DSB Quarterly Report

Quarterly Reports are presented to the State Rehabilitation Council for the Blind during their quarterly meetings. 

Previous Quarterly Reports

 

Quarterly Report, FFY2020, 3rd Quarter

CONTENTS

 

INDEPENDENT LIVING BLIND SKILLS SERVICES 

CLIENT SERVICES

Service Snapshot – Younger Blind (YB) And Older Blind (OB) Clients

October 2019 – June 2020

Trend Total YB OB
Total Cases 551
(89% of all
clients)
58
(11% of all
clients)
493
Service Delivery to Hispanic or Latino Clients 16 5 11
Service Delivery to Asian Clients 8 2 6
Centenarians (age 100 or older) Served 9 NA 9
Youth (24 or younger) Served 4 4 NA
Homeless Clients
all clients 60 years old or younger
0 0 0
Clients with Depression 109 17 92
Clients with Bone, Muscle, Skin, Joint, and Movement Disorders 
(includes Parkinson's, arthritis, and osteoporosis)*
245 14 231
Clients with Diabetes ** 120 23 97
Average Cost per Client   $ 665 $ 651

IMPACT OF COVID-19 

In mid March in-person services were temporarily discontinued due to COVID-19 at the discretion of the DSB. Remote services continue to be provided on a limited basis. Each service provider has submitted a plan for reopening in person services. It is expected in person services will be able to resume no later than September 1, 2020.

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BUSINESS ENTERPRISE PROGRAM (BEP) 

FACILITIES UPDATE

On March 15 the world of BEP came to a screeching halt as the Stay at Home order took precedence in our communities. We rapidly shut down business, assisted owners with layoff procedures, and their questions for the future.

The first few weeks were difficult as we navigated the mixed bag of information that often changed regularly. Supporting from home was new for the BEP office as we are used to being in the field and in operations. Nonetheless, we became active by email and phone talking with vendors regularly, re-writing menus for grab n go and take-out in hopes the phase would soon pass. 

Additionally, we kept looking at aging Capital Campus facilities and the cost of operations. The shrinking workforce onsite is a new reality; more employees telecommute or work a variety of schedules. The building population is ever changing and no solid projections are available. That means we need to teach our vendors to be nimble and flexible with the newer business models. 

A large concern is the fiscal viability of the vendors as most did not have resources available to pay themselves or their bills, both at home and the business. We immediately assisted with filling out paperwork for the EIDL loan, PPP loan and many other grants available. By the end of June, four vendors were able to receive some needed assistance. 
Along the way, several of the owners decided stay open and serve essential workers and the community. We have assisted with coaching to meet the food service guidelines in Snohomish, King, and Thurston Counties. This was a feat all by itself given all were at different Phases in their COVID-19 re-opening requirements.

TRAINING AND POTENTIAL NEW VENDOR UPDATE 

Training has been put on hold because of COVID. However, we are actively working with two students to keep engaged with the Hadley courses that are available. In the meantime, we are re-working some old courses that will still be used in-house as a means of evaluation. 

In summer 2020, we hope to integrate a more user-friendly hybrid training of Hadley, On-the-job Training (OJT), and industry taught courses. We believe the candidates will be better equipped for long-term success. In addition, we have re-engaged with WA Hospitality Association for local support.

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CUSTOMER SERVICES

SNAPSHOT OF PERFORMANCE COMPARISON: [Q3 FFY20 VS Q3 FFY19]

  • New VR Applications [191 vs 215]
  • VR Customers Receiving Planned Services [896 vs 1057]
  • VR Customers Added to Wait List [72 vs 44] 
  • VR Customers Released from Wait List [134 vs 42] (All categories opened 5/5/20)
  • Students with a Disability served [332 vs 388]
  • Competitive Employment Outcomes [15 vs 35] Year to Date: [47 vs 80]
  • Average Hourly Wage FFY20 Q3 [27.09 vs 23.42] Year to Date: [32.95 vs 21.17]

EMPLOYMENT OUTCOMES 

Successful placements made this quarter:

Job Title Employer Region/County
Network & Computer Systems Administrator Lifeline Connections South/Clark
Special Education Teacher Tacoma Public Schools East/Pierce
Computer & Information Research Scientist Apple North/King
Computer & Information Research Scientist Carnegie Mellon University North/King
Elementary School Teacher Central Valley School District East/Spokane
Manager Perfection Glass East/Benton
Respiratory Therapist PeaceHealth North/Whatcom
Counselor Love, Inc. South/Mason
Teacher & Instructor Tacoma Public Schools South/Pierce
Elementary School Teacher Connections Academy South/Thurston
Security Guard Securitas Security Services North/King
Teaching Assistant Alpec Elementary School East/Yakima
Education, Training, & Library Worker University of Washington North/King
Office Clerk, General Washington State Department
of Developmental Disabilities 
Administration
North/Skagit
Fishers & Related Fishing Workers Quinault Pride South/Grays Harbor

Wages

Average hourly wage all employment outcomes at Q3:. $27.09

Age ranges 

  • Percentage of participants age 55 and older who exited with employment outcome: 7%
  • Eldest with employment outcome: Age 65 – Respiratory Therapist
  • Youngest with employment outcome: Age 22 – Elementary School Teacher

 

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YOUTH SERVICES 

SPENDING TARGETS FOR PRE-EMPLOYMENT TRANSITION SERVICES SET ASIDE

Federal Grant Grant Amount Pre-ETS Set Aside Pre- ETS Spent Dollars Unspent Balance
FFY 2016
(ended 09/30/2017)
$ 8,730,218 $ 1,309,532 $ 1,291,505 $ 18,027
FFY 2017
(ended 09/30/2018)
$ 8,792,634 $ 1,318,895 $ 1,250,702 $ 68,193
FFY 2018
(ended 09/30/2019)
$ 11,454,960 $ 1,718,244 $ 1,718,224 $ 0
FFY 2019
(ended 09/30/2020)
$ 14,866,200 $ 2,229,930 $ 1,163,660 $ 1,066,270
FFY 2020
(ended 09/30/2021)
$ 9,388,988 $ 1,408,348 $ 26,209 $ 1,382,138

DSB/WSSB PRE-EMPLOYMENT TRANSITION SERVICES AND YOUTH SERVICES ACTIVITIES

COVID CANCELLATIONS 

DSB Youth Services Specialists (YSS), in collaboration with the Everett Lyons club and WCB Families, made plans for their second annual Easter Egg hunt for March 29 at the local Boys and Girls club. This event was canceled because of the COVID-19 emergency. The planning team moved forward with hopeful plans for a summer picnic. This was also cancelled because of COVID. The team of planners continue with hope to think of future ways to work together to serve Children and youth with visual impairments.

CREATING A VIRTUAL SUMMER PROGRAM FROM SCRATCH 

The YSS team worked diligently this quarter to re-create summer programming in a virtual format. The team wanted to develop content for the program structured and implemented in a way that would be engaging, interactive and accessible. The YSS participated in webinars on these topics and spoke to school staff to gain insight about what was working best during the remote learning term at the end of the school year. 

Knowing that youth voices would be an important aspect in the development of content focus areas, the YSS team designed and distributed a survey in late April (via Survey Monkey) to all BVI youth known to DSB between the ages of 14 and 21. The survey asked questions about interest and availability to participate in an on-line summer program, knowledge of basic technology skills, access to internet service and assistive technology, type of internet capable devices available during the summer, topic areas of interest, possible barriers to participation, and interest in a pre-program platform orientation workshop.

With the results of the survey in hand, the YSS determined which content topics that would be included in the Virtual Summer Program. Their research indicated that sessions should not last more than two hours to best maintain youth attention. To make this possible, the topics areas were divided into six separate tracks that will take place on different days of the week between 1:00 – 3:00 pm. The program has been scheduled for five weeks from July 6 – August 7, 2020. 

The YSS team created content for the flyers and registration materials, and divided into subcommittees to develop programming for each track. Youth who had applied for 2020 in-person summer programs were given first priority in registration. A total of 33 youth registered for the program, choosing to participate in one to five tracks each.

YSS developed curriculum materials and coordinated with contractors, non-profit agencies, WSSB staff, peer facilitators, and community business partners to provide much of the program content. The contributors include Jack Straw Cultural Center, Financial Beginnings, Partners in Careers, NW ADA Center at the University of Washington, a wide variety of successfully employed blind and visually impaired adults in five career sectors, Melissa Small of MJ Small and Associates, WSSB’s LIFTT Program Director, and two youth peer facilitators. 

The YSS team received valuable support from other DSB staff during the planning process as well. DSB staff assisted with creating advertising for the program, testing accessibility of software, websites and forms, and preparing and mailing loaner devices to youth who needed them to participate. Knowing the importance of having an accessible platform for the provision of the summer program, the IT staff at DSB were able to secure Zoom licensing and create access for the YSS team in mid-May. 

The YSS took turns hosting Zoom planning meetings to familiarize themselves with the features of Zoom. They created a list of Zoom commands and shortcuts for access users on Mac and PC devices and developed “Zoom Etiquette” for use in the program. An optional orientation to Zoom workshop was held on June 30th for youth who had registered for the program.

The Virtual Summer Program that was developed included the following six tracks:

  1. Telling Your Story (with Jack Straw Cultural Center): Using music and readers theatre to promote self-advocacy.
  2. Financial Literacy (with Financial Beginnings): Topics include- choosing a financial institution, financial goals, wages and taxes, budgeting, credit, loans and insurance, money safety, and identity theft.
  3. Career Exploration (with Partners in Careers and NW ADA Center): Topics include – career exploration groundwork: interests and values, learning with informational interviews, resume writing, preparing for an interview and ADA protections in the job search process, mock interviews, and feedback.
  4. Oh! The Possibilities - Adult Career Panel: Panels in the areas of STEM, legal and advocacy, arts and entertainment, health and medicine, and self-employment will share their career paths and experiences.
  5. Let’s Talk About It Social Hour (with peer facilitators): Peer facilitated discussion of the 5 H’s – Hard Times, High Times, Hobbies, Heritage, and Heroes.
  6. Career Education and Work Readiness for youth with additional disabilities (with Melissa Small): Topics include – strengths and abilities, career interests, employer expectations, employee expectations, interviewing, and an optional guardian/caregiver DDA education/resource component. 

Youth Services Specialists also worked with contractors to develop a STEM activity program for youth ages 9-13. The four-week program has been scheduled for July 22nd – Aug. 12th.  Each week, participants will join a weekly interactive Zoom call to share about the past week’s STEM activity that they completed. They will work on the activity at home each week with the step-by-step instructions and program materials they receive by mail.

The YSS team looks forward to sharing the experience of the 2020 Virtual Summer Program during next quarter’s report!

 

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ORIENTATION AND TRAINING CENTER HIGHLIGHTS 

PROGRESS TOWARDS STRATEGIC INITIATIVE 1 – TELLING THE DSB STORY

Many people compare living life to riding a rollercoaster. Mix thrill and exhilaration with fear and uncertainty, and one has the makings for something that is hopefully worthwhile, unforgettable, and hopefully enjoyable. Christianne Sobieski can attest to this comparison. Since she began dealing with blindness, her life has had its share of successes, dark and sad times, and positively thrilling opportunities she never would have imagined.

About twenty years ago, life for Christi was going very well. She lived in her native state of Alaska, had a good job, and was preparing to get married. As time went on, she began noticing that her vision fluctuated a great deal. She had always had bad vision and was used to wearing glasses, but the excessive fluctuation concerned her. While in Alaska, her eye doctor never noticed or diagnosed any kind of disorder, except for having bad vision and needing glasses. Upon moving to Seattle, she went to an eye doctor who diagnosed her with having Keratoconus. Since there is not a cure for this condition, Christi’s doctor recommended she begin the process of getting corneal transplants. Both transplants were successful, and Christi went back to working and living her life as she’d always done.

The rollercoaster ride continued for Christi. Two months after her right eye got a new cornea, she was involved in a car accident which ended up detaching her retina. After a series of surgeries, nothing could be done to save the eye, which was already damaged. It was removed. She still had a useable eye for several years, until an eye infection took a great deal of her vision, leaving her legally blind and completely changing her life.

With the little vision she had, Christi muddled along, doing what she could do. She went through a divorce, no longer worked, and her self-worth was low. Although she didn’t consider herself blind, Christi had no idea how to live with low or limited vision. She didn’t know what to do or to whom she could turn for resources or assistance in this new phase of her life. She had a bad experience with the Department of Vocational Rehabilitation, leaving her feeling that her future was bleak and wondering if she’d be able to have any semblance of a normal life. For a while, she didn’t feel like reaching out or asking more questions. Christi figured she’d do the best she could with what she had. As time passed, something within her made her want to once again ask about resources. Her determination was stronger than her feeling of discouragement.

In 2019, Christi went back to DVR, and was told that they really couldn’t help her. However, they suggested she call the Department of Services for the Blind, letting her know they would probably give her the help and answers she was seeking. Feeling hopeful, Christi called and talked with Seaden Ouk, who helped her get things started. From there, Christi met with the person who would be her VR counselor, Gil Cupat. Christi recalls that from the very beginning, Gil was warm and understanding to her situation. Gil assured her that she’d be able to have a successful life and gave her hope for her future. She began feeling optimistic, which she said felt very good.

Christi said that the next few weeks flew by for her. Two weeks after meeting with Gil, Abbie Reesor and Maureen Reggie came to her home to do an assessment. Two weeks later, she was told to pack her bags because classes were about to start at the Orientation and Training Center in Seattle. She was told that there was space for her to become a student if she was ready. The next thing she knew, she was in an apartment with a roommate, and was about to go back to school, which is something she hadn’t done in 30 years. Her time at the OTC added a few more twists and turns to her rollercoaster ride!

Christi recounted that she was full of questions her first weeks at the OTC. “What am I doing here?  Is this really where I’m supposed to be?  Am I doing the right thing?”

Aside from her questions and doubts, she was in a committed and interdependent relationship, and being away from her partner and home, and once again being on her own was scary. Christi remarked, “I felt like a fish out of water, but I also knew it was time for me to just be a bit more outgoing and give it my best.”  She admitted that things were not easy for her and that she needed to learn how to learn again, after being used to her own habits and ways of doing things. She had to learn to adjust and be flexible and that not everything always went according to her plans. 

Things got harder before they got easier. The classes she looked forward to the most turned out to be her most challenging. Not fully understanding, she questioned some of the methods and reasons for how certain classes were being taught. How would some of what she was learning really apply to her and be used in daily life?  Also, the education she received about blindness, along with her own adjustment, were tough but important. It took time, but Christi also began seeing herself using her skills in new ways. She had new ideas and began thinking about new life possibilities.

Although tough and challenging at times, Christi was very thankful for her Careers class with Donna Lawrence. She appreciated Donna’s creativity and approach to working with her as an individual. Donna pushed her to think out of her comfort zone and explore what sorts of things she’d be good at doing both as a future career and as a part of enjoying her life. Christi’s exploration and ideas led her to a very innovative capstone project where she learned to make candles. Thanks to that project, Christi would like to have a side business and sell her candles. In addition to her project Christi also completed an internship her last term working with the Hope Foundation, helping them plan a very successful conference for caregivers. She continues to do volunteer work for the organization. Due to those and many other experiences, Christi’s outlook on her life was very different after her time at the OTC.

Christi graduated from the OTC in February, 2020. Since then, she joined the North American Association of Blind Sportsmen, where she gets to enjoy new experiences in the great outdoors, which she’s always loved.  She even went on a turkey hunt with them and had her own episode in their TV show on the Outdoors Network. 

Christi has enrolled and is ready to study at Everett Community College in the Fall. She is studying to be a medical assistant and will also get an associate’s degree in Technical Arts. She knows it won’t be easy, but she’s excited and knows she will accomplish the goals she has set for herself.
Christi mentioned the great role certain people have played in her life, from the friends she’s made throughout her time at the OTC, to her family, and most importantly, her life partner who has always stood alongside her, cheering her on the entire time. She appreciated some of the mentoring she received and lessons she learned from other students. During her final couple of terms, Christi was one of the first official mentors in the OTC Mentorship Program. She saw much value in the program and hopes it continues for all future students.

Christi won’t deny that life is like a rollercoaster ride. However, she will also tell people that even with its ups and downs and twists and turns, blindness doesn’t have to hinder a person from enjoying the greatest ride of all, which is called life.

PROGRESS TOWARDS STRATEGIC INITIATIVE 2 – DSB EXPERTISE

For the past several months, the OTC staff has had to completely switch gears, going from teaching students in person to teaching all classes virtually, due to the recent Coronavirus pandemic. Everyone has showed much creativity and open-minded attitudes to teaching via phone or a platform like Skype or Zoom. Both mobility instructors were able to do virtual Monster Routes with graduating students. Joy Iverson took a student through the entire Braille curriculum and is now exploring the Braille Transcriber’s course. Our student is now considering possibly Braille transcription as a career.

Donna has been able to talk about and teach students some safety techniques in their individual kitchens. One graduating student recently completed a graduation meal and sent Donna pictures of his entire process. His meal was a success!

The Career Class program curriculum continues to be refined and improved.

Robin Loen has spearheaded an OTC fitness program, and students have been exposed to virtual Yoga classes and friendly fitness competitions amongst themselves.

Unfortunately, a few events, such as Friends and Family day and Intensive Workshop week, had to be canceled. Once we are back teaching in person, and once we know it is safe to do so, we will resume our normal events and extra activities.

In June, the OTC had its first virtual Capstone Project presentations and graduation ceremony. Three students presented Capstone projects, and two graduated. We will have another graduation ceremony at the end of August.

PROGRESS TOWARDS STRATEGIC INITIATIVE 3 – EMPLOYMENT AT EVERY LAYER 

Unfortunately, due to the Coronavirus pandemic, students were unable to do internships as planned. Jim Portillo and Christel Hustad are looking at virtual alternative projects, which may consist of students doing informational interviews or talking with other blind people in careers that fit the student’s interests.

 

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REGIONAL VR HIGHLIGHTS

PARTICIPANT STORIES AND FEEDBACK

NEW BUSINESS START-UP SUCCESS

Karla Jessen and the Yakima DSB office assisted a participant with the startup for her new massage business, and provided items and assistive technology devices to assist her in operations. Her business was starting to take off and she was beginning to see regular customers as well as new ones. She is co-located in a health & wellness center, which attracted some of those existing clientele. Once COVID-19 occurred, she had to close her doors due to the quarantine but she continues to work on her business and learn new techniques that she can use when she opens back up. Due to the location, she has been able to slowly start seeing clients again. She is very appreciative of DSB’s assistance in her business and she is very optimistic that once she is fully operational that this business will be successful. The participant wrote to Karla:

Thanks for reaching out, hoping all is well, with you. The store closed on March 18th, when the public suggestion was put out. Feeling the pressure of that, the clinic closed to walk in traffic and put up a sign. I, however sent an email to clients, kept my scheduled appointments and now I am closed in support of healing and community. I don’t have any clients scheduled so I am working on catching up on emails, and updating client info, working on continued education and then I have to do my taxes. I have not notified or closed my hours on website or put a statement on FB. 

Pray the virus is curbed. Pray for healing.

You are the best!! I really appreciate you and working with you. Now that Kathy G retired from DVR, we closed my case yesterday.

DSB MADE IT EASY

Vancouver VRC Jonathan Whitby and Assistive Technology (AT) Specialist, Mario Eiland worked together in getting Jonathan’s participant the tools she needed to make doing her job much easier. The participant wrote to Jonathan and Mario:

HOLY MOLY this Merlin mini thing is incredible and will make my job WAY, WAY easier.  Is there any kind of resource for positive feedback in support of DSB?  I was scared that the process was going to be an intimidating series of meetings and interviews and y'all have made it the opposite. I'd love to leave some kind of feedback, can you direct me to that?

PROGRESS TOWARDS STRATEGIC INITIATIVE 1 – DSB STORY & OUTREACH

  • Damiana Harper, East Region Manager, was appointed as Vice Chair on the Governor’s Committee on Disability Issues and Employment (GCDE).
  • Seattle AT Specialist Roberto C., PS3 Maureen R., and VRC Monirul H. provided information to DVR Business specialists, mostly around AT equipment and Rehab teaching.

PROGRESS TOWARDS STRATEGIC INITIATIVE 2 – DSB EXPERTISE

  • Though COVID-19 has limited the services the East Region has been able to provide, the staff has taken the time to participate in a wide variety of conferences and trainings to hone existing skills and learn new ways to serve participants remotely.
  • Seattle VRC Kara T. participated in the following:
    • Telecommuting & Tips for Working from Home
    • Counselor Huddle – discussing tips in working from home with other VRCS from different states.
    • DSB Contracts and Procurement (internal training)
    • Functional Limitations/Eligibility review – statewide review among VRCs (internal review)
    • Microsoft’s Virtual Ability Summit – Two Day event.  Was a wonderful event regarding different speakers on different topics of accessibility and inclusion.  Event was totally accessible in that they provided live captions along with ASL interpreters. 
  • DSB VRCs and a few of the VR supervisors participated in the five state Counselor Huddle Invitation on May 11th. In this meeting, counselors from different states shared best practices, new innovative ways to work remotely, and the different challenges each state and their offices face while working from home. They heard from various counselors on their customers’ feedback regarding the new telecommuting setup. Although the majority of customers polled are in favor of the new way of conducting VR businesses, some are frustrated with the lack of in-person services happening. Other findings from this meeting are the nationwide downward trend for new referrals/applications; challenges with printing, sending, and processing forms; and the different arrangements that each state is implementing to mitigate these issues with strict adherence to social distancing. Some VRCs expressed concerns about state budget revenues and whether layoffs and furloughs will be happening next, and some asked the question as to when states will allow each office to reopen and how it will look with the “new normal” landscape. VRCs also shared fun ways to stay connected and supportive of one another (weekly online huddles, sending memes, etc…), and some talked about virtual “happy hour” meetings after work. There were some who now prefer working from home, while others missed working in the office and interacting with their colleagues. Other topics discussed included management transparency, next year’s looming budgetary shortfall, PPEs for staff and in-person visits, and return to office plans in the future. The consensus is to continue to have this kind of meeting for VRCs and make it a regular thing.
  • Seattle PS3 Maureen R. participated in a number of webinars: evaluating tinted lenses, GPS app way finding, diabetes and visual impairment. She also participated in the virtual Microsoft Ability Summit where she attended various breakout sessions regarding overall inclusion, and new products Microsoft is developing regarding accessible technology.
  • Seattle PS3 Sandra R. & AT Specialist Yang-su C. – attended an OTC program class and provided information through Q&A via zoom.
  • The DSB Counselor group met with Institute for Community Inclusion, along with a group of VRCs from different states that are facing similar challenges of providing services to customers during the pandemic.

PROGRESS TOWARDS STRATEGIC INITIATIVE 3 – EMPLOYMENT AT EVERY LAYER 

  • Spokane VRC, Taurus Richardson, has been attending meetings of the Spokane WorkSource Disability Advisory Committee. The committee’s largest project is an annual disability-related job fair held in October. The committee is now working on ways to make the fair virtual and continue the tradition. 

 

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AGENCY COMMUNICATIONS REPORT

PROGRESS TOWARDS STRATEGIC INITIATIVE #1 – DSB STORY

  • Youth Services Event Promotions 
    Three events promoted/updated April – June to replace the in-person summer programs that were cancelled due to the pandemic. Promotion included flyer/handout design, website updates, and posting to social media. Note: All events were virtual due to COVID-19 pandemic.

COVID-19 ACTIVITIES (04/01/20 – 06/30/20)

  • Updates to Website
    Creation of new pages; regularly updated with agency information.
  • Communications COVID-19 call 
    Updates on pandemic response from the Joint Information Center 
    • Replaced the weekly Communications Directors call
    • Occurred every Tuesday and Friday through June
  • Multiple Language Information 
    General COVID-19 is required to be available on the website in the top used languages spoken in the state 
    • Worked with eTeam to determine required information. Content edited to meet the 2-page limit.
    • Worked with DES Vendor for the translation into 37 languages. Vendor provided PDF files.
    • Created page on website to host the PDFs. https://dsb.wa.gov/covid-19-information-multiple-languages
    • Meetings, trainings, and webinars: May 5, May 6, May 15

ONLINE COMMUNICATIONS (04/01/20 – 06/30/20) 

Website

  • General 
    Met with Subject Matter Experts regarding updating content. Updates underway. 
  • Google Analytics 
    No data available for April 1 – May 13, due to the launch of new site.
    • Users – Number of unique individuals who visited the site: 1,703
      17.1% were first time visitors
    • Page Views – Number of pages looked at: 6,877
  • Channels Used – How did people find the website?
    • Organic Search – 851 (49.08%)
      Used Google, Bing, or other search engine to find the site. 
    • Direct – 713 (41.12%) Typed in the URL.
    • Referral – 129 (7.44%) Clicked a link on a different website. 
    • Social – 41 (2.36%) Clicked a link on Facebook, LinkedIn or other social media outlet.
  • Technology Used – what type of device used to view website
    • Desktop – 1,111 (65.20%)
    • Mobile – 504 (29.58%)
    • Tablet – 89 (5.22%)

Online Referral Forms:

  • Self-referrals: 46
  • Physician referrals: 20

Social Media 

  • Facebook 
    • Total Likes: 231 (+15)
    • Total Followers: 248 (+23)
    • Total Reach: 1,776 (-850)
    • Top Facebook Posts
      • DSB Supports Black Lives Matter. June 17. Reach = 585
      • DSB is hiring for a new Contracts Specialist 2 (CS2). June 8. Reach = 106.
      • Washington State School for the Blind Graduation 2020 (YouTube). June 24. Reach = 96.
  • LinkedIn 
    • Total Followers: 129 (+15)
    • Unique Impressions: 302 (-30)
    • Total Impressions: 4,787 (-31)
    • Top LinkedIn Posts
      • Shared post (Kirk Adam, AFB): The first session from our Virtual AFB Leadership Conference is now available. April 16. Impressions = 146.
      • We are proud to partner with @USCensusBureau to encourage a complete and accurate count for the #2020Census. April 1. Impressions = 121.
      • All for One and One for All. An audio message from Bob Miller & Robert Ott to the rest of the Washington State Business Enterprise Program Vendors. April 14. Impressions = 107.

OTHER COMMUNICATIONS EVENTS / MEETINGS / TRAININGS

All meetings held virtually.

  • Washington Counts 2020
    This is an effort by the state of Washington to get a full and accurate count of all people living in the state of Washington in the upcoming 2020 Census. The Complete Count is a priority project for Governor Inslee and has bi-partisan support in the legislature. Former Governor Locke is the chair of the committee. The project is funded through FY 2019 and FY 2020 funding is expected by OFM. Meetings held regularly throughout 2019 and early 2020.
    • Complete Count Meetings cancelled due to COVID-19.
    • Census Day, April 1, 2020
  • ADA 30th Anniversary Celebration Planning
    Event to Celebrate 30th Anniversary of signing of the Americans with Disabilities Act on July 26, 1990.
    • Planning committee includes DSB, WASILC, ESD, WSRC, HCA, DDC, ODHH, OFM, ALTSA, DDA, Allies in Advocacy, and Arc of Washington.
    • Planning meetings: April 8, April 21, April 29, May 8, May 12, June 2, June 4, June 9, June 18, June 29
    • Event date: July 26, 2020. 
    • Aired “live” on TVW Broadcast channels and streamed on TVW.org and on ADA 30th Facebook page.
      • TVW – Watch ADA Celebration on TVW 
      • Facebook – Watch ADA Celebration on Facebook 
  • VR 100th Anniversary Event Planning
    Working with DVR and WWU to create a celebration in recognition of the event in addition to the activities planned within the agency. 
    • State level event has grown to include WSRC, University of Washington, CAP, Colville Tribal VR, DDA
    • Event moved from June 2 to October 15 due to COVID-19. Event now coincides with National Disability Employment Awareness Month.
    • Proclamation issued by Governor for June 2nd anniversary date.
    • Planning meetings: April 13, April 14, May 12, May 26, June 4, June 25
    • Recording to air on YouTube.
  • BUILD Employee Resource Group – May 21, June 28
  • Microsoft Ability Summit – Virtual. May 27 & 28
  • PRSA Puget Sound 
    • A Word from our Governor. May 28
    • COVID-19 & the Economy. June 24
  • Washington State Contract Management 102 – ~2.5 hours
  • Washington State Contract Management 201 – ~4.0 hours

 

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FINANCIAL REPORT 

Federal Fiscal Year Q3 2020, through June 30, 2020

2020 STATE FISCAL YEAR – REVIEW AS OF JUNE 30, 2020 (IN THOUSANDS)

Source Allotment Expenditures Balance
General Fund - State $ 3,61151 $ 3,496 $ 115
General Fund - Federal $ 12,630 $ 10,102 $2,528
Donations $ 27 $ 27 $ 0
Pension Funding Stabilization Act $ 86 $86 $ 0
Total $ 16,354 $13,711 $ 2,643

2020 STATE FISCAL YEAR – FEDERAL GRANT FUNDS THROUGH JUNE 30, 2020 (IN THOUSANDS)

Grant Grant Amount SFY 18
Federal
Expenditures
SFY 19
Federal
Expenditures
SFY 20
Federal
Expenditures
Balance
2018 Voc. Rehab Basic Services -
$1.7 million is for Pre-ETS set aside
$ 11,455 $ 6,549 $ 3,672 $ 1,234 0
2019 Voc. Rehab. Basic Services -
$2.2 million is for Pre-ETS set aside
$14,866 0 $ 5,431 $ 8,342 $ 1,093
2020 Voc. Rehab Basic Services $ 9,389 0 0 $ 48 $ 9,341
2019 Supported Employment $ 45 0 0 $ 1 $ 44
2020 Supported Employment $ 45 0 0 $ 24 $ 21
2019 Independent Living Part B $ 65 $ 34 $ 31 0
2020 Independent Living Part B $ 65 0 0 $ 17 $ 48
2019 IL Older Blind $ 673 0 $ 468 $ 154 $ 51
2020 IL Older Blind $ 676 0 0 $ 123 $ 553
Total $ 37279 $ 6,549 $ 9,605 $ 9,974 $ 11,151

2020 STATE FISCAL YEAR – TOTAL EXPENDITURES BY PROGRAM AS OF JUNE 30, 2020 (IN THOUSANDS)

Program Grant Funds State Other  Total
Voc. Rehab Services Adults $ 9,624 $ 3,394 0 $ 13,018
Voc. Rehab Pre-ETS $ 1,673 0 0 $ 1,673
Supported Employment  $ 50 $ 2 0 $52
Independent Living Part B $ 51 $ 7 0 $58
IL Older Blind $ 455 $ 150 0 $ 605
Birth through 8
(Not Grant Funded)
0 0 $19 $ 19
Social Security Revenue 0 0 0 0
Business Enterprise Program 0 0 $ 1,019 $ 1,019
Total $ 11,853 $ 3,553 $ 1,128 $ 16,534

WHAT’S HAPPENING IN THE WORLD OF DSB BUSINESS AND FINANCE?

We are on target to spend all state general funds for state fiscal year 2020 but will likely fall short spending required 15% pre-ETS set aside by the end of federal fiscal year 2020 in September. COVID has greatly impacted the agency’s ability to offer services eligible for pre-ETS spending, and costs for the pre-ETS eligible remote programs being offered this year are significantly less than in prior years. 

The agency is on track to spend down the 2019 VR grant by end of September 2020, but again this will likely not include meeting the pre-ETS required 15% of total dollars spent.  As the agency resumes in-person services on a limited scale this may change the financial outlook into next year.

 

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HUMAN RESOURCES UPDATE

NEW HIRES/PROMOTIONS/TRANSFERS

Personnel Job Title Team Duty Station  Effective Date
Spenser Killman Fiscal Analyst 2 Fiscal Lacey 07/01/2020
Rachel Wolfe Fiscal Analyst 2 Fiscal Lacey 07/01/2020
Austin Diaz-Munoz Contracts Specialist 2 BEP Lacey 08/01/2020
Selena Cunningham Vocational Rehabilitation
Counselor 4
Field Services Lacey 08/03/2020
Michael Skog Rehabilitation Technician 2 Field Services Spokane 08/03/2020

DEPARTURES/RESIGNATIONS/RETIREMENTS 

Personnel Job Title Team Duty Station  Effective Date
Gloria Wright Fiscal Analyst 2 Fiscal Lacey 08/24/2020

CURRENT AND FUTURE OPENINGS 

Status Job Title Team Duty Station  Effective Date
Recruiting Program Specialist 4 Field Services East Region 08/24/2020

 

 

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Previous Quarterly Reports 

Fiscal Year 2020

Fiscal Year 2019

Fiscal Year 2018

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