer is responsible once a consumer has accepted a job offer.
Employers covered by the ADA must assure that people with disabilities:
An employer is required to provide a reasonable accommodation if a person with a disability needs one in order to apply for a job, perform a job, or enjoy benefits equal to those offered to other employees. This would include providing an interpreter for job interviews, new employee orientations, and training. For additional information about Effective Communication for people who have vision, hearing, or speech disabilities and resources see ADA Effective Communication.
DVR Service Provider Responsible: If DVR or an employer is not present, then the service provider is responsible for coordination and payment. An ASL interpreter must be licensed by the Wisconsin Department of Regulation and Licensing. However, DVR will pay if there is a valid undue hardship claim by a DVR Service Provider (details below).
The American with Disabilities Act (ADA) provides a measure of protection from undue hardship to employers with 15 or more employees. Businesses with fewer than 15 employees are not covered by the employment provisions of the ADA. However, with regard to undue hardship, DVR will apply this same standard to service providers with fewer than 15 employees. DVR will pay the costs associated with providing an accommodation for the consumer as part of authorized vocational rehabilitation services consistent with an approved Individualized Plan for Employment, if the Service Provider has fewer than 15 employees.
Undue hardship means that an accommodation would be unduly costly, extensive, substantial or disruptive, or would fundamentally alter the nature or operation of the business. This would include the services of a qualified sign language interpreter during the provision of authorized contracted services. These costs will be paid directly to the provider of the service and will not be paid to the service provider of the contracted service. Any ongoing or hourly costs will be provided as case progress dictates.
Service providers are encouraged to work with each consumer and counselor to identify what level of interpreter services is needed for each encounter with a DVR consumer. It may not be necessary to have an interpreter at all or may require a short period of time or may use a different methodology (video interpreting etc.)
Response: When a DVR consumer and/or their guardian requires foreign language translation for meetings and/or reports, the service should be listed in the IPE and anytime that service is needed throughout the DVR process, DVR will coordinate/pay for the service. Foreign language translation services are available through a mandatory contract for State agencies. DVR staff must use the vendors listed at VendorNet.
Question: Can DVR purchase Systematic Instruction to supplement On-the-Job Training (OJT)?
Response: Yes. Systematic Instruction may be purchased to supplement an OJT. However, an OJT involves payment to the employer to offset wages so that the employer can provide extra training of the consumer. Systematic Instruction is more likely to occur in combination with Temporary Work or Job Development Hire.
Question: Does the job development plan require the same review every 90 days?
Response: Yes. The job development plan requires a review to be conducted every 90 days. The review is needed while the job search continues to refine elements contained in the plan and make changes as needed. If the consumer, DVR counselor or service provider feels the plan and associated progress needs review on a shorter review schedule, this could be done. At a minimum, it should be reviewed every 90 days. In-person meetings are preferred, but virtual meetings can be a viable way to share information with and about the consumer during a review, depending on consumer preference (in-person or virtually) and to accommodate travel and work schedules.
Question: Will DVR pay for job development and placement hire fees when a provider places an individual in their own place of employment or contracted site they are operating? Where they are the employer of record?
Response: The DVR Service Provider will not receive payment for a hire if they are the employer of record and/or place consumer in their own place of business. Although this is not a preferred practice, a DVR Consumer may still be hired to work for an existing DVR Service Provider, but prior to application or interview at a DVR Service Provider business, full disclosure and consultation must be made to the DVR consumer and DVR by the DVR Service Provider. There should be discussion about how the issue of a current consumer performing work for a DVR Service Provider will be handled due to possible ethical boundary and role issues that may be at play.
The following must also be considered prior to the DVR Consumer accepting the position:
Question: Also, can a "staffing" meeting be done via a phone call between counselor and service provider?
Response: Yes, but this should be the exception rather than the rule. As much as possible, a "staffing", "three-way meeting", or "team meeting" should be conducted in person to ensure balanced participation and the most effective communication of consumer needs and strategies to address them. In-person meetings are preferred, but virtual meetings can be a viable way to share information with and about the consumer during a review, depending on consumer preference (in-person or virtually) and to accommodate travel and work schedules.
Question: What qualifies as an "accessible confidential meeting place"? Are service providers who do not maintain an office, but meet with consumers in confidential public places by mutual agreement, able to be service providers?
Response: Yes. As long as each provider is able to identify an accessible and confidential meeting place they can and should be vetted. It is up to the discretion of the WDA Supervisory staff what they accept as identification. If a provider does not have their own office space, they could provide a copy of an agreement for public space use (library, school etc.) This location cannot be a private residence. DVR cannot provide meeting space for providers to use on a regular basis. Meetings held by a service provider with both DVR consumers and DVR staff in attendance is allowed in DVR offices.
Question: Is there a second team meeting after the initial 3 way meeting when the Job Development Plan is completed?
Response: There are as many meetings as make sense to establish an effective plan leading to the desired employment outcome.
Question: What kind of referral information is appropriate for Job Development and Supported Employment?
Response: For Job Development, there is no 'requirement' as a discussion should be had with the provider and DVR counselor about what information is needed so the provider may move forward with the service. As for Supported Employment, the Career Profile Referral must be completed by the DVR Counselor and sent to the provider. If a provider does not receive this information or any other information they feel is required to provide the service they should ask the DVR counselor to provide the requested information. The purpose of referral information is to identify employment barriers in such a way as to provide the most current picture of consumer functioning to the service provider that is based on mutually identified needs.
Question: The provider is to send a separate document for each consumer progress report. Yet batch faxing is allowed. Please clarify.
Response: Individual consumer reports should be reported on separate pages. This is to make sure one consumer's information is not included in reporting for another consumer. Providers may submit reports for multiple consumers and batch them if they like but they need to make sure that consumer information is placed on discrete pages.
Question: If reports are faxed and not sent electronically, what is the reason for the security awareness training requirement?
Response: It is required to ensure confidential practice when exchanging information over the internet via email, text, or other method. Provider and DVR staff often exchange information regarding consumers via email and phone. New provider staff are required to complete the DVR Information Technology (IT) Security Awareness Training course prior to working with DVR consumers and/or consumer related information. Certificates of completion are required as part of the service agreement.
Question: Can DVR sign an agreement with service providers who are only able to accept limited referrals or referrals only in the summer?
Response: No, Service Agreements are typically approved for a one year term and requires a provider to accept all referrals made for all consumers authorized. The authorization/agreement and resulting services can only be severed in consultation and agreement with DVR. Any decision not to accept a referral or sever an agreement based on an authorization of service, requires DVR supervisory level approval.
Question: The agreement seems to relate primarily to Job Development providers. For example, what is expected in an outcome report for benefits analysis, systematic instruction, and vocational evaluations?
Response: While currently DVR tracks data for benchmark payments of job placement and supported employment services for billing, criteria for specific measurement for providers of other statewide services are currently under development. It is likely to include: consumer satisfaction, timeliness of service, quality and usefulness of reporting and meetings/staffings, wait list status and capacity to serve. Until this specific criterion is identified, they should provide information asked of them locally.
Question: Will DVR approve statewide service agreements for providers who only serve consumers from within a specific disability group?
Response: Statewide service agreements will be granted to providers who will accept referrals from the general caseload including all disability groups. If a service provider receives a majority of its funds from state/federal single disability grants, DVR will waive the services requirements to serve all disability groups e.g. Individual Placement and Support (IPS) Service Providers. This waiver will be granted for the year the service agreement has been approved by DVR and not meant to be in perpetuity. If there is a local provider that can serve people from specific disability groups for other services not included in the statewide service agreements, local agreements can be developed if it is determined that these services would be beneficial to improving employment outcomes.
Question: Can a service provider decline a referral?
Response: Provider must accept all referrals made for all consumers authorized. The authorization/agreement and resulting services can only be severed in consultation and agreement with DVR. Any decision not to accept a referral or sever an agreement based on an authorization of service, requires DVR supervisory level approval.
Question: Can training for new service providers be provided centrally, so new service providers can utilize collective best practices?
Response: Best practice information should be shared during the quarterly meetings held in each WDA. Training is developed locally and centrally and is implemented based on local need. There are training opportunities provided statewide and advertised by a number of professional organizations. Ongoing professional development, continuing education and professional group affiliation is encouraged.
Question: When are they included in the fee and when are they to be paid by DVR?
Response: DVR will assist with wage costs for Internship Temporary Work (I/TW). Wages are not included in the On-the-Job Assessment, Set-up, and Monitoring payment for the service and are to be paid separately using the following guidelines:
Question: What should DVR staff do when a provider reaches full capacity and cannot accept new referrals and develops a waitlist?
Response: If a provider develops a wait list and this provider has been selected by consumer choice the consumer needs to be made aware of the wait list if it is over 30 days. The consumer should be made aware of the wait list and offered the choice to select a different provider. No written authorization for services will be issued until the service provider can serve the consumer and comply with the timeframes indicated in the technical specifications and fee schedule.
Division of Vocational Rehabilitation
PO Box 7852
Madison, WI 53703-7852