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SRC Participation in Comprehensive Statewide Needs Assessments
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  1. SRC Participation in Comprehensive Statewide Needs Assessments National state rehabilitation council forum June 25, 2013

  2. Today’s Presentation • CSNA Requirements • CSNA Principles • Role of the SRC in the CSNA • Frequently Asked Questions • Resources

  3. What is the CSNA? Comprehensive Statewide Needs Assessment • The basis for the State Plan goals, objectives, and strategies • VR agency and SRC are required by the Rehabilitation Act of 1973, as amended, to work jointly on conducting a CSNA • Conducted every three years • Attachment 4.11(a) of the State Plan

  4. CSNA Required Information Goals • VR service needs of individuals with the most significant disabilities, including their need for supported employment; • Individuals with disabilities who are minorities; • Individuals with disabilities who have been unserved and underserved by the VR program; and • Individuals with disabilities served through the statewide workforce investment system.

  5. Attachment 4.11(a) Requirements AND… assessment of the need to: Establish, develop or improve community rehabilitation programs (CRPs) within the state

  6. CSNA Principles • Take advantage of existing knowledge • Build on the experience of the State Plan • Involve the Community • VR Agency/SRC/Community partnership • Use data to focus the assessment goals • CSNA cannot rely on data alone • Design a feasible and reasonable project • Use wide range of methods, participants • Combine quantitative & qualitative results • The process is as much an art as science

  7. CSNA Principles • Multi-disciplinary needs assessment team • Data crunchers, fiscal and field staff, subject matter experts • Start thinking dissemination early • In developing State Plan options, learn from past successes and mistakes • What worked and what didn’t, what changes are needed? • Does our evaluation in Attachment 4.11(e)(2) suggest that changes in strategies are needed? • Develop a menu of alternatives

  8. CSNA Steps • Establish goals of the CSNA • What info exists, what info do we need? Who will be involved in the process and what will the SRC role be? • Plan for information • Where can we get the needed information and how can we get it? • Gather information • Use a wide range of methods, participants • Analyze results

  9. CSNA Steps • Develop Conclusions • What needs have been identified? • Information for the State Plan • What needs are a priority, how will we address them and what are our goals? • Disseminate Results • How can we make this available to the public? • Can other entities make use of this information?

  10. SRC Role in the CSNA • SRC involvement in the CSNA process may be in the form of: • Participation in the planning of the CSNA • Collecting data/information • Review of findings • Development of recommendations re: State Plan goals and strategies • Disseminating the results • Periodic review of the results of the CSNA and other management information to determine whether the goals and strategies are responsive to the needs and to determine future actions

  11. Examples of SRC Role in the CSNA • Planning – • Participating on a CSNA planning committee • Reviewing manpower and skills available • Discussing whether the assessment should be conducted internally or contracted to consultants • identifying the role of the SRC and other participants in the assessment

  12. Examples of SRC Role in the CSNA • Gather Information – Examples • Designing/conducting/reviewing surveys • Attending or conducting focus groups • Conducting key informant interviews • Attending, conducting or participating in hearings

  13. Examples of SRC Role in the CSNA • Dissemination of CSNA results • Create a plan for sharing the results including • Audiences • Methods and media • Schedule • Costs • Goals

  14. Frequently Asked Questions about the CSNA • Is the CSNA an event or a continuous process? According to 34 CFR 361.29(a)(1), the CSNA must be conducted every three years. RSA has interpreted that to mean that a CSNA addressing all requirements and serving as the foundation for the State Plan goals and objectives must be completed by the end of the third FY, regardless of whether it is conducted as a single event in one year or continuously over a three-year period.

  15. Frequently Asked Questions about the CSNA • Is the CSNA an event or a continuous process? (cont.) Pros and Cons to Each Approach • Completing a portion of the CSNA each year for three years provides flexibility in scheduling activities and gathering information. • Conducting an assessment once, all in one year, provides a focused snapshot view and a sense of relief when it’s completed. Either way, Identified Needs Development of State Plan Goals and Policies

  16. Frequently Asked Questions about the CSNA • If an agency and SRC conduct a needs assessment in three one-year parts, are the results to be consolidated into one report or submitted as yearly updates? When the state conducts the CSNA on a continuous basis over a three-year period, the state must include the CSNA results in Attachment 4.11(a) of the State Plan as annual updates for each of the three years pursuant to 34 CFR 361.29(a)(2).

  17. Frequently Asked Questions about the CSNA • How do you define “unserved” and “underserved”? The Rehabilitation Act and its implementing regulations do not define these terms. The VR Needs Assessment Guide contains the following guideline: Unserved individuals are individuals who would be eligible for VR services but have not received VR services. Underserved individuals are those who do not receive equal access to VR services.

  18. Frequently Asked Questions about the CSNA Unserved and underserved individuals can include: • racial and ethnic minorities; • specific disability populations; • people with disabilities who are low-income; • veterans; • certain age groups; and • residents of a specific geographic area.

  19. Resources – Conducting a CSNA • For additional information on conducting a CSNA and completing State Plan Attachment 4.11(a): • See VR Needs Assessment Guide at: • Contact your Regional Technical Assistance and Continuing Education center at:

  20. Resource – SRC/VR Agency Partnership • 36th IRI The State Rehabilitation Council – Vocational Rehabilitation Partnership at: • SRC On-Line Training Series (includes information on conducting the CSNA) at:

  21. Thank you! Janette Shell Susan Schaffer, Director RSA Office of Blindness and 550 12th St., SW Vision Services PCP Room 5010 Maryland DORS Washington, D.C. 2301 Argonne Drive 20202-2800 Baltimore, MD 21218 202-245-7257 voice 410.554.9277 voice 202-245-7590 FAX 410.554.9197 FAX