FFY 2018, Quarter 2

January 2018 - March 2018

Quarterly Report presented to the State Rehabilitation Council for the Blind.

 

Business Enterprise Program

  • As of March 2018 the brand new BEP cafe at the newly constructed FAA Headquarters in Des Moines, WA is open for business! The project came to BEP because the FAA office in Renton along with the BEP facility inside was going to close down as the FAA consolidated multiple offices into one new building. This has been a full year of meeting, planning, corroborating and preparing for BEP’s first themed lunch concept. The BEP operator at the Avia Cafe is serving up gourmet burgers and fries using high quality beef, gourmet buns, and French fries to make your mouth water. For balance, he also operates a fancy espresso stand near the kitchen and offers great salads, snacks, and beverages from the grab n go coolers while also offering a fantastic breakfast menu. The execution of a themed cafe is new to the BEP but it’s been a popular topic of conversation for years. We wish the vendor the best with this opportunity.
  • Thank you to the Washington State School for the Blind for inviting BEP to participate in their career fair in March. Two BEP staff attended and presented to students a general outline of the program and answered questions from the students and WSSB staff. We discussed the Randolph-Sheppard Act and how the BEP originated. We also talked about the important skills needed to be successful as a food service operator like leadership, communication, and organization. Every opportunity to tell the story of BEP is a bonus and has been a topic of conversation at recent Blind Vendor Committee meetings and we look forward to next year’s career fair.
  • Through the end of March 2018 the BEP has 18 blind vendors and 19 primary locations – meaning one location is operated under a non-primary temporary agreement.
  • Federal Fiscal Year 2017 statistics:
    • Washington State blind vendors employed 94 people, ten with disabilities
    • Program wide sales: $7,104,719
    • Sales tax collected and contributed: $606,423
    • Payroll tax contributed: $245,030

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Communications

Progress towards Strategic Initiative #1 – DSB Story

Publications

  • YS flyers promoting 15 events and activities
  • Independent Living Program Brochure with K. Canaan and A. Graden.
  • AT/LV Tour promotions including
    • Flyer, website, Facebook and LinkedIn posts
    • Direct request to SHRM-Seattle and consumer groups to share information with members
    • Contacted King County senior centers and college disability services offices
  • Free sponsorship acknowledgements
    • Skills, Inc./City of Auburn 5K for Abilities
    • DES Statewide Learning Module with the Workforce Training and Education Coordinating Board (American JobCenter Network partners)

Other Communication Happenings since last SRC meeting

Website

  • Google Analytics Last Quarter (01/01/18 – 03/31/18)
    • Users: 4.949
    • Page Views: 19,313
    • Channels: Direct, 1,138 (22.58%); Search, 3,548 (70.40%); Social, 61 (1.21%); Referral, 293 (5.81%).
  • Updated Online forms now live
    • Self-referrals: 97
    • Physician referrals: 14

Social Media

  • Facebook, as of May 15
    • Likes: 118 (+35)
    • Total Followers: 109 (+18)
  • LinkedIn
    • Total Followers: 59 (+6)
    • Unique Impressions: 405
    • Total Impressions: 968

Events/Meetings/Trainings

  • Accessibility Coordinator Meeting, Olympia, March 12
  • Pacific Northwest Association for the Education and Rehabilitation of the Blind and Visually Impaired (PNW AER), Vancouver, March 23 – 24
  • Cyber Storm VI Training Simulation, April 10 – 12
  • Communications Directors Meeting, Olympia, WA, April 19
  • Public Service Recognition Week, Olympia, May 9
  • Multi Agency Social Media Meet-up, Olympia, May 15

Legislative Session

The Washington State 65th Legislature Adjourned Sine Die on Thursday, March 8, 2018

Thirty-five bills included on agency Bill Tracking Report

  • 19 bills introduced by the House
  • 16 bills introduced by the Senate

The following tracked bills passed the legislature:

  • HB 2685 - Promoting pre-apprenticeship opportunities for high school students
    March 23 - Governor signed. Chapter 228, 2018 Laws. Effective date 6/7/2018
  • HB 2822 - Concerning service animals
    March 23 - Governor signed. Chapter 176, 2018 Laws. Effective date 1/1/2019
  • SB 6021 - Extending the period for voter registration
    March 19 - Governor signed. Chapter 112, 2018 Laws. Effective date 6/7/2018
  • SB 6032 - Making supplemental operating appropriations
    March 27 - Governor partially vetoed. Chapter 299, 2018 Laws PV. Effective date 3/27/2018
  • SB 6257 - Providing early intervention services for eligible children
    March 23 - Governor signed. Chapter 261, 2018 Laws. Effective date 6/7/2018
  • SB 6287 - Making technical changes regarding the department of children, youth, and families
    March 13 – Signed by Governor. Chapter 58, 2018 Laws. Effective date 7/1/2018 

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Customer Services

Snapshot of Performance Comparison: [Q2 FFY18 VS Q2 FFY17]

Increase in:

  • New VR Applications [205 vs 150]
  • New Eligibility Determinations [170 vs127]
  • New VR Plans  [143 vs 125]
  • VR Customers served [1158 vs 1062]
  • Competitive Employment Outcomes [70 vs 57]
  • Average Hourly Wage FFY18 Q2 [$20.95 vs $18.98]
  • Youth/ Transition-age customers served [317 vs 280]
  • Hispanic community served [14.1% vs 13.0% (target: 11.6%)]

Relatively Consistent  Q2 - FFY18 & FFY17:

  • Asian community served [6.8% vs 7.0% (target: 7.5%)]

Employment Outcomes:

A sample of successful placements for Q2:

  • Industrial Production Manager
  • Rehabilitation Counselor
  • Community and Social Service Specialist
  • Teacher / Instructor – School Board
  • Radio and Television Announcer
  • Occupational Therapist Assistant
  • Construction and Related Worker
  • Technical Writer
  • Commercial and Industrial Designer
  • Lawyer
  • Librarian

Of the 70 employment outcomes through Quarter 2 of FFY2018, 36% were Job Retention cases that averaged 210 days from plan to closure.

Of the non-job retention employment outcomes for the period, four were self-employment (average to close 918 days); two supported employment (1158 days); and 39 general vocational rehabilitation cases (1281 days).

Average hourly wage all employment outcomes Q2: $20.95 per hour

Percentage of participants age 55 and older who exited with employment outcome: 28.6%

  • Eldest: Age 77 (self-employed business operations specialist)
  • Next eldest: Age 72 (psychologist)

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Financial Report

Federal Fiscal Year Q2 2018, Through March 2018

2018 State Fiscal Year – Review as of March 31, 2018 (in thousands)

Source

 Allotment

Expenditures

Balance

General Fund – State

2,454

1,497

957

General Fund – Federal

12,453

8,263

4,190

Information Tech. Investment Fund

3,244

836

2,408

Local

30

14

16

Pension Funding Stabilization Act

87

0

87

Total

18,268

10,610

7,658

2018 State Fiscal Year – Federal Grant Funds Only as of March 31, 2018 (in thousands)

Grant

 Award

Prior Expenditures

FFY17 Expenditures

Balance

2016 Voc Rehab Basic Services

8,730

8,149

568

13

2017 Voc Rehab Basic Services (balance is Pre-ETS set aside)

8,793

5,307

3,099

387

2018 Voc Rehab Basic Services

9,455

0

4,443

5,012

2017 Supported Employment

61

6

11

44

2018 Supported Employment

61

0

0

61

2017 Independent Living

57

0

48

9

2017 IL Older Blind

668

518

150

0

2018 IL Older Blind

668

0

58

610

Total

24,493

13,980

8,377

6,136

NOTE: Grant amounts for 2018 are an estimate.

2018 State Fiscal Year – Total Expenditures by Program as of March 31, 2018 (in thousands)

Program

Grant Funds

State

Other

Total

Voc Rehab Basic Services

7,640

1,254

367

9,261

Voc Rehab Pre-ETS

1,021

0

0

1,021

Supported Employment

18

1

0

19

Independent Living

48

3

0

51

IL Older Blind

302

149

0

451

Birth Through 8
(Not Grant Funded)

0

0

14

14

Social Security Revenue

0

0

240

240

Business Enterprise Program

0

0

589

589

Business Management System

0

838

0

838

Total

9,029

2,245

1,210

12,484

Note: The $240,000 in Social Security revenue was used towards VR services.

What’s Happening in World of DSB Business and Finance?

The 2018 supplemental budget was signed by the Governor. The supplemental budget restored $187,000 of donated funds. Approximately $80,000 will go towards funding the Newsline. The remainder will go towards the VR program.

  • The agency will not have sufficient funds to serve all eligible individuals requiring services during FFY 2019. A planning team is underway to implement Order of Selection.
  • DSB is looking at options to fill the projected funding gap. The first priority is to request federal re-allotment funds in July/August 2018 of approximately $2,000,000. DSB may also request additional state funding in the 2019 Supplemental Budget.

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Human Resources

New Hires

Personnel

Job Title

Team

Duty Station

Effective Date

William Zhou

Procurement and Supply Specialist 2

CS/Admin

Seattle

03/01/2018

Erin Chaves

VR Counselor 3 In-Training

CS/North Region

Seattle

03/16/2018

Jennifer Scheel

Youth Services Specialist PS3

Youth Services

Lacey

04/23/2018

Seaden Ouk

Rehabilitation Technician 1

CS/Admin

Seattle

05/07/2018

Departures, Resignations, and Retirements

Personnel

Job Title

Team

Duty Station

Effective Date

Young Choi

BMS Project Lead Tester/ITS5 (Project)

BS/IT

Lacey

03/30/2018

Jennifer Richmond

Program Specialist 3

CS/North Region

Seattle

05/01/2018

Tamas Geczy

Information Technology Specialist 3/AT

CS/North Region

Seattle

05/03/2018

Jim Lochner

Accounting Manager WMS

Business Services

Lacey

05/08/2018

Current and Future Openings

Personnel

Job Title

Team

Duty Station

Effective Date

Recruiting

Information Technology Specialist 3/AT

CS/North Region

 Seattle

05/08/2018

Vacant

Chief Financial Officer

Business Svcs

 Lacey

 TBA

Vacant

Accounting Manager

Business Svcs

 Lacey

 TBA

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Service Snapshot –Younger Blind (YB) and Older Blind (OB) Clients
October 2017-March 2018

Trend

Total

YB

OB

Total Cases

1012

94 clients (10% of all clients)

918 clients (90% of all clients)

Service Delivery to Hispanic or Latino Clients

31

11

20

Service Delivery to Asian Clients

31

2

29

Centenarians (age 100 or older) Served

16

-

16

Youth (24 or younger) Served

4

4

-

Homeless Clients (all clients 60 years old or younger)

5

4

1

Clients with Depression

179

20

159

Clients with Bone, Muscle, Skin, Joint, and Movement Disorders (includes Parkinson’s, arthritis, and osteoporosis)

*More OB Clients have some sort of bone, muscle, skin, joint, and movement issue than any other medical issue.

380

26

354

Clients with Diabetes

*More YB Clients have diabetes than any other additional medical issue.

228

33

195

Average Cost per Client

-

$495

$540

Outreach

  • 11/17/2017 - A Korean interpreter was available for 6 Korean seniors who attended in addition to the 17 others representing Vietnamese and Filipino cultures. Kate Fewel (Sight Connection) discussed normal changes in the aging eye and the primary age related eye conditions. These seniors shared what foods they eat that contribute to eye health and the importance of wearing sun hats and sunglasses. Pamphlets were provided in each language.
  • 2/6/2018 - Kate Fewel (Sight Connection) presented to a group 23 seniors at their housing site. Several participants had ARMD and glaucoma and they actively described their eye conditions and challenges as well as solutions they have found to enhance their independence. Discussed normal changes in the aging eye as well as the primary age related eye conditions along with eye health as related to diet, blood pressure, sun protection.

Recent Satisfaction Survey Comments

  • “Margie and Timm are excellent teachers and identify my needs by carefully questioning my limitations and interests. They are dedicated and professional in the process. The equipment they gave to me and the suggestions they made were helpful and appreciated.”
  • “Prepared me for what is still to come, providing hope in that I can listen to written word and function better in the physical demands of daily living”
  • “The program has given me back some of my self-confidence. The lesson on making eating easier was very appreciated. Sophia was a great instructor, great listener, offered me many ideas as well as making materials available to me to purchase that made everyday things easier. I was delighted to learn about the talking books library and plan to continue to use it. Thanks you so much! P.S. Sophia is a great encourager.”

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Orientation and Training Center 

Progress Towards Strategic Initiative 1 – DSB Story

Once a Geek, Always a Geek! The story of Jeff Schwartz

Jeff had worked all of his adult life. He was accustomed to the routine of putting in a hard day’s work as a computer specialist and reaping the benefits thereof. Then came the day that he discovered that he could no longer perform his duties in his traditional manner. He had to leave his job and move in with his mother. Life was a confusing mess and he spent an entire year “doing nothing,” until his mother strongly suggested that he attend the OTC. Jeff was not convinced that the OTC would be his solution. In fact, he did not see the possibility of any viable solution. Jeff agreed to tentatively attend the OTC. He told his mother, though, “I will give it one week. If I don’t think it is worth it, I will return home.” Jeff chuckled as he recall calling his mom after a week and saying, “I am never leaving Seattle!” It was quite evident to Jeff that there is abundant life after blindness and he was determined to pursue it!

Jeff emphatically stated that he gained the most confidence through his mobility class. He was thoroughly frustrated with being stuck at home unless someone would drive him somewhere. Jeff stated that he had not been on a bus or a train in 30 years and thus he was no longer familiar with the nuances of such travel, let alone doing it as a blind person. He credits Robin Loen with the sound travel skills that he acquired. While he was still an OTC student, Jeff took many personal (non-mobility class) road trips, including the following: several plays at the 5th Avenue Theatre, Alki Beach, the harbor downtown, Pikes’ Place Market, various museums, and SeaTac Airport. He may hold the record for being the person who has gotten the most use from a FLASH discount pass!

Another life-changing event for Jeff was his training with the renowned Al Yardley of Access Technology. Having been quite experienced with computers prior to attending the OTC, Jeff completed all of Al’s general training rather quickly. After Jeff graduated, he studied under Al for over a year. Jeff commented that it was an honor to work with Al and that he feels that his training was invaluable.

After Al’s departure from training at the OTC, Jeff did an internship as a Computer Instructor. When that was completed, Jeff became a contractor who now provides training to OTC students. Jeff is easy-going, and his friendly demeanor has made him a favorite instructor. Yet, behind that pleasant personality is a serious teacher who seems to truly enjoy his new career.

Jeff wishes to thank everyone at the DSB and the OTC for all that he has learned. He is delighted to have his full life back again and he intends to make the most of it!

Progress Towards Strategic Initiative 2 – DSB Expertise

Joy Iverson and Carrie Lampel completed a long-distance braille class through the Washington State School for the Blind. Though both women are certified in the Unified English Braille Code, they felt that attending this free course would help them to better understand the more ambiguous portions of the new braille code. The class began in November and ended in April. Joy and Carrie found that additional time spend delving into the technicalities of the code will assist them in clarifying the concepts to their students at the OTC.

Progress Towards Strategic Initiative 3 – Employment at every layer

One Student Training Employment Program (STEP) internship was completed by an OTC student this quarter. She shadowed a Teacher of the Visually Impaired at the Highline School District. The student was also exposed to the professional roles of an O&M Instructor, a braillist, and a para-educator. The student found the experience quite worthwhile and intends to pursue employment in this field.

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  • DSB participant H.T., shared an article she was featured in about her business, which DSB supports as Self Employment:
  • VRC Kara Thompson remembers meeting with D.G. and his wife during the intake meeting, he was not even sure if he could return to his job as a supervisor at an industrial steel company here in Seattle as he had to take medical leave from work to contend with some sudden vision changes. He had worked there for over 44 years! His wife was emotional as well during our intake meeting and she was wondering if he should just retire.
  • However, Kara got the sense that D.G. really wanted to see if he could get back to work with the right accommodations in place. He went through our in-house assessments and had a worksite evaluation. His employer covered the cost of all of the LV and AT items recommended. His employer was so supportive of him, and being off from work for some time was not only hard on him but hard on the company. Many of his staff members would call him at home asking how to do certain things. He was raring to get back to work.
    Kara’s colleagues Sandra Rodriguez and Zach Abernathy were able to team up and get him his low vision and AT items to him right away and he was able to return to work! D.G. extended his heartfelt appreciation to the DSB team for helping him get back to work!
  • Ardell Burns shared the success of her participant K.:
  • K.M. came to DSB in 2015. He had a BA, but he wasn’t able to get work in his chosen computer science field. He was very shy, quiet, and depressed. Many times he let his parents answer questions for him. DSB helped K.M. go back to school. However, after attending school for a while, and working through a medical setback, K.M. decided that he was more interested in vocational rehabilitation or assistive technology. K.M., on his own, contacted World Services for the Blind. He was interested in their assistive technology trainer program, so DSB sent him for an evaluation. He stayed on for 9 months of training.
  • K.M. just graduated from the assistive technology trainer program and is looking for work. This is a great success, but the even bigger success is the total change in his demeanor. K.M. is confident and assertive. He is taking action on his own behalf, and WSB reports that he is an excellent trainer. K.M. has a great career, as well as a much happier outlook, to look forward to.
  • G.G. is a rock star! She has low vision due to retinal edema, hypermetropia, and refractive amblyopia. DSB assisted her with having a working computer to apply for work and getting testing for her goal of being a para-educator. She wanted to work in the school district where her kids go to school. DSB worked with her on her resume and cover letter and she had great follow up with the district. G.G. was hired as a substitute para-educator, and was bouncing around to all of the schools in the district. She was not happy with this, but showed so much dedication and persistence, that she was picked up as a full-time employee after only a few weeks! She now has two teachers fighting over her for the next school year, and she is thrilled.
  • VRC Karla Jessen is working with a young man who is completely blind and attending Central Washington University to become a special education teacher. DSB has assisted him with mobility instruction each quarter for learning the campus and where his classes are located as well as riding the commuter back and forth from Yakima to Ellensburg. The agency also has provided technology including a Braille-note in order for this student to take notes, complete readings & homework, etc. He is at the end of his program with all straight A’s in his classes and he is currently completing the student teaching/practicum that is required for the program. He will be taking his state tests this summer and also complete the UEB Braille certification and the Jaws certification. While attending Central he also worked in their disability resource lab, creating enlargements, enhanced maps, and more for usable accommodations for the students with disabilities. Below is a portion of an email from him:
    Thanks, again. I really appreciate your help once again. I'm not sure what my life would be without DSB support, right now or in the future. Take care, and have an awesome day today. Enjoy the sunlight and the outside whenever you can. H.A.
  • Joanne Laurent, Rehab Teacher in DSB Vancouver office, received a lovely note from participant AK, who worked with DSB 10 years ago:
    “I was bragging on you today my friend! Somebody complimented me on my cane skills earlier today; how I'm able to get around and have confidence in where I'm going and what I'm about, and actually using my cane to explore the world around me, instead of just holding it in my hand…
    I told her that I was only this adept with my white cane skills because my first O and M teacher is the most awesome O and M coach I have ever had. I then had to explain what O and M stands for (typical). I told her how this same coach taught me to be both a good cane user and to be bold with that same cane, she taught me to ask questions of random people, and to stand my ground when people try to pull me into the street, even though they don't know which way I'm going and I know it's not safe to for me to cross yet. I told her that to this day that same coach is the only reason I feel confident in a sighted world after losing most of my vision just a few very short months after I had taken and passed my state driver’s license for the first time. It was quite a shock to lose so much vision so quickly.
    …Thank you for all your instructions, teaching me to not fear the world around me, and to boldly keep on moving forward. I have always been so thankful for your teachings. You are the best O and M I have ever had the pleasure of being taught by. Thank you my friend!”
  • J.S. express his gratitude to Harry Whiting and Joetta Anderson of the DSB Lacey office about the services he received from DSB:
    “Just wanted to thank you both again for all the help you gave me for the last 5 years! As an update, Julie gave me the permanent vendor position for teaching ZoomText and JAWS at the OTC. With that, I was able to get an apartment last month here in Columbia City 4 blocks from work! No issues on my end that I can think of. Thanks again, J.S.”
  • R.T. achieved his employment goal as a director of a non-profit with the support of DSB. He shared his gratitude of his continued success due to the professional assistance by DSB staff, Harry Whiting, Kara Gieschen, and John Sheahan:
    Harry- I wanted to write you as a follow up with feedback from my interview with Kara Gieschen. We conducted the interview over the phone and by the time I hung up I was very impressed. I felt that Kara took the time to get to know me, what was important to me and what my needs were. Kara and I discussed different aids to help me at work and home and the products she ordered for me have all gone to very good use. Who knew that yellow note pads with bold black lines and the 20/20 pens would make such a difference in my work life? I am grateful for the help that DSB has given me as I adjust to life with vision loss. The assistance you, John Sheahan and Kara have given me allows me to continue working and doing the things I love to do. Sincerely, R.”

Progress Towards Strategic Initiative 1 – DSB Story & Outreach

  • DSB Vancouver staff Mario Eiland, Jonathon Whitby, and Joanne Laurent gave an informational presentation at Western Oregon University (WOU) to the Medical Aspects of Disability class. These students were taking this class as part of the VR counseling program at WOU. They were very impressed and expressed that in a lovely thank you note:
    “Thank you very much for taking the time to present to our cohort. I know we all appreciated the resources, knowledge and experience you provided to us. It is invaluable to us to gain access to our local resources, such as yourselves, so thank you for making the office available.” Signed, Rehabilitation and Mental Health Counseling Class of 2019 cohort
  • In January Yakima VRCs Karla Jessen and Brooke Davis met with the Vocational Counselors at Eastside Vocational Services in Ellensburg and provided them with information as to what services DSB offers and how to refer. EVS works with L&I claims and injured workers and were unaware that their clients might be eligible for DSB services if they were low vision either due to a claim or in addition to a claim. There were more than 10 counselors and Karla and Brooke answered many questions and provided brochures to use in their office. EVS covers: Ellensburg, Wenatchee, Tri-Cities, Spokane, and Yakima.
  • Stephanie Mellor, VRC in DSB Lacey office, attended the Yelm High School Fair. Here she had an opportunity to talk with parents and students who came by interested in what DSB was all about.
  • Ardell Burns attended the monthly meeting of the SECC Accessibility Committee. The partners of this meeting are working on accessibility and accessibility awareness with employers in the Vancouver and Cowlitz areas.
  • Joanne Laurent, DSB Rehabilitation Teacher in the Vancouver office, attended the CTANW Mobility Summit to present. She shared her knowledge about the importance of accessible intersections. She also had the opportunity to meet with Accessible Transportation Coalition where she was able to address Clark County Accessibility issues. The group discussed a 1call/1 click transport for people who live out of the bus area.
  • Sheila Burkett-Luckey, Gil Cupat, and Lisa Wheeler attended the quarterly meeting with North Region Tribal VR Program representatives, DVR, and DSB, providing individual program and organizational updates.
  • Kara Thompson attended the Northwest DeafBlind Conference with her colleague, Sandra Rodriguez. They hosted an informational booth. Additional colleagues, Carrie and Zach also attended the event and Kara felt that overall they were able to represent DSB well. It was great to connect with past and potential customers to inform about DSB. They had many individuals (some from out of state) inquire about what DSB services entail. Sandra was able to provide some assistance with information in regard to a specific low vision device that an individual was inquiring about. This event also inspired Sandra to further her knowledge of ASL. She is now taking ASL classes at Seattle Central Community College.

Progress Towards Strategic Initiative 2 – DSB Expertise

  • East Region Lead Damiana Harper was appointed to the Governor’s Committee on Disability Issues and Employment (GCDE) in February. As a part of this, on April 26th and 27th, she attended a Community Outreach event in Pullman as both a GCDE member and DSB representative. GCDE Community Outreach events consist of two parts. On the first day, there is an evening town hall meeting where law makers, school officials, professionals in disability fields, the media, consumers, and the public at large are invited to attend to discuss what the community is doing well in the area of disability issues and what could be improved locally. A leadership breakfast is held the second day where the GCDE facilitates the creation of action plans to make changes to the most significant issues.
  • Beth Sutton, Rehabilitation Teacher/Program Specialist 3, in DSB Tacoma office, has been taking Hadley Institute for the Blind’s Braille Teaching Methods for Adolescents and Adults. She has learned some tactual reading techniques and drills to improve braille reading speed very recently. Beth has tried these techniques with a customer who she is teaching braille to and has seen an immediate increase in his reading speed. Beth will use these techniques and drills in all future braille trainings for all customers. Beth is hoping to learn more techniques in this course to improve her braille instruction.
  • Jonathan Whitby, VRC in DSB Vancouver office, attended a 1 hour presentation at Washington Sensory Disabilities Services. He gained knowledge regarding services for DeafBlind students. Jonathan also networked with the presenters.

Progress Towards Strategic Initiative 3 – Employment at every layer

  • DSB staff attended an event “Healthcare Employment Panel” sponsored by Southwest Washington WorkSource and WDC. The panel consisted of major medical providers in the Portland/Vancouver areas. This panel discussed their hiring practices, where to look when positions are open, and what skills are important to have when applying. The panel provided information regarding specifics on where best to obtain training (i.e. certified nursing assistant programs, medical technician training, etc.) for people interested in working in this field. This was a great opportunity for community partners to gather this information to assist their customers in finding employment in this field.
  • Spokane VRC Kim Daubl and AT Specialist Sharon Koch visited the Spokane WorkSource and Next Generation Zone (the youth section of WorkSource) to look at their services and provide recommendations that would allow visually impaired job seekers access to their technology and classes. WorkSource thanked DSB for the recommendations and said they would take it back to their teams for decisions.
  • Ardell Burns attended the Cowlitz/Clark County Joint WorkSource partners meeting. The group worked on fine tuning the WorkSource Partners “Tool Kit.” The Tool Kit is comprised of sheets that list services, which agencies provide the services, and who the agency assists. The WorkSource Business Services staff will give the Tool Kit to employers as a resource for employee services, consultation etc.
  • Jonathan Utrera, VRC in DSB Tacoma office, attended a meeting with Tracy Vandewall, Director/Employment Program Manager of Tahoma Associates.. Jonathan provided some blindness awareness training for staff and answered questions.
  • Ardell Burns spent time talking with Debra Lewis, Veteran Affairs (VA) Employment Specialist, in Vancouver. The two discussed VA clients that may qualify for DSB services.  
  • Ardell Burns is a member of the WDC Barrier & Accessibility Solutions Committee (BASC). This group is working on developing a plan for active employer outreach in the Vancouver and Portland areas.

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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

FFY2016

(ended 09-30-2017)

$8,730,218

$1,309,532

 

$1,291,505

$18,027

FFY2017

(ends 09-30-2018)

$8,792,634

$1,318,895

(as of March 2018)

$438,734

$880,161

 

FFY2018

(ends 09-30-2019)

$9,455,042

$1,418,256

(As of March 2018)

$0

 

Pre-Employment Transition Services Activities Since Last SRC Meeting

Youth Services Updates

We welcomed our newest team member in April, Jennifer “Jen” Scheel, located in the Lacey DSB office. In usual DSB fashion, we put her right in the mix of summer program planning and spring workshops. Jen reports success with these two workshops in Lacey and Tacoma:

  • Pizza and Puppies workshop was well attended (pizza and puppies, what a draw!). Youth and their families learned about training puppies to become guide dogs; and the process of getting a guide dog. They also learned about animal care from both guide dog puppy raisers, and DSB staff who have their own guide dogs. They had a lot of time to interact and play with the guide dog puppies.
  • Zoo Keeper for a Day at Point Defiance Zoo.  Job shadowed a zookeeper in hands-on-get- yourself-dirty workshop style!  Students learned the basic daily responsibilities of being a zookeeper including making the next day’s meal for the wallabies and Guinea pigs; and then picking up poop in the goat exhibit. Students met a totally blind walrus and learned how the zookeepers train him without his vision and how he navigates.

Meanwhile Janet George kept pace with YES 2 preparation, Birth to 8 collaborations, and these North region workshops:

  • But Where’s The Butter? - A three part series focused on Interpersonal skills, grocery shopping and dining out. We encouraged youth to take part in all three to gain the most of the workshop and it was well attended.
  • Careers with No Fears - A six part workshop series which focused on different career areas to include Business administration, hospitality and tourism, education, etc.

In the other part of the state, Debbie Brown continued planning for the second year of Student Work & Academic Growth (SWAG), summer programs Bridge and Skills, and developing partnerships with other agencies serving youth, such as Developmental Disabilities and Independent Living Centers; and private companies to develop career education for SWAG and Bridge students.

WorkForce South West Washington Partners in Careers

Partners in Careers (PIC) program pre-employment transition services are being provided for 5 WSSB juniors and 5 WSSB seniors.

In addition to the ongoing weekly soft skills classes, the students had the opportunity to participate in a variety of workshops, job shadow and volunteer internship experiences. The soft skills topics included: responsibility in the workplace, teamwork, strategies for time and stress management, maintaining a positive attitude, resume development, preparing for an interview/appropriate attire, presenting strengths and weaknesses in a positive light, addressing bias in an interview, finding a career path/trying something new, and banking and paychecks.

The students participated in a workshop where they had the opportunity to meet in small groups with companies from healthcare, technology, manufacturing and public career sectors. They also gained career readiness skills by participating in a mock interview workshop, a career pathways workshop, and a 1:1 mentor event.

Job shadow experiences this quarter:

  • The whole group met with entrepreneur Chris Martin and learned about his non-traditional career path. Mr. Martin has worked at the local community college as a technology instructor and is now a successful freelance website designer, video and film producer and “Work to Work” blogger. He described the ups (creativity and flexibility) and downs (variable income) of self-employment that were valuable for the students to learn.
  • A student whose career goal is to become a play by play sports announcer, had the opportunity to participate in a job shadow with Clark Community College’s basketball radio broadcaster.
  • A student whose career goal is to become a baker, completed a job shadow at Dot’s Donuts. The student traveled independently to the shop on a Friday evening, and thoroughly enjoyed making donuts with the other staff. Dot’s Donuts added pictures of him in action to their Facebook page!
  • Two students who have interest in becoming professional musicians, traveled to the Warehouse 23 restaurant to job shadow the piano player who has a regular entertainment job there.

This quarter’s internships have included:

  • A weekly internship at ReTails Thrift Store sorting donated DVD’s.
  • An internship at the Pearson Air Museum where the student taught youths and their families about the history and mechanics of airplanes.

Career Fair

YSS was on the planning committee of WSSB’s Career Fair.  The middle school student’s activities centered on the theme “Entrepreneurship: Building a Business”. These students worked on planning an appreciation party for an organization that provides support to them. Several organizations made presentations and the students were able to ask them question. The students then worked in small groups to create invitations, decide on activities, budget for and create a shopping list for food/drink, and create thank you gifts.

The high school students’ activities centered on the theme “Putting Your Best Foot Forward”. The first day of their Career Fair experience was focused on preparing for the following day’s activities with informational interview roleplay and job interview & application tips. The students also participated in a 3 hour LinkedIn workshop and had a presentation about the BEP program. On the second day, the freshman and sophomores utilized public transportation to attend the Portland WorkForce Alliance NW Youth Careers Expo, where they got to talk with a large variety of employers and training program representatives, participate in hands on activities, a mock interview and work readiness training workshops.

YSS coordinated a variety of job shadow experiences for all the students to participate in on the second day of the Career Fair that included:

  • A student who would like to become a 2nd grade teacher shadowed a local elementary school teacher.
  • A student with aspirations to become a TVI spent the day with one of WSSB’s outreach teachers.
  • A student with plans for community college and a job testing the accessibility of technology, spent 2 hours shadowing a Clark Community College staff member who oversees computer programming and accessibility.
  • A student interested in food service spent several hours working at the FISH Food Bank where he helped to stock the shelves and work the window where lunches are provided to the homeless. The FISH staff were so impressed by his work, this student received an open invitation to volunteer there on a regular basis.
  • Six students participated with YSS in a job shadow coordinated with the assistance of the US Fish and Wildlife Service (USFWS) staff in Portland. The group traveled by light rail to the Oregon Zoo’s Educational Conservation Center for a hands on experience learning about the careers available in PR with USFWS. The staff member who does the digital marketing for USFWS is legally blind. He accompanied the group on the trip to the zoo and talked with each of the students about his career path.
  • YSS staff, the DSB South Region Area Manager and 2 local DDA staff members made a presentation at the PNWAER conference, to demonstrate the service differences and collaboration between VR and DDA agencies. A pseudo-case study of services (DSB, DVR and DDA) from birth through transition was utilized.

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