Employment First Policy

Carroll county board of developmental disabilities

policy Reference:  Employment First

Ohio Revised Code Reference: 5123.022, 3323

Ohio Administrative Code Reference: 5123:2-2-05

I.         SUBJECT:     Employment First

II.        PURPOSE:    The purpose of this policy is to implement the employment first      philosophy in accordance with section 5123.022 of the Revised Code.  The    Carroll County Board of Developmental Disabilities provides and/or funds            employment services which include planning and coordinating to individuals       with developmental disabilities.

III.      DEFINITIONS:

            (1) “Benefits analysis” means information provided to individuals about the          impact of work on public assistance programs including but not limited to social          security disability insurance, supplemental security income, Medicaid/Medicare    coverage, Medicaid buy-in for workers with disabilities, veteran’s benefits, housing assistance, and food stamps.

            (2) “Community employment” means competitive employment that takes place in             an integrated setting.

            (3) “Competitive employment” means full-time or part-time work in the    competitive labor market in which payment is at or above the minimum wage and    not less than the customary wage and level of benefits paid by the employer for     the same or similar work performed by persons who do not have disabilities.

            (4) “County Board” means Carroll County Board of Developmental Disabilities.

            (5) “Department” means the Ohio Department of developmental disabilities.

            (6) “Employment first policy” means the state of Ohio policy, established in          section 5123.022 of the Revised Code, that employment services for individuals           with developmental disabilities be directed at community employment and that     individuals with developmental disabilities are presumed capable of community       employment.

            (7) “Employment services” means prevocational services or supported       employment services.

            (8) “Individual” means a person with a developmental disability.

            (9) “Integrated setting” means a setting typically found in the community where    individuals interact with persons who do not have disabilities to the same extent             as persons who do not have disabilities in comparable positions. “Integrated                      setting” includes employment settings in which employees interact with the   community through technology.

            (10) “Prevocational services” means services that provide learning and work         experiences from which an individual can develop general strengths and skills     that are not specific to a particular task or job but contribute to employability in    community employment, supported work at community-based sites, or self-    employment.  “Prevocational services” includes vocational habilitation funded in whole or part by a home and community-based services waiver administered by       the department.  Prevocational services shall be provided in accordance with the           individual’s individual plan or individual service plan, as applicable, and occur     over a specified period of time with specific outcomes sought to be achieved.

            (11) “Provider” means an agency provider or an independent provider that is         certified or licensed by the department.

            (12) “Supported employment services” means vocational assessment, job training and coaching, job development and placement, work site accessibility, and other           services related to employment outside a sheltered workshop and includes all of    the following:

                        (a) Job training resulting in the attainment of community employment,                                           supported work in a typical environment, or self-employment;

                        (b) Support for ongoing community employment, supported work at                                               community-based sites, or self-employment;

                        (c) Integrated employment funded in whole or part by a home and                                                  community-based services waiver administered by the department;

                        (d) Supported employment-community funded in whole or part by a home                                                 and community-based services waiver administered by the                                                   department; and

                        (e) Supported employment-enclave funded in whole or part by a home and                                    community-based services waiver administered by the department.

            (13) “Working age” means at least eighteen years of age.

IV.       PERSON-CENTERED PLANNING PROCESS

            (1) Each individual of working age and each individual approaching completion                of a program or service under Chapter 3323 of the Revised Code shall participate     in an individualized person-centered planning process in accordance with, as         applicable, rule 5123:2-2-05 of Administrative Code or 42 C.F.R. 483.440 as in          effect on the effective date of this rule, to identify the individual’s unique strengths, interests, abilities, preferences, resources, and desired outcomes as they     relate to community employment.  The person-centered planning process shall   begin with a review of available information to determine what additional information is needed and what supplemental situational and/or other formal or             informal evaluations are needed to discover this information.  For individuals who            receive public assistance, the importance of obtaining benefits analysis shall be           emphasized to enable the individual to make informed decisions regarding             employment.  Resources available for obtaining benefits analysis shall be identified for the individual prior to job development.

            (2) The person-centered planning process shall include identification and   documentation of:

                        (a) The individual’s place on the path to community employment, that is:

                                    (i) The individual is already engaged in community employment                                                     and needs support for job stabilization, job improvement, or                                          career advancement;

                                    (ii) The individual expresses a desire to obtain community                                                               employment but is not currently employed and needs                                                            support to obtain employment or identify career options                                                      and employment opportunities;

                                    (iii) The individual is unsure about community employment and                                                     needs support to identify career options and employment                                                          opportunities and the economic impact for the individual of                                                 the decision to work; or

                                    (iv) The individual does not express a desire to work and needs                                                       support to learn more about careers options and                                                                   employment opportunities and the economic impact for the                                                 individual of the decision not to work.

                        (b) The individual’s desired community employment outcome.

                        (c) Clearly defined activities, services, and supports necessary for the                                             individual to achieve or maintain community employment, job                                      improvement, or career advancement.

            (3) The results of the person-centered planning process, including the individual’s                         desired outcomes as they relate to community employment, shall be                              integrated into the individual plan or individual service plan, as applicable.

            (4) The results of the person-centered planning process shall be reviewed at least                           once every twelve months and whenever a significant change in                                                employment, training, continuing education, services, or supports occur or                         is proposed.

V.        REQUIREMENTS

            (1) The Board shall promote the employment first policy which clearly identifies                          community employment as the desired outcome for     every individual of                              working age.

            (2) The Board shall outline and periodically update its strategy and benchmarks                            for increasing the number of individual of working age engaged in                                              community employment services through its strategic plan.

            (3) The Board shall collaborate with workforce development agencies, vocational                         rehabilitation agencies, and mental health agencies in Carroll County to                                     support individuals to obtain community employment.

            (4) The Board shall collaborate with school districts in the county to ensure a                                framework exists for individuals approaching completion of a program or                               service under Chapter 3323 of the Revised Code such that the Board and                           school districts in the county use similar methods to support students with                          developmental disabilities to obtain community employment. Through                                    this collaboration, the Board shall identify and attempt to                                                    resolve any duplication of efforts.

            (5) The Board shall disseminate information to individuals served, families,                                   schools, community partners, employers, and providers of services about                                  resources and opportunities, including Medicaid buy-in and other work                              incentive programs that facilitate community employment.

            (6) The Board shall collect and submit to the department individual-specific data                           regarding the cost of non-Medicaid employment services, employment                            outcomes for individuals who receive non-Medicaid employment services,                        and employment outcomes for individuals who do not receive paid                                            employment services but who are engaged in competitive employment or                            community employment.

            (7) The Board employment services shall submit to each individual’s team at least                        once every twelve months, or more frequently as decided upon by the                              team, a written progress report that demonstrates that services provided                              are consistent with the individual’s identified community employment                         outcome and that the individual receiving services has obtained                                                 community employment or is advancing on the path to community                                     employment.  The progress report for each individual participating in                              prevocational services shall describe progress on achievement of desired                            outcomes as set forth in the individual plan or individual service plan, as                            applicable.

            (8) The Board shall collect and submit to the department individual-specific data                           regarding employment services and employment outcomes including but                         not limited to type of services provided, how individuals obtained                                       employment, hours worked, wages earned, and occupations.  The data                                shall be submitted through a web-based data collection system developed                           and maintained by the department.

            (9) The Board shall disseminate aggregate data regarding employment services                             and employment outcomes including but not limited to type of services                                    provided, how individuals obtained employment, hours worked, wages                              earned, and occupations to individuals seeking employment services and                            others upon request. The data shall be disseminated in a manner that                                    does not disclose confidential information regarding individuals receiving                          employment services.

VI. ANNUAL REVIEW AND ADOPTION OF POLICIES

            This policy shall be maintained on file in the administration offices of the Board   and shall be reviewed and updated annually.  Corresponding procedures shall be    developed and updated as deemed necessary by the Superintendent.

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