State Rehabilitation Council Meeting Minutes - January 15, 2019

Members Present: Rahnee Patrick (Chair), Patika Hackleman, Connie Heinz, LaDonna Henson, Melynda McKeever, Michael Predmore, Shelly Richardson and Kari Wright

Members Absent: Homer Bizzle, Matthew Fred, Bruce Himelstein, Matthew Rosenberg and Alyson Slaughter

DHS/DRS Staff: Quinetta Wade - Director, Francisco Alvarado - Administrator of Operations, and Matt Abrahamson - Staff Liaison

Guests: Monica Hamada, Assistant to Rahnee Patrick

IPE: Individual Plan for Employment; BBS: Bureau of Blind Services; BBF: Bureau of Field Services; STEP: Secondary Transition Experience Program

Time Start: 9:08 AM

Preliminary Note: Director Wade's Report will be moved to later in the Agenda; occurred after Priorities discussion.

  1. Welcome and Introductions (Patrick)
    1. Introductions and New Year's Resolutions
    2. Approval of January 15, 2019 Agenda
      1. We do not have Quorum to approve the Agenda or the Minutes - Will be approved at a later time.
  2. Strategic Management-Doug Morton, Manager (In Writing-See Packet)
    1. If you have any general questions, email them to Matt A. and he will forward on to Doug who can break down the information
      1. Narrative and Mid-Year Data Summary (Included Charts and Graphs)
    2. DRS FY2018 Annual Report
      1. Draft Annual Report in the Packet: 99% Done
      2. We always have the Chair produce a letter and started to show a success story in the Report as well
      3. 2nd Page: Highlighted a couple of key programs
      4. 3rd Page: Doug has more Stats 
      5. Abrahamson: Same Tables each year but seems much easier to digest. 
      6. 5,000 people jobs: State getting 6 million dollars in revenue through new taxes. 
      7. An Email version will be sent out as well 
    3. Statistical Trends and Observations
      1. Questions and Comments:
        1. Abrahamson: First paragraph is a summary and our experience is that not all three of these numbers move in the same direction at the same time. If we can ever figure out why and how then maybe we don't have to have them move all at the same time.
        2. Patrick: This could be a reflection of the quality of service. WIG training more people to get concentration up.
          1. Why and How for the growth and the changes are the key points.
        3. Patrick: 5th Paragraph on the Summary? What worked in those offices?
        4. McKeever: Looking at sheet with all the different locations, looked at Macomb and only had 10 applications which was down from 16 so assuming it is a smaller office
          1. Alvarado: It is a smaller office only 1 counselor. For 18th months they didn't have any counselors. Now we have another supervisor supervising the office.
          2. McKeever: Does every Application turn into an outcome?
            1. Alvarado: No, it does not.
        5. Abrahamson: Percentage increase is different than numerical increase
          1. Look at Murphysboro as an example.
        6. Henson: Looking at IPEs it went from 25 to 117 Wonder if they are doing something different in the office
        7. Heinz: Through VR they had the FastTrack in Murphysboro wonder if that increase is bringing in those kids that are working in FastTrack
          1. Patrick: AL has a contract to do FastTrack we have to work only with folks that don't have IEPs with VR. No DRS Cases.
        8. Heinz: Working with ISBE to get a FastTrack Fact Sheet so that the Directors are all aware of what is going on.
        9. Henson: Just wants to know what they are doing to see what can be done in other offices (focus on Murphysboro)
        10. Patrick: What are the regions for BBS?
          1. Region 4: Quincy to Decatur
          2. Region 3: Peoria, Champaign, Rock Island
        11. LaDonna: BBS Has huge increases
          1. Alvarado: Workforce Integration Opportunity Act: BBS is not allowed to include Home workers as an outcome. They have been working to train their staff in more of a typical VR Outcome and set their people up for employment.
        12. Patrick: Look at BBS for best practices and what's been working.
  3. Executive Report (Patrick)
    1. Update on SRC Meeting Dates and Locations: Tuesdays from 9-3:30pm
      1. Next Meeting: Annual Meeting and Legislative Day is March 19/20: Springfield State House Inn would be a good place due to location, but the meeting room is small.
      2. Email from December 18th that has a full collected list of dates:
        1. July 16th: Quarterly Meeting: DRS Conference in East Alton that is very nice. So East Alton would be a good idea. (Wade)
        2. Hotels scattered all throughout Alton as well (Richardson)
        3. October 15th/16th: Quarterly Meeting and Strategic Planning: Springfield but can't guarantee on the hotel can't spend more than $10,000 at any individual hotel.
          1. Rockford or Carbondale? (Richardson)
          2. Alvarado: The Staff will show up wherever we hold it.
          3. IMPACT has a meeting room that is large (Richardson)
      3. For March 19th/20th: Which day do we want to do the Legislative Day and which day to do the Business Day?
        1. Abrahamson: Council has done the Legislative Visit the first day and meeting on the 2nd Day. Helps with a debrief on how the day went.
        2. Patrick: There needs to be more training and helping people prepare for the Legislative day.
        3. Richardson: Likes having the legislative day first: can talk about what encountered.
        4. FINAL: March 19th: Legislative Day; March 20th: Business Day
          1. Do a Prep Day the evening of March 18th for Legislative Day
            1. ACTION ITEM: Patrick to speak with Rosenberg to get set up a mini training
    2. Discuss and approve priorities for FY2019 and beyond
      1. Patrick: Can't approve because we don't have quorum
      2. WIGS are major priority for the Chair; but most important are customers of DRS.
      3. Predmore: Also sit on statewide committee that focuses on Medicaid waiver: how CRPs are going to work nationwide and identifying what types of processes are in place to make relationships stronger.
        1. Division is looking internally; holding offices and counselors accountable is important. SRC: how do we measure/quantifying that what is being done is effectively?
      4. Henson: Look at the satisfaction survey: look at the strengths and limitations we did 4 (CRP, Adult VR Customers, Transition Students and DRS Employees)
        1. McKeever: We used some of the surveys for the state plan as part of the state plan committee it is important to follow up what to include in the next one.
          1. Brian had a list of questions that he wanted to be asked on a quarterly basis. Melynda will look back and see if those were answered and if not we can follow up.
          2. Alvarado: We need to review those questions and update them.
      5. Henson: Pull together the satisfaction surveys and take a look at what strengths and limitations were.
      6. Abrahamson: Some Councils are moving to more frequent meetings and shorter time focused on Action Items instead of full quarterly reports.
        1. Henson: it is difficult to get information from DRS.
        2. McKeever: There needs to be more committee and ad hoc committee meetings
          1. Need to figure out on how to get better engagement and have people show up to meetings.
          2. As we reinforce that if people want to be on the council then people need to be active.
      7. Patrick: Make a priority to follow up on new Business Engagement Positions and what can we do
        1. ACTION STEP: Michael will bring up the discussion on CRPs and the connection to SRC.
      8. Prerak Mehta, former council member, sent an email correspondence: Collaborate with an organization board called Sensibility to work with Autistic folks and folks with other sensory disabilities in (Michigan and Wisconsin) ? Rahnee refer to Email
      9. Patrick to Alvarado: how do we work together more?
        1. Alvarado: the Director has given a really specific mandate to work with the councils on the best way to address this issue
          1. With Brian: talked about the questions and the data information that was supposed to be report to the council: the reason was to have viable data to work with in Committees.
        2. Alvarado: First step is to look over the questions, find out which issues have been addressed and which have not, we need to know the barriers that hinged the ability to address those.
          1. It's not that the Division isn't responding, we just need to look at the nature of the barriers. And then try to figure out how we can work together to eliminate those barriers and try to get to the goal. There are things on the survey that we could identify and implement within a month? we need to figure that out.
          2. Main Point: there needs to be training, education on what the SRC does and communication with the supervisors/counselors.
          3. Wade: Personal accountability is key and she has been directly involved with training modules and supervisor training off the ground. Recruitment is also an important thing to focus on as well.
  4. Director's Report-Quinetta Wade, DRS Director
    1. Division Update
      1. Looking to implement Counselor Aide positions in certain pockets of the state where it is very difficult to recruit counselors.
        1. Henson: Might be helpful if people know where other openings are in other counties. So regardless if your county isn't looking, some people might be open to moving to other areas.
        2. Wade: Send out blasts to everyone on what the openings are.
          1. Have asked CMS to change the two county option to a statewide availability option.
      2. Federal Government Shutdown has not impacted us directly. Hasn't impacted DDS Operations.
        1. It could potentially impact our customers that receive SNAP or other benefits. Try to be the positive reinforcement to the customers.
          1. IL will be able to provide SNAP Benefits through February Benefits will be given out early. They aren't extra benefits to make sure that people get them. But they are not extra. So folks need to budget accordingly.
        2. Some of our partners are impacted: FAA announced a partnership with DRS for a Pilot work with VR customers nationwide. They are impacted by shut-down so the pilot is on hold. These are opening doors that many of our customers were not originally aware of.
      3. New Constitutional Officers were sworn in yesterday (1/14)
        1. There has not been a new DHS Secretary named. There is a short list and a lot of other things happening. In the meantime, things will continue as is.
        2. Any work that is going on needs to go on regardless of a change of administration. The work being that is being done is to faithfully execute the policies and procedures for Vocational Rehab Services.
          1. Especially an improvement in Service Delivery.
      4. Overall VR Outcomes are up compared to last year. We want to watch them continue to go up.
      5. ABLE Accounts: JJ Hanley is spearheading this program.
        1. Be sure that you're all sharing this information out. We have a lot of consumers that don't have the information before they have to make these informed choices. We aren't pushing it but want to make sure that people have the right information.
          1. ACTION ITEM: Director Wade to send some electronic information out. It is also on the Treasurers website.
      6. ISVI was hosting an All American Captain and aware winning and was going to share a message to the students today. He was also a part of NFL Super Bowl Champions Baltimore Ravens. Great opportunity for students.
      7. ACTION ITEM: Director Wade and Francisco look into what SRC should focus on during March Legislative day and let Rahnee know.
      8. New Unit being created: Business Engagement Unit. It has been slow in coming but the positions have been approved and some are posted. Target reaching out to businesses and take that responsibility off of the counselors. These positions will be statewide.
  5. Bureau of Blind Services-John Gordon, Bureau Chief
    1. BBS Program Written Update: Email is from Maria Aglikin
      1. Director Wade: Last year, we had looked at combining Deaf and Hard of Hearing Unit with BBS and did a pilot towards the end of year. There was an announcement that we will not be combining the two.
    2. Questions on Report:
      1. Are these micro-markets going to be integrated into BBS? (Patrick)
      2. Director Wade: No, these will be part of the Business Engagement Unit.
  6. Bureau of Field Services-Louis Hamer, Bureau Chief
    1. BFS Program Update: Written Report via Email
    2. 14 Open Supervisor Positions
    3. Questions on Report:
      1. Hackleman: Why don't people want to be a supervisor?
        1. Foster: When was a counselor and supervisors weren't in a Union ? then when supervisors were in Union things changed. We are back to that now. People's incomes are going to stop or not grow and that is a concern on becoming a supervisor.
      2. Alvarado: Input from the field is important and we want access to the thoughts and feedback from Supervisors.
      3. Henson: Aside from pay, what are some other possible reasons that there are supervisor vacancies?
        1. Wade: Some people might not know what is needed to be a supervisor, some people might not want more responsibilities. There needs to be more training and clear support for people that interested. We can try to make it more attractive and that all supervisors are empowered.
  7. CAP Update-Kari Wright, Manager
    1. Outreach and Education Efforts
      1. Federal FY
        1. 8 Training Session, 270 Attended the training sessions
        2. Don't have dates for everything yet but working on them
    2. Scheduled to be exhibitors over 3 months in the next few months
      1. Looking at events that capture transition aged students.
    3. Working on Division of Communication on CAP Social Media Presence
      1. Have a YouTube channel and will be in the process of uploading videos onto the page.
      2. The video was shown to the Council
        1. Henson: This is a great example of something coming out of the satisfaction survey ? there was feedback that a lot of folks didn't know about CAPS. So producing a video was great!
    4. CAP Position Vacancies
      1. 2 Advocate Vacancies were open August 1st two new Advocates started!
        1. Hiring process of an administrative assistant by the Spring

11:45-1:00pm: Lunch Break

Start Time: 1:09

  1. Personnel Support Unit-Sherrie Bridges, Manager (217-524-7550)
    1. Hiring Process and Filing Vacancies
      1. Multiple Components: Getting people ready to be interviewed, collective bargaining process (10 Work Days)
        1. 3 Titles: Counselor, Instructor and Case Coordinator
        2. Handout with Options, Counties, and process
      2. There have been lots of internal transfers. So though jobs are being filled, the numbers might not change.
      3. After 1 year then the Grade expires
      4. Supervisors: Merit Comp. Can't fill those jobs because can't give them money
      5. Intense analysis and looking as to why certain vacancies are tough to fill in specific counties.
      6. In order to have a Direct Hire process, there needs to be legislation passed.
    2. Staff Turnover
      1. Lots of turnover in the Coordinator position ? entry level and lots of people move up.
    3. On Legislative Day: Educate the Legislators on the SD List ? ACTION ITEM: Rahnee ask ICED to develop talking points for our legislative day.
    4. ACTION ITEM: Sherrie to send Rahnee a basic flow chart and overall chart, .pdf of collective bargaining contract.
  2. Strategic Planning Group and WIG Updates-Francisco Alvarado, Admin. Of Operations
    1. Review and Approve Strategic Plan Summary
      1. Meeting Held in October: put together a whole summary of the session. Matt is going to send it to us soon.
      2.  ACTION ITEM: Look through and give feedback on anything that was left out
      3. Two focuses: what was expected of that meeting and what we really wanted to leverage of the meeting.
      4. There is some information on next steps that were suggested as well at the meeting and what we want to continue to work on.
      5. Two subcommittees that came out of the summary:
        1. Work with Youth and increase the numbers in Youth and Transition aged
          1.  Increase in activity in transition. But more needs to be done ? 6% is not enough
          2. Mandate on spending a certain amount of our budget to meet the WIOA Requirements
          3. Good to have overall picture of that aspect.
          4. Establish 1 or 2 things that will be benchmarks
        2. DRS and Personnel Policies
          1. Sherrie just explained the moving target of filling vacancies
          2. We need to keep pursuing to ask how advancements are being made to fill positions.
            1. If we do want to continue to assist the division, the director has asked us on working to recruit.
      6. Data that Doug provided is an update of current outcomes in terms of VR Program
        1. Significant increases  above compared to last year but the aspects may fluctuate. We need to continue to work with Bureau Chief. Work with Lou to get him to let us know how he plans on keeping that up.
  3. Committee Reports
    1. Operations: Michael Predmore: got data on outreach activities ? had asked DRS to track the contacts. Created a survey and posted that. Rolled it out in September and there were 36 notes entered in a month
      1. Need to review our Orientation and Policy Manual
        1. We need to talk and look it over in March and then approve in July.
    2. State/Unified Plan: Not much update now. But will share the questions from year with any edits
      1. Having the State Plan goals as the Agenda layout
    3. Policy/Legislation: Patrick and Rosenberg will meet to talk over the legislative day.
    4. Stakeholders: Have not had a meeting since last met. But after today's discussion they will look at surveys again, what came out of the surveys and next steps.
    5. Member Recruitment: it is harder for Matt to follow up with interview process when identifying candidates. Thought we had position filled, but all emails bounce back and no return phone calls. Matt Hillen recommended someone for Work Force Innovations Board. Were able to fill Debbe Parent Information Center in Effingham.
      1. We have 3 new people Matt A. will send out grid tomorrow
      2. We need a young person/Customer Rep.
        1. Under 24; ideally between 18-19
  4. Updates from other Councils
    1. Blind Services Planning Council-BSPC (Slaughter)
      1. No report
    2. SILC (Richardson)
      1. Working on new state plan for Independent living and turned in on June 30. Take affect 2020-2022
        1. More prepared than administration for community living. We are ready and entering in the old format. We'll transfer everything over as they get their act together.
      2. Putting it out in March for public comment.
      3. Employer Fair: Broad Concept. Want to bring in Great Lakes ADA to talk to Employers and give a training on accessibility
        1. What are tax incentives, bring in businesses that have hired people with disabilities, bring in people with disabilities with jobs
        2. Tap into small business networks
  5. Update on Hearings and Appeals-Richard Madison, Deputy General Counsel-DHS Bureau Chief of Hearings
    1. Vacancies for two impartial hearing officers on the Bureau: will SRC vote on certain officers to handle VR cases when needed. SRC said yes and then the hearing officer left. Two new resumes were sent for replacements. Looking for a vote which we can't do because no quorum.
      1. Can do an electronic email vote.
        1. ACTION ITEM: Matt clarify, then Rahnee will resend and call for a vote.
  6. New Business
    1. Meeting Layouts:
      1. WIGS are meeting January 31st
      2. ACTION ITEM: Rahnee to send Shelley committee assignment

Meeting Adjourned 3:00pm