RCPA - Rehabilitation and Community Providers Association


IDD Update Week of October 28, 2013
November 1, 2013

ODP Updates
The Office of Developmental Programs (ODP) has released the following information:

  • Announcement #097-13: Person Centered Thinking Training for Administrative Entity Staff. Training is being held at 12 locations across the state from November 2013 through May 2014.
  • State Center Staff Development courses are being offered in November and are open to the public at Selinsgrove and Ebensburg Centers.

Employment Practices Project
The Pennsylvania Developmental Disabilities Council has funded a project with the Lehigh Valley Center for Independent Living and the Lehigh Valley Research Consortium to conduct interviews with employers across the state to identify best practices by employers for the selection and retention of workers with disabilities. Agencies interested in participating should contact Micha Cecere, Lehigh Valley CIL (610-770-9781 or michacecere@lvcil.org).

RCPA Committee Meeting Schedule
RCPA’s Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities (IDD) Committee, Supports Coordination Organizations (SCO) Subcommittee, and Vocational Rehabilitation (Voc Rehab) Subcommittee meetings are December 5 at the Best Western Hotel, 800 E Park Dr, Harrisburg. The hotel is offering a reduced rate for overnight guests. These details will be included in the agendas and RSVP notices next week. The IDD Committee and Voc Rehab Subcommittee meetings will also be available by webcast. The SCO Subcommittee will not be webcast.


October 30, 2013

RCPA Vocational Rehabilitation Subcommittee
The Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities (IDD) Committee has added a Vocational Rehabilitation Subcommittee, which will be co-chaired by Will Stennett, Family Services of Western Pennsylvania and current IDD co-chair, and Colleen Stuart, Venango Training and Development Center. The first subcommittee meeting is December 5, from 1:00 – 4:00 pm, immediately following the IDD Committee meeting. Watch for details, schedule, and RSVP information.

Voc Rehab Best Practices Document
On October 9 during the RCPA conference roundtable discussion on vocational rehabilitation, it was  determined that a “Best Practices in Vocational Rehabilitation for Persons with Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities” document would be developed with input from members and shared with the Office of developmental Programs (ODP). The document will include:

  • Proactive recommendations to ODP specific to sheltered workshops;
  • An overview of sheltered workshops services/supports;
  • IDD functional levels served;
  • How workshops determine the person’s skills and interest levels;
  • How workshops have expanded with community businesses and contracts;
  • What other types of services the work centers offer (socialization, community inclusion activities, etc.) for lower-functioning individuals unable to transition to community employment that allow the person to be where they have friends, feel accepted, offer families the feeling of safety with day-long activities, and include transportation; and
  • Types of trainings ODP and the Office of Vocational Rehabilitation need to offer to job coaches and supported employment programs.

Program specific information will also be included. Member input is needed for the following:

  • Positive success stories of transition to employment.
  • How many individuals are serveed in the workshop, by funding steam? What are the numbers of transitions to community employment and types of employment?
  • What new vocational services do you offer that other vocational providers do not?
  • Have you purchased a business? If so, is the workforce exclusively disabled workers or a mix? What is the ratio?
  • How have you marketed your program/services in a new way to attract businesses?
  • What have you done to increase referrals and from whom?
  • Have you changed how you describe the program to parents, counties, and the state? And how have you changed this?
  • What new work products have you produced that have improved your reputation and business success?

Please share your information and recommendations with Linda Drummond by November 15.

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