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Division Policy 2.08

SUBJECT

Coordination with Education Officials

EFFECTIVE DATE

July 30, 2007

REVIEW DATE

January 18, 2013

EXPIRATION DATE

This policy will be reviewed and updated as needed.

PURPOSE

To facilitate the transition of students with disabilities from the receipt of educational services in school to the receipt of vocational rehabilitation services under the responsibility of the designated state agency.

AUTHORITY

34 CFR 361.22

POLICY

Plans, policies, and procedures for coordination between the designated State agency and education officials responsible for the public education of students with disabilities that are designed to facilitate the transition of the students who are individuals with disabilities from the receipt of educational services in school to the receipt of vocational rehabilitation services under this State plan are described in Attachment 4.8(b)(2):  Coordination with Education Officials. The policy provides for:

(1) Consultation and technical assistance to assist education agencies in planning for the transition of students with disabilities from school to post-school activities including vocational rehabilitation services.

  • The provision of technical assistance including, but not limited to, staff support and information resources for the purpose of developing cooperative working arrangements with district school boards as needed to ensure the delivery of educational and other developmental services to students with visual impairments.

(2) Transition planning by personnel of FDBS and FDOE agency personnel for students with disabilities that facilitates the development and completion of their individualized education programs under section 614(d) of the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act.

  • FDBS recognizes that it is responsible for service planning and the provision of vocational rehabilitation services to eligible students, including the development of Individual Plans for Employment (IPE), to achieve an employment outcome. DBS will address eligibility of students no later than age fourteen.  The IPE is developed prior to transition aged individuals exiting high school; this ensures that the IPE is aligned with the individual’s area of interest. This also allows the transition team to have input on the individuals strengths and weaknesses, which aids in the planning process.
  • IPE development will be done in conjunction with the Transition Individualized Education Plan process, and will emphasize the provision of vocational rehabilitation services leading to appropriate career/education choices by the student upon exiting the school system.

(3) The roles and responsibilities, including financial responsibilities, of each agency, including provisions for determining State lead agencies and qualified personnel responsible for transition services.

Roles and Responsibilities

In order to achieve the stated goals and to implement the Florida Statutes and federal laws and regulations, FDBS and the Division of K-12 Education agree to coordinate their activities in serving students who are blind and visually impaired through the following:

  1. The development of the Florida State Plan under Part B of the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act;
  2. The preparation and implementation of guidelines, policies, rules, and regulations which affect the interests of students with visual impairments through joint planning committees and publications, as appropriate;
  3. The development of new programs or the initiation of new services for students with visual impairments;
  4. Interchange of information on the monitoring and evaluation of special programs for students with visual impairments, the FDOE registry for American Printing House for the Blind, and follow-up studies;
  5. Promotion and provision of training for teachers and FDBS staff who work with students who are blind and visually impaired; and
  6. The dissemination of information and other activities to increase public awareness of visual disabilities and services available to students with visual impairments.

The FDBS, through its state and district offices agrees to:

  1. Develop and implement cooperative working arrangements with classroom teachers as needed to ensure the delivery of educational services, developmental services, and instruction in the activities of daily living such as orientation and mobility and personal and home management to eligible students with visual impairments.  For students ages 12-21, this will include cooperation in preparation of transition individual educational plans (IEP’s) and individual plans of employment (IPE’s);
  2. Provide or obtain diagnostic services necessary to determine eligibility for the Children and Families Program and Vocational Rehabilitation Program of the FDBS and, within the limits of regulations concerning confidentiality, share such evaluations with appropriate school personnel for the benefit of programming for individual students;
  3. Cooperate with school personnel in referring students to the appropriate state or local agency for medical care, financial assistance, and other social services;
  4. Provide appropriate non-educational services such as information and counseling for parents of eligible children with visual impairments, vocational rehabilitation counseling and guidance, vocational preparation, summer or after-school personal management activities, work evaluation and work adjustment services, work-related experiences, job development and placement, and any other goods and services needed for the client’s self-sufficiency;
  5. Inform FDBS administration and personnel for the purpose of sharing information, evaluations, and resources in preparation of IEP’s and IPE’s and to ensure a comprehensive program of services.
  6. Refer to the district school superintendents (with a copy to the Chief, Bureau of Bureau of Instructional Support and Community Services), all children who are not enrolled in school and those adults under age 21 who have not completed a high school education, but for whom further public education would be appropriate; and
  7. Develop and implement working arrangements with classroom teachers and staff of FDOE to provide training on the availability and eligibility standards for services in both the Children and Families (CFP) and Vocational Rehabilitation (VR) programs.

The Division of K-12 Education, through the Bureau of Instructional Support and Community Services, agrees to:

  1. Ensure that the Florida State Plan under Part B of the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act, 1997, adequately provides for the needs of students with visual impairments, including orientation and mobility training, and special instructional materials and equipment needed for students to benefit from an appropriate program of education in the least restrictive environment;
  2. Encourage school districts to ensure that all students found to be blind or visually impaired are referred to FDBS for a determination of their eligibility to receive medical, social, or vocational rehabilitation services;
  3. Inform administrators of exceptional student education and other local school personnel of the content of this agreement for the purpose of sharing information, evaluations, and resources in preparation of IEP’s and IPE’s and to ensure a comprehensive program of services;
  4. Register all legally blind students, including those reported in adult basic education programs or private school programs, for the annual registry to the American Printing House for the Blind; and
  5. Register all students with visual impairments through the Florida Instructional Materials Center for the Visually Handicapped.

Financial Responsibility

So that the mutually agreed upon objectives of this agreement can be adequately met, resources from the Division of K-12 Education and FDBS will be allocated based on the previously identified roles and responsibilities of each Division.

For the purpose of determining what costs are to be incurred by the Division of K-12 Education and the FDBS, it is agreed that the following general guidelines apply:

  1. Technical assistance and monitoring procedures which ensure that local education agencies provide orientation and mobility training, Braillists, typists, and readers for the blind and special instructional materials and equipment needed to ensure that all students with visual impairments ages 3-21 are provided a free and appropriate education in the least restrictive environment;
  2. Technical assistance (to school districts and FDBS) designed to ensure that school districts refer students with visual impairments to FDBS for a determination of their eligibility to receive medical, social, or vocational rehabilitation services;
  3. Technical assistance regarding the development and provision of a report of the results of statewide testing programs for students with visual impairments to the FDBS;
  4. Technical assistance which is designed to inform school districts of the services provided by the FDBS; and
  5. The development and implementation of a registry of all legally blind students for the purpose of providing this information to the American Printing House for the Blind and registration of all visually impaired students with the Florida Instructional Materials Center for Visually Handicapped for planning purposes.

The FDBS agrees to provide the following instruction and related services as necessary for the benefit from rehabilitation:

  1. The identification and reporting of all students under the age of 21 who have not completed a high school education for whom further public education may be appropriate.  This information will be disseminated to district school superintendents with a copy to the Chief, Bureau of Instructional Support and Community Services;
  2. The provision of technical assistance including, but not limited to, staff support and information resources for the purpose of developing cooperative working arrangements with district school board as needed to ensure the delivery of educational and other developmental services to students with visual impairments;
  3. Diagnostic medical services necessary to determine visual eligibility for Children and Families Program clients, after client resources or similar benefits have been exhausted and within budgetary restraints, and diagnostics necessary to determine eligibility of clients for Vocational Rehabilitation services;
  4. Evaluation and training services for eligible students with visual impairments ages 12-21 and those persons 16-21 who are not enrolled in any school; and
  5. The provision of rehabilitation services needed by clients of FDBS and that assist in the development of self-sufficiency and long-term vocational goals. 

Agency Representatives

Within the Division of K-12 Education it will be the responsibility of the Chief, Bureau of Instructional Support and Community Services to ensure that this agreement is implemented.  It will be the responsibility of the Supervisor of Program Development, Bureau of Instructional Support and Community Services, to monitor the implementation of this agreement.

Within FDBS it will be the responsibility of the Director, FDBS, to ensure that this agreement is implemented.  It will be the responsibility of the Chief, Bureau of Client Services and Program Support to monitor the implementation of this agreement.

(4) Procedures for outreach to and identification of students with disabilities who need the transition services.

  • Dissemination of information and other activities to increase public awareness of visual disabilities and services available to students with visual impairments.  

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