Clarified high level policy (though no significant changes in cuurrent practice). Clarified means for making substantial policy changes. Listed pre-employment transition services along with all other VR services offered in a shortened list, with WAC reference to each service chapters. Reorganized order of subsequent VR services chapters to group those more alike.
(1) The provision of the department's VR services is based on the rehabilitation needs of each individual as identified in that participant's individualized plan for employment and is consistent with the participant's informed choice.
(2) The department's policy on VR service provision does not establish any arbitrary limits on the nature and scope of vocational rehabilitation services to be provided to the individual to achieve a competitive and integrated employment outcome.
(3) The department's policy on VR service provision has been developed in accordance with the following provisions:
(a)(i) The department has established a preference for in-state services, provided that the preference does not effectively deny an individual a necessary service.
(ii) If the individual chooses an out-of-state service at a higher cost than an in-state service, if either service would meet the individual's rehabilitation needs, the department is not responsible for those costs in excess of the cost of the in-state service.
(b) The department maintains a fee schedule designed to ensure a reasonable cost to the program for each service, provided that the schedule established is:
(i) Not so low as to effectively deny an individual a necessary service; and
(ii) Not absolute and will permit exceptions so that individual needs can be addressed.
(c) The department may establish reasonable time period limits for the provision of services, provided that the time limits are:
(i) Not so short as to effectively deny an individual a necessary service; and
(ii) Not absolute and permit exceptions so that individual needs can be addressed.
(d) While an option through the federal regulations, the department will not apply a financial needs test, or require the financial participation of the individual, in order to receive services.
(e) The department must establish policies related to the timely authorization of services, including any conditions under which verbal authorization can be given.
(f) Substantive changes to department policy that directly impact the nature, scope, or delivery of the services provided to individuals with disabilities require a public participation process. The public input must be gathered:
(i) In an in-person meeting format (which might include face-to-face, phone, and/or remote access video or chat);
(ii) Be separate and distinct from the state rehabilitation council public input process.
(4) Preemployment transition services are made available statewide to all students with visual and other disabilities, regardless of whether the student has applied or been determined eligible for vocational rehabilitation services, in accordance with WAC67-25-290.
(5) VR services are made available as appropriate to the vocational rehabilitation needs of each individual and consistent with each individual's individualized plan for employment. The following vocational rehabilitation services are available to assist the individual with a disability in preparing for, securing, retaining, advancing in or regaining a competitive and integrated employment outcome that is consistent with the individual's unique strengths, resources, priorities, concerns, abilities, capabilities, interests, and informed choice:
(a) Assessment for determining eligibility and/or priority for services in accordance with WAC 67-25-130 and 67-25-183;
(b) Assessment for determining vocational rehabilitation needs in accordance with WAC 67-25-205 and 67-25-210;
(c) Vocational rehabilitation counseling and guidance including information and support services to assist an individual in exercising informed choice in accordance with WAC 67-25-273;
(d) Referral and other services necessary to assist applicants and eligible individuals to secure needed services from other agencies or client assistance programs, including other components of the statewide workforce development system, in accordance with WAC67-25-073.
(e) Physical and mental restoration services in accordance with WAC 67-25-310, to the extent that financial support is not readily available from a source other than the department (such as through health insurance or a comparable service or benefit as defined in WAC67-25-283).
(f)(i) Vocational and other training services, including personal and vocational adjustment training, advanced training in, but not limited to, a field of science, technology, engineering, mathematics (including computer science, medicine, law, or business); books, tools, and other training materials in accordance with WAC67-25-320, 67-25-330, 67-25-340, 67-25-265, and 67-25-365.
(ii) No training or training services in an institution of higher education (universities, colleges, community or junior colleges, vocational schools, technical institutes, or hospital schools of nursing or any other postsecondary education institution) may be paid for with funds under this part unless maximum efforts have been made by the department and the individual to secure financial and grant assistance in whole or in part from other sources to pay for that training.
(g) Maintenance in connection to the provision of vocational rehabilitation services in accordance with WAC 67-25-370;
(h) Transportation in connection to the provision of a vocational rehabilitation service in accordance with WAC 67-25-383;
(i) Vocational rehabilitation services to family members as defined in WAC 67-25-485, if necessary to enable the applicant or eligible individual to achieve an employment outcome.
(j) Interpreter and translation services, including language translation services, sign language and oral interpreter services for individuals who are deaf or hard of hearing, and tactile interpreting services for individuals who are deaf-blind, provided by qualified personnel in accordance with WAC 67-25-393.
(k) Reader services, rehabilitation teaching services, and orientation and mobility services for individuals who are blind in accordance with WAC 67-25-365 and 67-25-403.
(l) Job-related services, including job search and placement assistance job retention services, follow-up services, and follow-along services in accordance with WAC67-25-340, 67-25-355, and 67-25-440.
(m) Supported employment services in accordance with WAC 67-25-430;
(n) Personal assistance services in accordance with WAC 67-25-410;
(o) Post-employment services in accordance with WAC 67-25-450;
(p) Occupational licenses, tools, equipment, initial stocks, and supplies, and technical assistance and other consultation services to participants who are pursuing self-employment or establishing a small business operation as an employment outcome, in accordance with WAC67-25-465;
(q) Rehabilitation technology services in accordance with WAC 67-25-425;
(r) Preemployment transition services that provide careers and work preparation exploration and experiences for students with disabilities, in accordance with WAC67-25-290.
(s) Transition services for youth with disabilities to facilitate the transition from school to postsecondary life, such as entry into a post-secondary training program and/or achievement of an employment outcome in competitive integrated employment, in accordance with WAC67-25-305.
(t) Customized employment in accordance with WAC67-25-440.
(u) Other goods and services determined necessary for the individual with a disability to achieve a competitive and integrated employment outcome in accordance with WAC 67-25-475.
[Statutory Authority: Chapter 74.18 RCW. WSR 05-08-097, § 67-25-350, filed 4/4/05, effective 5/5/05; WSR 98-23-078, § 67-25-350, filed 11/17/98, effective 12/18/98. Statutory Authority: Chapter 74.15 RCW. WSR 95-06-057, § 67-25-350, filed 2/28/95, effective 3/31/95. Statutory Authority: 1983 c 194 § 18. WSR 84-01-042 (Order 83-08), § 67-25-350, filed 12/15/83. Formerly WAC67-20-350.]