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Division Policy 2.01

SUBJECT

Public Participation

EFFECTIVE DATE

February 1, 1996

REVIEW DATE

January 18, 2013

EXPIRATION DATE

This policy will be reviewed and updated as needed.

PURPOSE

To provide guidelines for obtaining public input on state plan development and policy development and implementation.

AUTHORITY

34 CFR 361.20

POLICY

In connection with matters of general policy development and implementation arising in the administration of the state plan, Division Blind Services (DBS) seeks and takes into account the views of the following entities:

  1. Current and former clients of DBS and their parents, guardian, or other representative;
  2. Providers of vocational rehabilitation services;
  3. Consumer groups such as the National Federation of the Blind, Blinded Veterans, and the American Council of the Blind
  4. Others interested in vocational rehabilitation.

Input will be used during policy development and implementation relating to but not limited to the following:

  1. Program planning, development, and implementation;
  2. Development of legislative and budgetary proposals;
  3. Determining areas of specific needs by geographic areas;
  4. Affirmative action for employment of qualified individuals with disabilities; and
  5. Development of procedures for review of rehabilitation counselors and supervisor determinations.

Client input into the policies and procedures of DBS include but are not limited to the following means:

  1. Statewide toll-free telephone access to the state office.  Client issues are recorded and logged on a data base system for future analysis.
  2. Public forums are conducted quarterly in locations around the state.  These forums are widely publicized in advance and comply with state regulations regarding public meetings.

    Topics discussed in these meetings are summarized and shared with the public to the extent possible. 

    Discussion related to vocational rehabilitation and the State Plan are included in the annual state plan updates.
  3. DBS conducts annual needs assessments through focus groups held throughout the state.  The results are summarized and shared with the public.
  4. DBS conducts client satisfaction surveys on both open and closed cases.  The results are stored in a data base and reports are issued annually.
  5. DBS conducts or contracts with others to conduct surveys of groups of clients.  The results are shared with the public.  DBS staff attend consumer group meetings and conferences.  Summaries of issues from the perspective of DBS are shared with the public.
  6. DBS conducts quarterly meetings of Randolph-Sheppard food service managers.  Summaries from these meetings are shared with the public.
  7. DBS conducts annual forums that include state legislative staff, representatives from consumer groups, and rehab council members.  The purpose of this meeting is to formulate issues and plan a legislative agenda.
  8. As part of the district and facility review processes, DBS meets with collateral agencies and client groups.  The purpose of these meetings is to assess the impact of district services and address needs.  Summaries of these meetings are included in the District Review Report.
  9. DBS assesses the impact of independent living services to clients.  As part of this assessment, client comments are solicited.

Current and former clients of DBS and their parents, guardians, or other representatives; providers of vocational rehabilitation services; representatives of consumer groups such as the National Federation of the Blind, Blinded Veterans, American Council of the Blind, and others interested in vocational rehabilitation may request copies of the Title I State Plan with its Part VII Supplement, the Independent Living State Plan, and the Strategic Plan.

Original signed by Joyce Hildreth, Director, on October 14, 2009.