State Rehabilitation Council Orientation and Policy Manual

State of Illinois
Department of Human Services


October 2017

Table of Contents

  1. Overview
  2. Code of Ethics
  3. Guidelines for Ethical Decision Making
  4. Administration and Operations
  5. Operational Standards
  6. Membership
  7. Bylaws of the State Rehabilitation Council
  8. Appendix I - National Coalition of State Rehabilitation Councils' Resolution
  9. Appendix II - SRC Training Materials and Resources
  10. Appendix III - Overview of Illinois Department of Rehabilitation Services

Overview

History

The State Rehabilitation Council (SRC) is established by the Rehabilitation Act of 1973, as amended and Section 5-550 of the Civil Administrative Code (20 ILCS 5/5/550) to advise the Governor, Secretary of the Illinois Department of Human Services, and the Director of the Division of Rehabilitation Services in matters concerning individuals with disabilities, the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA), as amended and the provision of vocational rehabilitation services. The Division of Rehabilitation Services (DRS) within the Illinois Department of Human Services (IDHS) is the designated state unit charged with the administration of the vocational rehabilitation program. The function of SRC is to provide true customer input into the current and future vocational rehabilitation process.

Mission Statement

The Mission of SRC, in accordance with federal mandates, is to provide recommendations to the Governor, Secretary of IDHS, Director of DRS, and to the legislature on the needs and effectiveness of statewide vocational rehabilitation programs serving persons with disabilities and their family members. The State Rehabilitation Council must help these entities to maintain a customer focus to assure that people with disabilities have the opportunities to achieve the most independent lifestyle in terms of employment and full participation in society.

Vision

The Vision for the SRC in relation to the IDHS/DRS, its customers and their families and the community at large, is to provide the best services to people with disabilities in the State of Illinois. The State Rehabilitation Council will fulfill its purpose as outlined in the federal mandates and in accordance with the core values by utilizing its members' diverse backgrounds and by keeping a customer focus in all matters concerning people with all disabilities in providing rehabilitation services leading to employment and independence.

Values

  • Integrity - We are honest and straightforward in all that we do. We treat everyone with dignity and respect. We act responsibly with resources entrusted to us. We are accountable and act in accordance with these values.
  • Commitment - We support the full implementation and enforcement of disability non - discrimination laws, particularly the Rehabilitation Act of 1973, as amended and the American with Disabilities Act of 1990, as amended.
  • Excellence - We trust that customers of public vocational rehabilitation will be empowered to make choices which lead to ultimate independence.
  • Advocacy - We will work to educate and inform the public and government policy makers regarding issues affecting people with disabilities
  • Diversity - We will uphold a broad definition of diversity that honors and appreciates disability alongside race, ethnicity, gender, age, sexual orientation, and religion as an integral part of the human experience.
  • Leadership - We will foster leadership among people with disabilities that upholds excellence, quality and inclusive opportunities.
  • Partnership - We will promote a positive collaboration with state and non-governmental agencies to enhance meaningful and sustainable employment for people with disabilities.
  • Teamwork - We are committed to a partnership based on a spirit of trust and cooperation with Vocational Rehabilitation Administrators and staff so that collaborative efforts will benefit from the customer voice.
  • Culture - We support a public vocational rehabilitation service system that is structured in a manner that reflects the social, political, historic, and economic experience of disability.
  • Communication - We value effective communication through appropriate formats.

Operating Principles

Operating principles and the work of the SRC are based in part by the values reflected in the SRC Code of Ethics and the Rehabilitation Act of 1973, as amended. All Council members and staff are guided by these principles as they work with consumers and customers, business and industry, community partners and stakeholders and the general public to promote and assure full employment, independence, and integration of individuals with disabilities into society.

Functions/Practices

The function of the SRC is to provide true customer input into the current and future Vocational Rehabilitation (VR) process in the State of Illinois. The Council's Federal mandates include the following:

Review, analyze and advise the Illinois Department of Human Services' Division of Rehabilitation Services (IDHS/DRS) regarding the performance of its responsibilities under the Rehabilitation Act of 1973, as amended, particularly responsibilities related to:

  • Eligibility, including order of selection
  • The extent, scope and effectiveness of services provided and
  • Functions performed by DRS that affect the ability of individuals with disabilities to achieve their rehabilitation goals and objectives.

The review, analyze and advise activities are the primary purpose for the Council and constitutes the Mission. This purpose is to be attained by actively participating in the following:

Advise and assist in the development of the State Plan for vocational rehabilitation services.

This includes:

  • Reviewing program goals and priorities to assure they reflect customer choice and involvement
  • Evaluating the effectiveness of the VR program and services

Review and evaluate customer satisfaction in regard to VR programs and services. This includes:

  • Participating in the development of customer satisfaction surveys to reflect needs
  • Analyzing the findings
  • Advocating for change and improvement based upon the findings

Coordinate activities with other councils and agencies to enhance effectiveness of program delivery and services. This can be done by:

  • Opening channels of communication with other programs and agencies
  • Partnering with other programs and agencies to avoid duplication of effort

Identify, jointly develop and review VR goals based upon the priorities of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973, as amended and the involvement of consumers/customers. This can be done by:

  • Active involvement of Council members in the functions listed above
  • Continual review of consumer/customer feedback
  • Communication of goals and priorities that reflect the same message in all policies and activities

Jointly select impartial hearing officers with IDHS to assure quality hearings and justice. This can be done by:

  • Working with all stakeholders
  • Reviewing past records

Code of Ethics

The State Rehabilitation Council (SRC) members are responsible for advising the Secretary of the Illinois Department of Human Services and the Director of the Division of Rehabilitation Services in matters concerning individuals with disabilities, the Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990, as amended, and the provision of rehabilitation services. In doing so, it is imperative that SRC members recognize the importance of ethical behavior and decision making and conduct themselves accordingly in all aspects of their position.

Each member should understand and adhere to ethical standards put forth in this document so as to promote professional, moral, social and political development of each Council member in relationship to serving the people of Illinois with disabilities.

To accomplish the highest degree of integrity in manners of conduct, SRC members are directed by the following guidelines set forth in this code. It is incumbent upon SRC members to understand the importance of ethics in all Council matters and to help fulfill the Mission established by the Rehabilitation Act of 1973, as amended. That Mission being to provide comprehensive vocational rehabilitation services to individuals with physical and mental disabilities resulting in employment, independence, and integration into society.

Furthermore, the Council membership includes a responsibility to all people with disabilities, other council members, and to the vigilant guardianship of a bureaucratic system of services. This system must be managed in a manner that respects all individuals and promotes the absolute best outcomes regardless of any systemic potential toward mediocrity. Thus, membership requires a respect for the group in addition to respect for each individual in the group, thereby achieving the Mission through the group's strength.

Guidelines for Ethical Decision Making

To promote the highest standards of ethical and honorable conduct for all Council members who are representing and advocating for all stakeholders, members shall agree to the following shared values in all actions, relationships and words.

  • Honesty and Integrity - Council members can be counted on to give precedence to moral and ethical considerations even when there is strong inducement to allow self-interests to override decision making.
  • Promises - Council members will keep promises, fulfill commitments and agreements in the full spirit of cooperation. This includes being on time for meetings, participating in discussions and fulfilling committee membership responsibilities.
  • Fairness - Council members will treat people equally without favoritism or discrimination and with a commitment to justice. The Council will take into consideration all perspectives in a culturally competent framework.
  • Caring - Council members will act in a caring matter toward all other Council members, as well as the people they serve. Compassion, kindness, and concern for the well-being of others are paramount.
  • Respect - Council members will have regard for others' differences in opinions, diversity, human dignity, privacy and the right to self-determination.
  • Engagement and Ethical Obligations - Council members value lawfulness, participation, social consciousness, and public service. To this end, they encourage others to participate and contribute.
  • Informed Decision Making - Council members will take the time to research issues and solicit varying opinions in accomplishing the Mission of the Council.
  • Accountability - Council members will take responsibility for all actions, decisions and consequences and will be able to ethically justify such.
  • Public Integrity and Honesty - Council members will lead by example and model ethical conduct in all Council related affairs and public service.
  • Advancement of Social and Economic Justice - Council members will be active advocates in promoting the Mission of the Council as established by the Rehabilitation Act of 1973, as amended. In these endeavors, members will communicate with transparency and honestly with all stakeholders to ensure progress toward full integration and independence for people with disabilities.
  • Annual Ethics Training - Each Council member will complete the annual Ethics Training in accordance with the requirements of the State Officials and Employees Ethics Act (SILCS 430/5-10) and as outlined by the Office of Executive Inspector General (OEIG). The signed Acknowledge of Participation will be submitted to the SRC Ethics Officer by the designated due date.

Administration and Operations

The State Rehabilitation Council (SRC) is mandated to meet quarterly to ensure realization of the Council's pro-active goals. To carry out its responsibilities, the SRC Bylaws provide for several standing committees. Ad hoc committees may be formed to respond to other concerns.

  • Executive Committee consists of five (5) elected officers - Chair, Vice-Chair, Secretary, Fiscal Officer, and Member-at-Large. The Committee is responsible for ensuring the Council acts in accordance with federal and state statutes; manages the affairs of the Council in the interim between meetings; reviews the appointment categories the Council will need to fill in conjunction with the Membership Recruitment Committee; maintains a list of potential candidates to fill vacancies; and submits selected candidates for the following year to the Governor's Office of Executive Appointments for consideration.
  • Operations Committee consists of all Standing Committee Chairs and is responsible for developing an overall management plan for the Council and the Annual Report. With the assistance of other Committees, the Operations Committee shall identify the Council's goals and priorities for the year and shall identify the appropriate level of resources needed to accomplish the Council's tasks. Operations, procedures and policies will be developed and maintained in The Council's Orientation and Policy Manual, to be reviewed annually. The Committee shall also be responsible for reviewing the bylaws and submitting revisions to the Council. The bylaws shall be reviewed annually and the Committee may make revisions as provided in Article VIII.
  • Policy/Legislative Committee is responsible for monitoring legislation that will have an impact on individuals with disabilities and on the operations of the Division of Rehabilitation Services. This shall include matters that affect and concern the Division's budget period. The Committee will make recommendations to the full Council with regard to positions on legislation and on the Division's budget. The Committee is also responsible for reviewing proposed changes to administrative rules and preparing a response to such changes on behalf of the Council.
  • Stakeholders Committee is responsible for developing new and innovative ways to increase stakeholder and DRS staff participation in the VR process and in the activities of the Council. The Committee will also participate in the development of the DRS Strategic Plan, surveys and needs assessments, which are integral in creating the State Plan.
  • State Plan Committee is responsible for reviewing the State Plan and amendments that are submitted by the Division to the Rehabilitation Services Administration (RSA). The Committee is also responsible for identifying the Council's goals and priorities for inclusion in the State Plan. In addition to these activities, the Committee will be responsible for participating in community forums as defined by federal regulations to discuss the Plan. The Committee will present the Plan to the full Council for final review and approval.
  • Membership Recruitment Committee, in conjunction with the Executive Committee, is responsible for identifying potential Council Members by reviewing the composition of the Council for near-future openings ensuring that position requirements are met including but not limited to geographic-urban/rural, racial, ethnic, age and disability. The Committee will develop a candidate list which it has vetted to assure all "requirements" are met as well as ascertaining interest in actively serving on the Council. Those names are referred to the Executive Committee for its ultimate recommendation to the Governor and the Office of Executive Appointments.

Operational Standards

  • Timeliness - includes being prompt for meetings and providing timely responses to requests for information and scheduling inquiries
  • No Surprises - includes sharing ideas and proposals among Council members and staff before public announcements
  • Be Prepared - includes identifying and communicating strategies for supporting full participation including requesting reasonable accommodations, as well as reviewing all pertinent material
  • Full Participation - includes all Council staff and members' active involvement in all forms of meetings such as conference calls, quarterly meetings and activities
  • Constructive Participation - includes everyone's participation and opinions and facilitation of disagreements to foster understanding, cooperation and decision making

Membership

SRC members are appointed by the Governor with the majority having a disability.

Membership includes representatives from:

  • Disability and Advocacy Organizations
  • Business, Industry, and Labor
  • Community Rehabilitation Service Providers
  • Client Assistance Program
  • Secondary or Higher Education
  • Vocational Rehabilitation Counselor
  • Current or Former Customer of VR Services
  • Parent Training Information Centers
  • State Board of Education
  • State Workforce Innovation Board
  • Blind Services Planning Council
  • Statewide Independent Living Council
  • Director of DRS

IDHS/DRS Staff Support

Matt Abrahamson, Staff Liaison to the SRC Council
IDHS/ Division of Rehabilitation Services
Staff Development Section

100 South Grand Ave. East
P.O. Box 19429
Springfield, IL. 62794-9429

(217) 782-2280 (Voice)
(866) 263-1754 (TTY)
(217) 785-5319 (Fax)

DHS.SRC@illinois.gov


Bylaws of the State Rehabilitation Council

ARTICLE I - NAME

This organization shall be known as the State Rehabilitation Council, hereafter referred to as the "Council," of the Illinois Department of Human Services, Division of Rehabilitation Services, hereafter referred to as "DRS".

ARTICLE II - PURPOSE

In the Department of Human Services, the Council is hereby established for the purpose of complying with the requirements of 34 CFR 361.16, and advising the Secretary of Human Services and the Vocational Rehabilitation Administrator of the provisions of the federal Rehabilitation Act of 1973, as amended and incorporated within the Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act of 2014, and the Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990, as amended in matters concerning individuals with disabilities and the provision of vocational rehabilitation services. The Council shall meet a minimum of four (4) times per year.

ARTICLE III - POWERS AND DUTIES

The Council shall advise the Secretary of the Illinois Department of Human Services and the Vocational Rehabilitation Administrator in matters concerning individuals with disabilities, the Rehabilitation Act of 1973, as amended, provisions within the Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act of 2014, and the Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990, as amended.

The Council will provide DRS support and assistance through program planning, policy development and delivery of services. The Council's charges include:

  1. Review, analyze, and advise DRS on its performance relating to:
    1. Eligibility (including order of selection);
    2. The extent, scope, and effectiveness of the policies, programs, and services it provides; and
    3. The functions performed by DRS that affect, or potentially impact the ability of individuals with disabilities to achieve their rehabilitation goals and objectives.
  2. Advise and assist DRS in the preparation of the Unified State Plan for Workforce Development, hereafter referenced as the "State Plan", and its amendments, the Strategic Plan for vocational services, applications, reports, needs assessments and evaluations that are required by the federal government and jointly agree to annual reports that are submitted to the Rehabilitation Services Administration (RSA).
  3. Conduct a review and analysis of the effectiveness of, and consumer satisfaction with:
    1. The functions performed by DRS and
    2. Vocational rehabilitation policies and services.
  4. Prepare and submit an annual report to the Governor and the Commissioner of RSA on the status of vocational rehabilitation programs within the State.
  5. Prepare and submit to the vocational rehabilitation administrator the reports and findings that the vocational rehabilitation administrator may request, or that the Council deems appropriate.
  6. Coordinate with other councils within the State, including, but not limited to, the Statewide Independent Living Council.
  7. Jointly select with IDHS, a pool of qualified persons to serve as impartial hearing officers.
  8. In partnership with the vocational rehabilitation unit in the Department, jointly develop, agree to, and review annually State goals and priorities and jointly submit annual reports of progress to the federal Commissioner of the Rehabilitation Services Administration.
  9. To the extent that there is a disagreement between the Council and unit within the IDHS responsible for the administration of the vocational rehabilitation program, regarding the resources necessary to carry out the functions of the Council as set forth in this Section, the disagreement shall be resolved by the Governor.
  10. Perform other functions as necessary that are appropriate and similar in scope to those currently performed by the Council.

ARTICLE IV - MEMBERSHIP

Section 1 - Number of Council Members

The Council shall consist of members appointed by the Governor after soliciting recommendations from organizations representing a broad range of individuals with disabilities and organizations interested in individuals with disabilities. However, the Governor may delegate his appointing authority under this Section to the Council by executive order.

Section 2 - Composition

The Council shall consist of the following appointed members:

  • One (1) representative of a parent training center established in accordance with the federal Individuals with Disabilities Education Act;
  • One (1) representative of the Client Assistance Program (CAP);
  • One (1) vocational rehabilitation counselor who has knowledge of and experience with the vocational rehabilitation program. If an employee of the Illinois Department of Human Services is appointed under this item, then he or she shall serve as an ex-officio, non-voting member;
  • One (1) representative of community rehabilitation program service providers;
  • Four (4) representatives of business, industry, and labor;
  • At least two (2) but not more than five (5) representatives of disability advocacy groups representing a cross section of the following:
    1. Individuals with physical, cognitive, sensory, and mental disabilities; and
    2. Parents, family members, guardians, advocates, or authorized representatives of individuals with disabilities who have difficulty in representing themselves or who are unable, due to their disabilities, to represent themselves;
  • One (1) current or former applicant for, or recipient of, vocational rehabilitation services;
  • One (1) representative from secondary or higher education;
  • One (1) representative of the Illinois Workforce Innovation Board;
  • One (1) representative of the Illinois State Board of Education who is knowledgeable about the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act;
  • One (1) representative of the Statewide Independent Living Council:
  • One (1) representative of the Blind Services Planning Council: and

The Director of DRS shall serve as an ex-officio, non-voting member.

A majority of the members of the Council shall be persons who are individuals with disabilities.

At least one (1) member shall be a senior citizen age sixty (60) or over, and at least one (1) member shall be at least eighteen (18) but not more than twenty-five (25) years old.

A majority of the Council members shall not be employees of the Illinois Department of Human Services.

Section 3 - Terms of Members

  1. Members appointed to the Council for full terms on or after the effective date of this amendatory Act of the 98th General Assembly shall be appointed for terms of 3 years. No Council member, other than the vocational rehabilitation administrator and the representative of the Client Assistance Program, shall serve for more than 2 consecutive terms as a representative of one of the 13 enumerated categories. If an individual, other than the vocational rehabilitation administrator and the representative of the Client Assistance Program, has completed 2 consecutive terms and is eligible to seek appointment as a representative of one of the other enumerated categories, then that individual may be appointed to serve as a representative of one of those other enumerated categories after a one year break in Council service.
  2. Vacancies for unexpired terms shall be filled. Individuals appointed by the appointing authority to fill an unexpired term shall complete the remainder of the vacated term. When the initial term of a person appointed to fill a vacancy is completed, the individual appointed to fill that vacancy may be re-appointed by the appointing authority to the vacated position for one subsequent term.
  3. If an excessive number of expired terms and vacated terms combine to place an undue burden on the Council, the appointing authority may appoint members for terms of 1, 2, or 3 years. The appointing authority shall determine the terms of Council members to ensure the number of terms expiring each year is as close to equal as possible.
  4. Notwithstanding the foregoing, a member who is serving on the Council on the effective date of this amendatory Act of the 98th General Assembly and whose term expires as a result of the changes made by this amendatory Act of the 98th General Assembly may complete the unexpired portion of his or her term.

Section 4 - Nomination of Members

The Membership Recruitment Committee is responsible for identifying potential Council Members; developing a candidate list which is vetted to assure all "requirements" are met including consistent meeting and committee attendance and participation; and submit suggested candidates for the following year that also meet the category criteria associated with the openings to the Executive Committee for their review, appropriate approval and forwarding with the SRC recommendation to the Governor's Office of Executive Appointments where they are subject to established appointment procedures.

Section 5 - Removal of Members

All members of the Council serve for terms certain and at the pleasure of the Governor. However, members should be responsible for upholding their duties and their regular attendance at meetings. If any member is not performing his/her duties, it is the responsibility of the Chairperson to contact the member to determine if he/she wishes to continue as a member of the Council.

Section 6 - Reimbursement of Members

Members shall be reimbursed in accordance with State laws, rules, and rates for expenses incurred in the performance of their approved, Council-related duties, including expenses for travel, child care, or personal assistance services that exceed their normal living expenses.

ARTICLE V - OFFICERS

Section 1 - Executive Committee

The Executive Committee consists of the five (5) elected officers - Chair, Vice-Chair, Secretary, Fiscal Officer, and Member-at-Large. The Committee is responsible for ensuring the Council acts in accordance with federal and state statutes; manages the affairs of the Council in the interim between meetings; reviews the appointment categories the Council will need to fill in conjunction with the Membership Recruitment Committee; maintains a list of potential candidates to fill vacancies; and submits selected candidates for the following year to the Governor's Office of Executive Appointments for consideration.

Section 2 - Election of Officers

The Nominating Committee shall be chaired by the immediate past Chairperson and its membership will include a minimum of three (3) members including the Chair (but always an odd number). If the immediate past Chairperson is not available to serve as Chair of the Nominating Committee, a member of the current SRC will be appointed to serve in that position by the Nominating Committee itself. The proposed Nominating Committee members will accept a position on this committee in lieu of being nominated as officers themselves.

The Nominating Committee will contact all current Council members for nominations to the Executive Committee. Self nominations will be accepted. The Nominating Committee will review all potential candidates for eligibility status.

Eligibility for the Chairperson position includes:

  1. having served on the Council for at least two consecutive years in a current appointment;
  2. regularly attending all Council meetings;
  3. serving on at least one (1) Council committee or subcommittee during the past year.

Eligibility for the other four (4) positions (Vice-Chairperson, Secretary, Fiscal Officer and Member-at-Large) includes regularly attending Council meetings and serving on at least one (1) Council committee or subcommittee during the past year.

Once eligible candidates are determined, the Nominating Committee will contact eligible candidates and will seek their acceptance to be nominated. The Nominating Committee will then prepare the slate of candidates based on the criteria having been met. The Nominating Committee will contact all members who made nominations regarding the outcome of their nominations.

The Nominating Committee will present the slate of candidates at the Annual Meeting. At the Annual Meeting at which a quorum is present, that slate will be voted on. Nominations (including self nominations) from the floor are appropriate at the meeting at which the slate is presented. A majority vote decides each position's appointment. Elected officers will assume their duties and responsibilities at the conclusion of the Annual Meeting.

Section 3 - Replacement of Officers

Should an Officer be unable to fulfill his/her full term in the position to which they have been elected, the Chair of the Council has the authority to appoint an immediate replacement from within the Council membership.

Section 4 - Officers' Responsibilities and Duties

Chairperson

The Chairperson shall preside at all meetings of the Council.

Vice-Chairperson

The Vice-Chairperson shall perform the duties of the Chairperson when he/she is unable to do so.

Secretary

The Secretary shall be responsible for complete and accurate minutes of all Council and Executive Committee meetings, and shall maintain an up-to-date copy of the Bylaws and policies. The Secretary shall handle correspondence relating to official actions of the Council when directed to do so. At any scheduled meeting, the Secretary shall serve as Chairperson when the Chairperson and Vice-Chairperson are absent.

Fiscal Officer

The Fiscal Officer shall be responsible for developing and overseeing the resource needs of the Council and providing input to the Director on the DRS budget. At any scheduled meeting which the Chairperson, Vice-Chairperson and Secretary are absent, the Fiscal Officer shall serve as Chairperson.

Member-at-Large

The Member-at-Large will serve as a member of the Executive Committee as defined in Section 1. At any scheduled meeting which the Chairperson, Vice-Chairperson, Secretary, and Fiscal Officer are absent, the Member-at-Large shall serve as Chairperson. If, at any meeting, the Chairperson, Vice-Chairperson, Secretary, Fiscal Officer, and Member-at-Large are absent and a quorum is present, the members attending the meeting shall appoint another member to act in the appropriate capacity.

Section 5 - Representation and Indemnification

Members of the Council are covered under the State Employees Indemnification Act and are entitled to representation by the Illinois Attorney General's Office for lawsuits arising out of the scope of the members' duties as a Council member.

ARTICLE VI - MEETINGS

Section 1 - Regular Meetings

The Council shall meet a minimum of four (4) times per year at times and places designated by the Chairperson upon ten (10) days written notice to the members, including meetings held in person, video, or teleconference. The Council shall post a schedule of regular meetings at the beginning of the fiscal year that lists the times and places of each meeting. If a change is made, notice shall be given to the public and to the members at least ten (10) days in advance of the regular meeting.

Section 2 - Annual Meeting

The final meeting within the State fiscal year will be designated as the Annual Meeting. Officers for the forthcoming year shall be elected for two (2) year terms during this meeting and shall assume their duties and responsibilities at the conclusion of the meeting.

Section 3 - Special Meetings

Special meetings may be called by the Chairperson or seven (7) members of the Council upon seven (7) days written notice to the other members. Such meetings may be held in person, video, or teleconference at the discretion of the Chairperson.

Section 4 - Quorum

At all meetings of the Council, the presence of nine (9) members of the Council (both appointed and ex-officio) shall constitute a quorum, and no action binding the Council shall be taken in the absence of a quorum. The vocational rehabilitation administrator, or his/her designee, will not be considered a part of the quorum.

Section 5 - Voting

All voting shall be oral or by hand count, except that any member present may request that voting be by ballot, but not secret ballot. After a vote by ballot is taken, the position that each member took will be disclosed. There shall be no voting by proxy. No member of the Council shall cast a vote on any matter that would provide direct financial benefit to the member or otherwise give the appearance of a conflict of interest under Illinois law

Section 6 - Procedures

The Bylaws, along with State and Federal statues shall govern all meetings of the Council. The current edition of Roberts Rules of Order shall be observed in questions of parliamentary procedure when applicable.

Section 7 - Executive Session

In accordance with the Open Meetings Act, the Council may go into Executive Session upon a motion that is seconded and approved by a majority vote of the members in attendance to consider personnel, legal or property transfer matters.

Section 8 - Cancellation of Meetings

Regular and special meetings of the Council may be canceled by the Chairperson or Convener of the meeting with proper notice to all members.

Section 9 - Minutes

The Secretary of the Council, or in his/her absence, such person as designated by the Chairperson, shall keep minutes of the transactions of each session, both regular and special. Minutes of all meetings, except Executive Session meetings properly called and approved, shall be public record. All minutes of regular, special, and Executive Session meetings will be filed with the vocational rehabilitation administrator.

Section 10 - Conflict of Interest

No member of the Council shall cast a vote on any matter that would provide direct financial benefit to the member or his/her family (spouse, child, parent or other relative), or otherwise give the appearance of a conflict of interest under Illinois law. Members shall disclose to the Council any conflict of interest prior to participating in any activity that would provide direct benefit to the member, their place of business, or his/her family or otherwise give the appearance of a conflict of interest under Illinois law. Not only shall an actual conflict be avoided, but also the appearance of a conflict of interest.

ARTICLE VII - COMMITTEES

Section 1 - Appointment of Committees

The Chairperson, by and with the approval of the Council, shall appoint all Committees and Committee Chairs. Council members may volunteer for Committees and/or the Chair may appoint them.

The Chairperson may appoint such ad hoc committees and their Chairs as deemed necessary to carry out the policies and programs of the Council. Committee appointments shall be at the will and pleasure of the Chairperson. Once appointed to a standing or ad hoc committee, members shall continue to serve until resignation from the committee or Council, or replacement by the Chairperson. The standing committees of the Council shall be as follows:

Executive Committee

The Executive Committee consists of the five (5) elected officers - Chair, Vice-Chair, Secretary, Fiscal Officer, and Member-at-Large. The Committee is responsible for ensuring the Council acts in accordance with federal and state statutes; manages the affairs of the Council in the interim between meetings; reviews the appointment categories the Council will need to fill in conjunction with the Membership Recruitment Committee; maintains a list of potential candidates to fill vacancies; and submits selected candidates for the following year to the Governor's Office of Executive Appointments for consideration.

Operations Committee

The Operations Committee consists of all Standing Committee Chairs and is responsible for developing an overall management plan for the Council and the Annual Report. With the assistance of other Committees, the Operations Committee shall identify the Council's goals and priorities for the year and shall identify the appropriate level of resources needed to accomplish the Council's tasks. Operations, procedures and policies will be developed and maintained in The Council's Orientation Manual, to be reviewed annually.

The Committee shall also be responsible for reviewing the bylaws and submitting revisions to the Council. The bylaws shall be reviewed annually and the Committee may make revisions as provided in Article VIII.

Policy/Legislative Committee

The Policy/Legislative Committee is responsible for monitoring legislation that will have an impact on individuals with disabilities and on the operations of DRS. This shall include matters that affect and concern the DRS budget. The Committee will make recommendations to the full Council with regard to positions on legislation and on the DRS budget.

The Committee is also responsible for reviewing proposed changes to administrative rules and preparing a response to such changes on behalf of the Council; monitoring and prioritizing responses to proposed legislation that impacts persons with disabilities and their families as well as vocational rehabilitation. The Committee is also responsible for providing training on the roles and responsibilities of Council members, the legislative process, and other identified topics to further the mission of the Council.

Stakeholders Committee

The Stakeholders Committee is responsible for developing new and innovative ways to increase stakeholder and DRS staff participation in the VR process and in the activities of the Council. The Committee will also participate in the development of the DRS Strategic Plan, surveys and needs assessments, which are integral in creating the State Plan.

State Plan Committee

The State Plan Committee is responsible for reviewing the State Plan and its amendments that are submitted by the Division to the Rehabilitation Services Administration (RSA). The Committee is also responsible for identifying the Council's goals and priorities for inclusion in the State Plan. In addition to these activities, the Committee will be responsible for participating in community forums as defined by federal regulations to discuss the Plan. The Committee will present the Plan to the full Council for final review and approval.

Membership Recruitment Committee

The Membership Recruitment Committee, in conjunction with the Executive Committee, is responsible for identifying potential Council Members by reviewing the composition of the Council for near-future openings ensuring that position requirements are met including but not limited to geographic-urban/rural, racial, ethnic, age and disability. The Committee will develop a candidate list which it has vetted to assure all "requirements" are met as well as ascertaining interest in actively serving on the Council. Those names are referred to the Executive Committee for its ultimate recommendation to the Governor and the Office of Executive Appointments.

ARTICLE VIII - AMENDMENTS

The bylaws may be amended or altered by a two-thirds vote of the Council at any regular or special meeting at which a quorum is present, providing the notice for the meeting includes the proposals for amendments. Any proposed amendments or alternations shall be submitted to the Council in writing at least fifteen days in advance of the meeting at which they are to be acted upon.

  • Revised - September, 2002
    Legal Review - September 12, 2002
    Operations Committee Approval - June 20, 2003
    Adopted - July 17, 2003
  • Revised - October 12, 2013
    Legal Review - November 18, 2013
    Operations Committee Approval - December 2, 2013
    Adopted - February 14, 2014
  • Amended - July 25, 2014
    Adopted - July 25, 2014
  • Amended - May 12, 2016
    Adopted - May 12, 2016
  • Amended - May 11, 2017
    Adopted - May 11, 2017

Appendix I - National Coalition of State Rehabilitation Councils' Resolution

Resolution February 2008

WHERE AS Title 1, Section 105 of the Rehabilitation Act establishes State Rehabilitation councils (SRC), our federal mandates and our partnership with Designated State Units;

And WHERE AS it is a show of respect to our partners in vocational rehabilitation that we are committed to cultivating our strengths and the necessary expertise to enhance what we bring to our partnership;

And WHERE AS the Illinois State Rehabilitation council has an interest in strengthening the public vocational rehabilitation system;

And WHERE AS Councils across the nation and territories have a range of specific local interests and practices; we are more alike than different;

And WHERE AS our collective ability to address the national trends and systemic issues impeding the public vocational rehabilitation system from realizing its full potential is greater than those of any one Council;

And WHERE AS vocational rehabilitation services are a resource in assisting individuals and the broader community of people with disabilities to achieve economic advancement, and ultimately self-determination;

THEREFORE BE IT RESOLVED that the Illinois State Rehabilitation Council supports the mission, vision, core values, and goals of the NCSRC, and our councils participation, which includes decision making when representing our council at scheduled meetings, for the purpose of increasing the effectiveness of individual councils and strengthening the public vocational rehabilitation system in our country.

Respectfully Signed:
Greg Polman, Council Chair
Date 2/25/08

Certificate of Acknowledgment

In Acknowledgement
NCSRC
National Coalition of State Rehabilitation Councils

Our Mission

On behalf of people with disabilities, our national membership coalition will advocate for and work in partnership with the national public vocational rehabilitation system's continual quest for excellence.

Our Vision

NCSRC will be the premiere national organization of the consumer voice to enhance the employment opportunities of persons with disabilities through the public vocational rehabilitation system.

Illinois State Rehabilitation Council
Member, National Coalition of State Rehabilitation councils (NCSRC)
www.ncsrc.net

Integrity, Commitment, Excellence, Advocacy, Diversity, Leadership, Partnership, Teamwork, Culture, Communication

April 6, 2014

Appendix II - SRC Training Materials and Resources

Council members are encouraged to utilize the resources and training materials available through the National Coalition of State Rehabilitation Councils (NCSRC) website at www.ncsrc.net and the Rehabilitation Services Administrations (RSA) website at www.rsa.ed.gov.

RSA eTraining Series

The SRC Online Training Series was developed by RSA and in cooperation with the National Rehabilitation Continuing Education Programs to address the training needs of SRC members and contains a series of topical modules, each approximately 30 minutes in length.

  • Series One: Overview & Philosophy
  • Series Two: Unified State Plan
  • Series Three: Operationalizing the Unified State Plan
  • Series Four: Performance Management in State VR Agencies

36th Institute on Rehabilitation Issues (IRI)

McGuire-Kuletz, M., Tomlinson, P., & Siblo, M. (2010). The State Rehabilitation Council - Vocational Rehabilitation Partnership: Working Together Works (Institute on Rehabilitation Issues Monograph No. 36). Washington, DC: The George Washington University, Technical Assistance and Continuing Education Center.

Table of Contents

  • Primary Study Group Members - Page vi
  • Preface - Page 1
  • Chapter 1: History and Law - Page 3
  • Chapter 2: SRC Basics - Page 17
  • Chapter 3: SRC Business Practices - Page 29
  • Chapter 4: Implementation of Responsibilities - Page 43
  • Chapter 5: SRC Resources - Page 58
  • Appendices - Page 70
  • Appendix A: Major RSA Policy Guidance Documents Related to the VR Program - Page 71
  • Appendix B: Frequently Used Acronyms - Page 72
  • Appendix C: Section 361.17 Requirements for a State Rehabilitation Council - Page 75
  • Appendix D: Introduction to Robert's Rules of Order - Page 80
  • Appendix E:  What Are Other SRCs Doing? Where can I Find Examples? - Page 83
  • Appendix F:  Previous IRI Publications - Page 124 

Appendix III - Overview of Illinois Department of Rehabilitation Services

Our Mission

DHS's Division of Rehabilitation Services (DRS) is the state's lead agency serving individuals with disabilities. DRS works in partnership with people with disabilities and their families to assist them in making informed choices to achieve full community participation through employment, education, and independent living opportunities.

Our Vision

Improving the independence of our customers is our only reason for existing. We realize that the skills and abilities of our front-line staff are the keys to our success. Embracing, listening to and collaborating with our community partners will sustain our success.

DRS will be a customer-driven organization, with all major decisions based on the needs of our customers. Our staff will be informed and valued, pursuing lifelong learning and striving to improve their professional skills. We will create an environment where customers and staff work in partnership, where customers enjoy working with staff, and staff look forward to coming to work. Finally, we envision an agency where customers feel confident that their goals will be reached.

Goals

Independence

  • Goal - Provide services that will enable DRS customers to achieve the highest level of independence.
  • Key Indicators - The number of persons moved out of nursing homes, the number of persons prevented from nursing home placement, the number of persons successfully completing independent living training and the number of persons receiving services through independent living centers.

Productivity

  • Goal - Achieve a high level of productivity by efficiently serving eligible customers and helping them attain successful outcomes.
  • Key Indicators - The number of persons employed in competitive jobs, the number of students entering employment after leaving high school, and a composite index that measures the productivity of VR counselors.

Job Quality

  • Goal - Increase the quality of jobs obtained by VR program customers.
  • Key Indicators - The average hourly wage earned and average hours worked per week by customers who become employed through the VR program, as well as the percentage of those workers who receive medical insurance from their employers.

Service Quality

  • Goal - Continually improve the quality of services provided by DRS in all program areas.
  • Key Indicators - A quality assurance index, the percentage of VR cases meeting RSA timeliness requirements, and the percentage of HSP cases with timely redeterminations.

Customer and Staff Experience

  • Goal - Create a work environment that results in a positive experience for customers and staff.
  • Key Indicator - Survey measures of customer, employer and provider satisfaction, as well as a staff morale survey.

Our Organization

DRS includes four major bureaus: Bureau of Field Services, Bureau of Blind Services, Bureau of Home Services, and Bureau of Disability Determination Services. 

Bureau of Field Services

  • Assists individuals with disabilities in preparing for, obtaining and maintaining quality competitive employment. Services include evaluation, guidance and counseling, education, training, physical and mental restoration, assistive devices, job development, job placement, and post-employment services. We are honest and straightforward in all that we do. We treat everyone with dignity and respect. We act responsibly with resources entrusted to us. We are accountable and act in accordance with these values.

Bureau of Blind Services

  • Helps adults who are blind or visually impaired rediscover their independence and achieve their employment, education, training, and independent living goals. Services include: specialized vocational rehabilitation services; a short-term residential program for adults who are newly blind or visually impaired; independent living services for older individuals who are blind, and the Illinois Business Enterprise Program for the Blind.

Bureau of Home Services

  • Provides a wide range of services to individuals with the most significant disabilities to enable them to remain in their homes and live as independently as possible. Services also include specialized services for people with HIV/AIDS or brain injuries.

Bureau of Disability Determination Services

  • Determines the eligibility of people to receive benefits under Social Security's disability programs, Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) and Supplemental Security Income (SSI).

In addition, DRS includes:

  • Client Assistance Program
  • Services for Persons who are Deaf or Hard of Hearing
  • Services for Persons with Disabilities who are Hispanic/Latino
  • Independent Living
  • Educational Services
  • Administrative Support Services

How to Contact DRS

DRS staff provide services to individuals with disabilities in 45 local offices located in communities throughout the state. To learn more about how the DRS program can assist you or to refer yourself or someone else for services online go to: drs.illinois.gov.

You can also use the DHS Office Locator to find the nearest local office at: dhs.illinois.gov/officelocator; call toll-free: 1-877-761-9780 (Voice) or 1-866-264-2149 (TTY) or email: dhs.drs@illinois.gov for general questions about DRS.


State Rehabilitation Council
of the Division of Rehabilitation Services
Illinois Department of Human Services

100 South Grand Avenue, East - Springfield, Illinois 62794
dhs.drs@illinois.gov
drs.illinois.gov/success

Programs, activities and employment opportunities in the Illinois Department of Human Services are open and accessible to any individual or group without regard to age, sex, race, sexual orientation, disability, ethnic origin or religion. The department is an equal opportunity employer and practices affirmative action and reasonable accommodation programs.

IDHS 3005 (R-10-17) State Rehabilitation Council Orientation and Policy Manual

50 copies PO#18-0591 Printed by the Authority of the State of Illinois