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Systems Change Transition Projects Utilizing Direct and Indirect Service. February 12, 2013. The Ohio Grant. Promoting Rehabilitation and Educational Results through State, Regional and Local Collaboration. The Ohio Grant.

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Systems Change Transition Projects Utilizing Direct and Indirect Service

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the ohio grant
The Ohio Grant

Promoting Rehabilitation and Educational Results through State, Regional and Local Collaboration

the ohio grant1
The Ohio Grant
  • Awarded to Ohio Rehabilitation Services Commission (ORSC) with Ohio Department of Education’s Office for Exceptional Children (OEC) as a grant partner
  • ORSC is the funding agent
  • $2.5 million over 5 years
  • Extension year until September 30, 2013
systems change grant
Systems Change Grant
  • No direct service to students with disabilities
  • Money not used for case service dollars for ORSC
  • Making secondary transition quality improvements systematic
the need
The Need
  • Lack of focused planning school to post-school life
  • Need for collaboration at regional and local levels
  • Post-school engagement data shows room for improvement (Ohio Longitudinal Transition Study-OLTS)
  • Lack of IEP Coordination with Adult Services
the need1
The Need
  • Lack of knowledge among transition systems-example: VR Knowledge of education’s transition process
  • State cooperation exists but is inconsistent-example: interagency agreements-no follow through with goals
the response
The Response
  • System alteration which filters down to direct service
  • Original structure

1. Create regional (NW,NE,SE,SW) two person teams: one RSC transition counselor and one education transition specialist

2. Create one regional transition council for each region

original structure
Original Structure
  • Work with school districts and other service providers to create networks
  • Collect best practices evidence. disseminate best practices and evidence based practices statewide
  • 4 original regional councils would create district transition teams
  • Make the 4 regional pairs permanent positions housed at ORSC in an office of transition
changes in project
Changes in Project
  • Hiring freeze during first year of project
  • Project staff resulted in 2 ORSC transition program specialists (north and south) and 4 part-time education transition specialists (8 hours a week)
  • Established 16 regional transition councils based on ode service regions
  • Jobs not permanent-conclude when grant ends
project objectives
Project Objectives
  • Develop transition quality indicators-guide for school districts
  • Create regional transition councils in 16 regions
  • Build regional capacity through training and technical assistance provided to regional transition councils
project objectives1
Project Objectives
  • Assess IEPs and IPEs for coordination of vocational goals
  • Spread best practices statewide
  • Make regional teams a permanent part of transition landscape in Ohio
  • Use data to guide work
measuring results
Measuring Results

Qualitative Results

  • Improved quality of transition planning and services
  • More evidence of students with disabilities being transition ready
  • More participation by ORSC staff in IEP meetings
  • Better understanding of transition services and eligibility requirements across agencies
  • Evidence based practices becoming imbedded in transition work
measuring results1
Measuring Results

Quantitative Results

  • Composition of RTCs and scope of their work.
  • Increased post-school engagement by SWD by 10%.
  • 100% compliance on transition quality measures (Indicator 13).
  • 5% decrease in drop out rate for SWD.
  • 5% increase in graduation rate for SWD.
  • Increased alignment of vocational goals on IEP-IPE
outcomes to date
Outcomes to date
  • Establishment of RTCs in 16 ODE regions. work based on Kohler’s Taxonomy
  • Development of transition quality indicators
  • Statewide cross trainings on transition processes and agency transition work/requirements
  • Evidence based practices becoming imbedded
  • Publications, RTC resource guides, transition fairs
barriers to success
Barriers to Success
  • Hiring freeze in year one
  • Administrative staff turnover
  • Initial buy-in from top administrators from two supporting agencies
  • Forming a regional mindset vs “this won’t work in our area”
  • Aligning IEPs with IPEs-how to review
  • Limited resources threatens future of RTCs
contact information
Contact Information

Mike Kinney

Project Director-Coordinator of SE/SW Ohio


Karen Kriss

Coordinator of NE/NW Ohio


project access
Project ACCESS

Oregon Vocational Rehabilitation & the University of Oregon

project goals
Project Goals
  • Bring transition supports/VR services to adolescents during high school (9th - 12th grades)—target them early!
  • Provide a greater number of adolescents access to transition-related

experiences and VR.

Target groups in

classroom & school


mechanisms to achieve goals
Mechanisms to Achieve Goals
  • Establish and maintain strong collaborative relationships between VR counselors, schools, and teachers (particularly special education)
  • VRC’s work directly with teachers and other school personnel to access a greater number of students at an earlier age
mechanisms to achieve goals1
Mechanisms to Achieve Goals
  • VRC’s and teachers provide students with foundational skills (Grades 9 & 10) and increasingly individualized career skills including VR services in later developmental stages (Grade 11 & 12)
  • Provide information to parents to facilitate positive transitions
our ideal situation
Our Ideal Situation
  • VR Counselors are integrated into schools. Introduced to faculty, attend department meetings, attend IEP meetings when possible, develop relationships with students and families
  • VRCs collaborate regularly with teachers. Attend classrooms and provide students with learning opportunities related to VR and transition.
our ideal situation1
Our Ideal Situation
  • We view this as an opportunity for VR counselors to provide their insights regarding transition needs to students and teachers
  • We also believe that VR counselors will benefit and learn about school processes that are designed to support the transition-needs of students
our ideal situation2
Our Ideal Situation
  • VR counselors get to know students through small group and 1:1 meetings. This will provide counselors with better information for determining which students could benefit from VR services
  • Teachers continue to provide information to students as much as possible when VR counselors are not in the school. This will help to ensure improvements in the delivery of transition-related curricula and skills
major access project features
Major ACCESS Project Features
  • Teachers & VRC’s plan a curriculum/sequence of experiences for what information should be provided to students at grades 9, 10, 11, and 12 to assist them in making positive post-school transitions
  • Teachers & VRC’s plan strategies for working together (e.g., office space, schedule, introduction to school staff, etc.
major access project features1
Major ACCESS Project Features
  • VRCs attend sites 1X per week implement plan—teachers facilitate
  • VRCs and teachers meet each summer to discuss implementation and refine plan
sample site based services
Sample Site-Based Services
  • Each summer VR Counselors and teachers worked together to develop learning experiences/curricula focusing on foundational career-related skills that can be used by VRC’s and teachers
  • VRCs have established a presence in schools and have ongoing relationships with students and teachers in those schools
sample site based services1
Sample Site-Based Services
  • We are also developing materials that can be used by families to facilitate their understanding of transition and VR (see families section)
  • We are currently developing materials that can be used by VR counselors to assist them in establishing and maintaining school-based services (section coming soon!)
lessons learned
Lessons Learned
  • Difficulty balancing caseload demands with the time needed to develop and maintain meaningful collaborative relationships with teachers and with students who may or may not eventually become clients
lessons learned1
Lessons Learned
  • Some of this just takes time—time to develop relationships
  • Also working to develop efficient but meaningful interactions by being present within schools on a regular basis
  • Importance of simple things—having an office or space, introduce VRC to faculty at faculty meeting, VRC attend classrooms and meet students, attend department meetings, attend IEP meetings when possible
lessons learned2
Lessons Learned
  • Increasingly challenging to find dedicated time within classrooms and schools to focus on transition-related issues within the context of academic accountability reforms
  • Attempt to address this through the development of free curriculum that can be incorporated into academic content areas or taught as stand-alone, or delivered in 1:1 or small group formats
extended p roject outcomes
Extended Project Outcomes

Yearly Assessments of Students—we expect improvements in:

  • vocational skills awareness;
  • career locus of control;
  • problem solving skills;
  • employment-related social skills;
  • employment status;
  • changes in # of students receiving VR services; and
  • reductions in high school dropout status.
replication of success
Replication of Success
  • Currently, efforts are ongoing to replicate the ACCESS model in school districts throughout Oregon. At present, there are five school districts that have put elements of ACCESS into practice. These school districts are located in both urban and rural areas
replication of success1
Replication of Success
  • In the past four years, Eugene Oregon School District 4J has had the presence of a VRC in the 18-21 year old transition program, Connections. This program provides focused transition services to those students who continue to be eligible for IDEA transition services through their 21st birthday
access expansion and sustainability
ACCESS Expansion and Sustainability
  • Mid Valley Behavioral Care Network (MVBCN) has applied the concept of Project ACCESS in one of the project sites, Cottage Grove school district, Kennedy alternative school. The MVBCN project is not a part of the federal model demonstration grant, 84.235U, but is being funded from other sources
access expansion and sustainability1
ACCESS Expansion and Sustainability
  • Early Assessment Support Alliance based its implementation of Project ACCESS on the work of the Kennedy Alternative School in Cottage Grove, Oregon
  • Project ACCESS facilitators work with each individual in an individualized plan 
access expansion and sustainability2
ACCESS Expansion and Sustainability
  • Plans can include assessment such as interests, skills, strengths and values, vocational exploration, obtaining and retaining school experience, in vivo and internship experiences, and obtaining and retaining paid employment 
  • The ultimate goal is to significantly reduce long-term unemployment and underemployment among individuals with psychotic illness
access expansion and sustainability3
ACCESS Expansion and Sustainability
  • In 2012, mental health staff from three Oregon counties met with Oregon VR to begin implementation of the Early Assessment Support Alliance Project on a statewide basis. The initial sites are in both urban and rural areas
resource contacts
Resource contacts

ACCESS website:

Dr. Christopher Murray

Dr. Lauren Lindstrom

Oregon Office of Vocational Rehabilitation

Clayton Rees