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Virginia Regulatory Town Hall

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Action:
Amend regulations for clarity and update
Stage: Proposed
22VAC45-50

CHAPTER 50
REGULATION GOVERNING PROVISIONS OF SERVICES IN VOCATIONAL REHABILITATION (REPEALED)

22VAC45-50-10

Part I
Introduction

22VAC45-50-10. Definitions. (Repealed.)

The following words and terms, when used in this chapter, shall have the following meanings, unless the context clearly states otherwise:

"Audiological examination" means the testing of the sense of hearing.

"Board" means the Board of the Department for the Visually Handicapped.

"Client" means any person receiving a service provided by the Department for the Visually Handicapped, whether referred to as a client, participant, patient, resident, or other term.

"Client Assistance Program" means a program located within the Department for Rights of Virginians with Disabilities for the purpose of advising applicants or clients about all available services under the Rehabilitation Act of 1973, as amended, and to assist them in their relationship with programs, projects, and facilities providing rehabilitation services.

"Commissioner" means the Commissioner of the Department for the Visually Handicapped.

"Comparable services and benefits" means any appropriate service or financial assistance available from a program other than vocational rehabilitation to meet, in whole or in part, the cost of vocational rehabilitation services which is under an individualized written rehabilitation program for a handicapped individual.

"Department" means Virginia Department for the Visually Handicapped.

"Economic needs test" means a test used to consider the financial need of handicapped individuals for the purpose of determining the extent of their participation in the cost of services provided by this program.

"Eligibility" means, when used in relation to an individual's qualification for vocational rehabilitation services, a certification that an individual has a physical or mental disability which for that individual constitutes or results in a substantial handicap to employment and that vocational rehabilitation services may reasonably be expected to benefit the individual in terms of employability.

"Employability" means a determination that the provision of vocational rehabilitation services is likely to enable an individual to enter or retain employment consistent with his capacities and abilities in the competitive labor markets, the practice of a profession, self-employment, homemaking, farm or family work (including work for which payment is in kind rather than in cash), sheltered employment, homebound employment, or other gainful work.

"Evaluation of vocational rehabilitation potential" means, as appropriate, in each case (i) a preliminary diagnostic study to determine that an individual is eligible for vocational rehabilitation services; (ii) a thorough diagnostic study consisting of a comprehensive evaluation of pertinent factors bearing on the individual's handicap to employment and vocational rehabilitation potential, in order to determine which vocational rehabilitation services may be of benefit to the individual in terms of employability; (iii) any other goods or services necessary to determine the nature of the handicap and whether it may reasonably be expected that the individual can benefit from vocational rehabilitation services in terms of employability; (iv) referral to other agencies or organizations, when appropriate; and (v) the provision of vocational rehabilitation services to an individual during an extended evaluation of rehabilitation potential for the purpose of determining whether the individual is a handicapped individual for whom a vocational goal is feasible.

"Extended evaluation" means the provision of vocational rehabilitation services necessary for determination of rehabilitation potential.

"Family member or member of the family" means any relative by blood, marriage, or adoption of a handicapped individual living in the same household. If the family member lives outside the household and is not emancipated, he is a member of the family unit.

"Higher education or institutions of higher education" means training or training services provided by universities, colleges, community or junior colleges, vocational schools, technical institutes, or hospital schools of nursing.

"Individual Written Rehabilitation Program (IWRP)" means an individualized written rehabilitation program for each individual being provided services by this program.

"Blindness, legal blindness" means the condition as defined in §§ 63.1-142 and 63.1-166 of the Code of Virginia.

"Local agency" means an agency of a unit of general local government or of an Indian tribal organization (or combination of such units or organizations) which has the sole responsibility under an agreement with the state agency to conduct a vocational rehabilitation program in the locality under the supervision of the state agency in accordance with the state plan.

"Long range goals and intermediate objectives" means the establishment of a vocational goal with job placement, physical restoration, personal adjustment and the achievement of vocational skills as possible objectives needed to attain the goal.

"Ophthalmologist" means a medical doctor skilled in eye disease and eye treatment.

"Optometrist" means a person licensed to practice optometry by the Virginia Board of Optometry.

"Physical impairment" means any physical condition, anatomic loss, or cosmetic disfigurement which is caused by bodily injury, birth defect, or illness.

"Post-employment services" means services which are required to maintain the individual in employment after closure.

"Prevocational training" means individual and group instruction, counseling, or both; the controlled use of varied activities; and the application of special behavior modification techniques. Clients or patients are helped to: (i) develop physical and emotional tolerance for work demands and pressures; (ii) acquire personal-social behaviors which would make them acceptable employees and co-workers on the job; and (iii) develop the basic manual, academic, and communication skills needed to acquire basic job skills.

"Prosthetic and orthotic appliances" means any mechanical equipment that improves or substitutes for one of more of an individual's senses or for impaired mobility or motor coordination.

"Public safety officer" means an individual who performs duties directly related to the enforcement, execution, and administration of law or fire prevention, fire fighting, or related public safety activities and whose handicapping condition arose from a disability sustained in the line of duty while performing as a public safety officer and the immediate cause of such disability was a criminal act, apparent criminal act, or a hazardous condition.

"Rehabilitation engineering" means the systematic application of technologies, engineering methodologies, or scientific principles to meet the needs of and address the barriers confronted by individuals with handicaps in areas that include education, rehabilitation, employment, transportation, independent living, and recreation.

"Rehabilitation facility" means a facility which is operated for the primary purpose of providing vocational rehabilitation services to handicapped individuals, and which provides singly or in combination one or more of the following services for handicapped individuals: (i) vocational rehabilitation services, including under one management medical, psychiatric, psychological, social, and vocational services; (ii) testing, fitting, or training in the use of prosthetic and orthotic devices; (iii) prevocational conditioning or recreational therapy; (iv) physical and occupational therapy; (v) speech and hearing therapy; (vi) psychological and social services; (vii) evaluation of rehabilitation potential; (viii) personal and work adjustment; (ix) vocational training with a view toward career advancement (in combination with other rehabilitation services); (x) evaluation or control of specific disabilities; (xi) orientation and mobility services and other adjustment services to blind individuals; and (xii) transitional or extended employment for those handicapped individuals who cannot be readily absorbed in the competitive labor market.

"Reservation" means a federal or state Indian reservation; public domain Indian allotment; former Indian reservation in Oklahoma; and land held by incorporated native groups, regional corporations, and village corporations under the provision of the Alaska Native Claims Settlement Act.

"Services to groups" means the provision of facilities and services which may be expected to contribute substantially to the vocational rehabilitation of a group of individuals but which are not related directly to the individualized rehabilitation program of any one handicapped individual.

"Severely visually impaired" means vision worse than 20/70 in the better eye with correction or a field of vision restricted to less than 70 degrees in the better eye.

"Sheltered employment" means a service which provides supervised, guided remunerative employment for an individual whose current assessment indicates employment in a sheltered setting representing the individual's maximum level of vocational functioning. This service may involve the development of social, personal, and work-related skills based on an individualized client rehabilitation or habilitation plan.

"Substantial handicap to employment" means that a physical or mental disability (in light of attendant medical, psychological, vocational, educational, and other related factors) impedes an individual's occupational performance by preventing his obtaining, retaining, or preparing for employment consistent with his capacities and abilities.

"Supported employment" means competitive work in an integrated work setting with ongoing support services for individuals with severe handicaps for whom competitive employment has not traditionally occurred or has been interrupted or intermittent as a result of severe handicaps.

"Third party funding" means the use of money from a public or private source to match available allocations to the Department for the Visually Handicapped from the General Assembly.

"Vocational evaluation" means a systematic, formalized assessment and subsequent recommendations. The assessment is for the purpose of determining an individual's vocational objectives based on his assets and limitations. The assessment methods are client centered and include evaluation techniques appropriate to the individual. The assessment results in specific recommendations to be used in the development of the individual rehabilitation or habilitation plan.

"Vocational rehabilitation services" when provided to an individual means evaluation of vocational potential, counseling and guidance, physical and mental restoration, vocational and other training, maintenance, transportation, services to family members, interpreter and note-taking services, reader services, telecommunications services, placement, post-employment services, other goods and services which can reasonably be expected to benefit the individual in terms of employability; when provided for the benefit of groups of individuals, also means (i) the establishment of a rehabilitation facility; (ii) the construction of a rehabilitation facility; (iii) the provision of other facilities and services, including services provided at rehabilitation facilities that promise to contribute substantially to the rehabilitation of a group of individuals but which are not related directly to the individualized written rehabilitation program of any one handicapped individual; (iv) the use of existing telecommunications systems; and (v) captioned films or video cassettes for deaf persons.

"Vocational skill training" means a program of organized and systematic instruction conducted by qualified instructors and designed to enable clients to acquire marketable skills in a specific occupation or trade.

"Work activity" means therapeutic work activities and educational, social, personal, and vocational adjustment training to assist severely disabled individuals to attain their optimal level of vocational development and to enhance their ability to function independently within the community.

"Work adjustment training" means a treatment or training process utilizing individual and group work or work-related activities to assist individuals in understanding the meaning, value, and demands of work; to modify or develop attitudes, personal characteristics, and work behavior; and to develop functional capacities, as required, in order to assist individuals toward their optimum level of vocational development.

"Workshop" means a rehabilitation facility or that part of a rehabilitation facility that provides work opportunity at a less-than-competitive level.

22VAC45-50-20

Part II
Referral and Eligibility

22VAC45-50-20. Processing referrals and applications. (Repealed.)

A. Certain items of information are required in order to open a case record on individuals who are referred for rehabilitation services. The Vocational Rehabilitation Program shall open a case record on every individual who is referred and regarding whom the required items of information are known.

B. A referred individual regarding whom the Vocational Rehabilitation Program has the required items of information and who requests in writing consideration for eligibility for the Vocational Rehabilitation Program shall be considered an applicant. All applicants are informed regarding the availability of the Client Assistance Program.

22VAC45-50-30

22VAC45-50-30. Eligibility for vocational rehabilitation services. (Repealed.)

A. The DVH Vocational Rehabilitation Program shall serve only individuals with visual impairments. The Virginia Department of Rehabilitative Services (VDRS) is empowered in the Code of Virginia to provide vocational rehabilitation services to individuals with disabilities not involving visual impairment. A cooperative agreement exists between the DVH and VDRS which delineates the client populations to be served by DVH and by VDRS. A multihandicapped individual, one of whose impairments is legal blindness, is to be served by the DVH.

B. No vocational handicap exists on a usual basis if the disabled individual is not of working age. Therefore, the DVH program does not provide vocational rehabilitation services to individuals who have not attained the age of 14. One exception exists to the age of 14 lower limit -- an individual may be served at age 13 if he clearly meets all other requirements, is in immediate need of vocational rehabilitation services, and no community resources or similar benefits are available to defray the cost of vocational rehabilitation services.

C. Any qualified applicant residing in Virginia will be served by the DVH Vocational Rehabilitation Program. Services may be provided to aliens who have a permanent or working visa. To provide services to an alien, there must be documentation in the case records that the individual has either a permanent or work visa, or the green card registration number.

D. The presence of a physical disability for purposes of eligibility for the DVH Vocational Rehabilitation Program shall constitute one or more of the following:

1. Legal blindness--having not better than 20/200 central visual acuity in the better eye measured at 20 feet with correcting lenses or having visual acuity greater than 20/200 but with the widest diameter of the visual field in the better eye subtending an angle of no greater than 20 degrees measured (at a distance of 33 centimeters using a three-millimeter white test object, a Goldman III-4e target, or other equivalent equipment);

2. 20/100 to 20/200 distance vision in the better eye with correcting glasses or a field limitation to 30 degrees or less in the better eye, if the person has been unable to adjust satisfactorily to the loss of vision and if it is determined by the DVH rehabilitation counselor that the person is in need of the specialized services available through DVH Vocational Rehabilitation Program;

3. Night blindness or a rapidly progressive eye condition which, in the opinion of a qualified ophthalmologist, will reduce the distance vision to 20/200 or less; and

4. Recommendation by an eye doctor for eye surgery or special treatments, regardless of visual acuity, as long as the eye surgery or special treatment is not merely to improve cosmetic effect.

E. The federal requirement for the presence of a substantial handicap to employment is met if the visually impaired individual is unemployed or is employed but at employment which is determined by the DVH rehabilitation counselor to be marginal or unstable. The DVH does not provide vocational rehabilitation services to successfully employed visually impaired individuals seeking job promotions or a career change.

F. The federal vocational rehabilitation eligibility requirement that there be a reasonable expectation that vocational rehabilitation services may benefit the individual in terms of employability is carried out by the DVH rehabilitation counselor as described in 22VAC45-50-40. In order for a visually impaired individual to be eligible for vocational rehabilitation services under this criteria, the DVH rehabilitation counselor must determine that the visually impaired individual is likely to enter remunerative employment, or function as a homemaker, as a result of the delivery of vocational rehabilitation services.

G. The DVH elects not to provide vocational rehabilitation services on the basis of an interim determination of eligibility.

22VAC45-50-40

22VAC45-50-40. Evaluation of vocational rehabilitation potential; preliminary diagnostic study. (Repealed.)

A. In order to determine if an applicant is eligible for vocational rehabilitation services, the DVH requires the following items:

1. An eye report from an ophthalmologist or optometrist.

2. An appraisal of the current general health status of the individual. This approval is to be procured from a qualified physician, except in instances where the individual is referred solely for sponsorship for eye surgery or special treatments. In such instances, the DVH rehabilitation counselor may review health information supplied by the applicant in lieu of a general preoperative medical exam by a physician.

3. A determination by the DVH rehabilitation counselor that the applicant will likely be able, as a result of vocational rehabilitation services, to enter or reenter remunerative employment or to function as a homemaker. This determination shall be based on the applicant's general health status, his general level of functioning apart from the visual limitation, and his family status.

4. The DVH rehabilitation counselor will secure such additional examinations or testing as may be indicated by the findings from subdivisions A 1 through 3 of this section in order to assist in determining eligibility for vocational rehabilitation services. Such additional examinations and tests may include but are not necessarily limited to: specialty medical exams, psychological or psychiatric exams, and vocational evaluations.

B. The applicant for vocational rehabilitation services from the DVH may use a qualified physician or physicians of his choice in obtaining the necessary eye and general health appraisals.

22VAC45-50-50

22VAC45-50-50. Evaluation of vocational rehabilitation potential; thorough diagnostic study. (Repealed.)

A. The DVH rehabilitation counselor shall assess the medical, psychological, vocational, education, and other factors relating to employment and rehabilitation needs.

B. An assessment to the extent appropriate will consist of the following tests and evaluation data:

1. Specialty medical reports;

2. Psychological or psychiatric reports;

3. Vocational evaluations reports;

4. Activities of daily living (ADL) skills evaluation; and

5. Low vision evaluation.

22VAC45-50-60

Part III
Services

22VAC45-50-60. Order of selection for services. (Repealed.)

A. The following order of selection will prevail in the Vocational Rehabilitation Program of the Virginia Department for the Visually Handicapped. The order of selection will be implemented if the Virginia Department for the Visually Handicapped cannot serve, due to limited financial resources, all individuals who apply and are potentially eligible for services.

1. A legally blind individual means having a visual acuity of 20/200 or worse in the better eye with correction, or who have a field restricted to 20 degrees or less in the better eye.

2. Those who are severely disabled, based on visual acuity which means their vision is worse than 20/70 in the better eye with correction, or if their visual field is restricted to less than 70 degrees in the better eye.

3. The nonseverely disabled.

When the Vocational Rehabilitation Program of the DVH determines it is necessary to go on an order of selection, a public hearing will be held prior to the implementation of the order of selection.

C. The Vocational Rehabilitation Program of the DVH shall give top priority to serving public safety officers disabled in the line of duty.

22VAC45-50-70

22VAC45-50-70. Services to handicapped American Indians. (Repealed.)

Eligible American Indians, whether or not residing on the Indian reservation in Virginia, will be provided vocational rehabilitation services to the same extent and in the same fashion as other eligible individuals.

22VAC45-50-80

22VAC45-50-80. Scope of state unit program; vocational rehabilitation services for individuals. (Repealed.)

A. Evaluation of vocational rehabilitation potential. (See 22VAC45-50-50 A and 22VAC45-50-50 B or applicable requirements.)

The Department for the Visually Handicapped reserves the right to require, prior to commitment of case services funds, to conduct or procure evaluative studies and reports which in the department's opinion are necessary to determine the individual's eligibility for vocational rehabilitation, and to determine the nature and scope of services needed by the individual.

B. Counseling, guidance, and referral. It is the policy of the Virginia Department for the Visually Handicapped to provide counseling, including vocational counseling and adjustment counseling, as appropriate to all vocational rehabilitation clients. It is also policy of the Virginia Department for the Visually Handicapped that its clients will be referred as appropriate to other agencies for needed services.

C. Scope of vocational rehabilitation services appropriate to the needs of individuals:

1. Physical and mental restoration services can be provided only to correct or substantially modify a physical or mental condition which is stable or slowly progressive. Physical or mental restoration services are provided to enable eligible vocational rehabilitation clients to enter, reenter, or retain employment.

2. The Vocational Rehabilitation Program does not sponsor visually handicapped individuals for physical restoration when the sole objective is improvement of cosmetic effect, except when the individual's vocational goal requires extensive, interpersonal, or public contact.

3. The Vocational Rehabilitation Program, in determining rates of payment for various medical services for its clients, abides by the medical fee schedule developed and maintained by the Virginia Department of Rehabilitative Services. In instances where the Virginia Department of Rehabilitative Services has not established rates of payments, the Vocational Rehabilitation Program will set rates of payment seeking and considering the views of medical practitioners, medical insurance carriers, and the Medical Advisory Committee of the Virginia Department of Rehabilitative Services.

4. In determining the amount to be paid for any physical or mental restoration service for a handicapped individual covered by medical insurance, the Vocational Rehabilitation Program will pay only after the comparable services or benefits or insurance has paid. The Vocational Rehabilitation Program of the Virginia Department for the Visually Handicapped deems the amount established in the medical fee schedule of the Virginia Department of Rehabilitative Services (VDRS) for any given medical procedure or services to be the full reasonable charge for such medical procedure or service.

5. Individuals eligible for physical restoration services from the Vocational Rehabilitation Program and who are also eligible for Medicare parts A and B are entitled only to having the Vocational Rehabilitation program pay the established fee less the Medicare parts A and B payment.

6. The Vocational Rehabilitation Program does not sponsor individuals for experimental surgery or special treatments. A decision as to whether any given surgery or special treatment is experimental versus having demonstrated benefit will be made by the Vocational Rehabilitation Program after consultation with appropriate physicians.

7. The following rule governs the purchase of hearing aids for clients: Hearing aids will be provided only on the recommendation of an otologist or audiologist with a hearing aid evaluation.

8. The Vocational Rehabilitation Program will not provide routine dental care and prophylaxis (such as, routine cleaning, filling cavities, etc.). Oral surgery, orthodontic services, and dental prosthesis may be provided when necessary in order to assist vocational rehabilitation clients obtain employment.

9. Eye surgery or treatment will be provided by a physician skilled in diseases of the eye.

10. The client will exercise free choice in the selection, if necessary, of a physician skilled in the diseases of the eye or an optometrist from those who are duly qualified. If the client desires the Vocational Rehabilitation Program staff to select an ophthalmologist or optometrist, the client will be referred to the optometrist or ophthalmologist most convenient to the client's home.

11. The Vocational Rehabilitation Program will not provide routine "maintenance" drugs (such as, high blood pressure medication, eye drops for the control of glaucoma, insulin for diabetics, etc.) for clients. Prescription drugs may be provided incidental to eye surgery or other special treatments or to stabilize a client's medical or eye condition. The Vocational Rehabilitation Program will not pay amounts in excess of the maximum allowable charge (MAC) as described in 45 CFR 19, "Limitations on Payment or Reimbursement for Drugs."

12. On-the-job training is used by the Vocational Rehabilitation Program as a means of giving a client practical experience on a job without putting an extra expense on an employer. On-the-job training is also a means of persuading reluctant employers to give vocational rehabilitation clients a job trial without cost to the employer. Clients placed in on-the-job training must be paid at least the federal minimum wage plus the employer's part of the FICA. One exception to the minimum wage rule is in sheltered workshops that have been approved by the U.S. Department of Labor for payment of less than minimum wage to these workers. A maximum time limit of three months is placed on Vocational Rehabilitation Program sponsorship for on-the-job training. A monthly training progress report from the employer is required in order for the Vocational Rehabilitation Program to process the bill.

13. The following policies shall apply to the Vocational Rehabilitation Program sponsorship for college training:

a. It is the policy of the Virginia Department for the Visually Handicapped to sponsor college student-clients in Virginia state-supported colleges and universities. If the necessary curriculum is not available to the student-client in a Virginia state-supported college or university, or if there exists other adequate justification for sponsoring a student-client at an out-of-state college or university, the Vocational Rehabilitation Program may sponsor the student-client in an out-of-state college or university.

b. The Vocational Rehabilitation Program is permitted to sponsor students at public and private colleges and universities in the Commonwealth whose primary purpose is to provide a collegiate education. Students may be sponsored at nonsectarian and public colleges and universities out of state. Any college or university to be used by the Vocational Rehabilitation Program must be on the list of approved colleges and universities maintained by the Virginia Department of Rehabilitative Services.

c. In determining whether to sponsor a client for college, the Vocational Rehabilitation Program staff will consider high school grade transcripts, aptitude test scores, and psychological test results. The Vocational Rehabilitation Program is not obligated to sponsorship for college unless a determination can be made that the student-client has a reasonable chance of successfully completing his chosen curriculum.

d. In sponsoring a student-client, the Vocational Rehabilitation Program will pay the actual cost of the education or an amount that does not exceed the amount charged by the most expensive state-supported college or university, whichever is lower. Student-clients not categorically ineligible for Pell Grant assistance must apply annually for such assistance before the Vocational Rehabilitation Program will obligate itself to pay toward the cost of college training. The Vocational Rehabilitation Program requires maximum utilization of Pell Grant or other available educational grants. Student-clients who are categorically ineligible for Pell Grant assistance (example: graduate students) are required to apply for other available scholarships, fellowships, etc., and to make maximum utilization of same. The client shall send to the DVH rehabilitation counselor a copy of the Student Eligibility Report (SER) when he receives it from the college scholarship service. Those who are ineligible to apply for a Pell Grant are required to have a letter by the college sent to the rehabilitation counselor verifying that he has applied for all available scholarship aid and the amounts of assistance, if any. The student-client must apply for Pell Grant or other financial aid within the college's deadline for accepting such applications. Failure to provide SER or other written verification will result in the Vocational Rehabilitation Program not providing sponsorship for the year. The student-client must provide the DVH rehabilitation counselor with the required SER or other written verification at least 60 days prior to the beginning of the college quarter or semester in order to receive sponsorship from the DVH.

e. The student-client must complete required course work within the "normal" period of time. Ordinarily for a bachelor's degree, this will be four academic years. Student-clients receiving maintenance, transportation, or personal incidentals must complete a minimum academic load of 12 hours per regular term and nine during summer term. No student will be sponsored for more than two summer terms, unless he plans to finish college in three academic years and three summer terms; and this must be documented on his IWRP when the service is authorized. Graduate students are required to carry an equivalent load. If at any time the number of hours completed by a student-client receiving maintenance, transportation, or personal incidentals from Vocational Rehabilitation Program falls under 12 hours per term, sponsorship by DVH will be withdrawn except in exceptional circumstances, such as illness. The requirements for minimum credit hours as described immediately above do not apply to student-clients receiving tuition only.

f. All college students, who have been declared emancipated, are required to apply for SSI/SSDI benefits before receiving financial assistance from DVH.

g. At the end of the first term of the freshman year, the student-client is expected to have attained a grade point average of at least 1.8 on a 4.0 scale. Following the first term of the freshman year, the student-client is expected to maintain a 2.0 average. Failure to do so will result in suspension of sponsorship by the DVH. The DVH will also withdraw sponsorship if the student-client fails to achieve a 2.0 for any two consecutive terms. (Examples: (i) If a student-client achieves a 1.8 grade point average for the first term of the freshman year, he must achieve a 2.2 the second term in order for the DVH to continue sponsorship; (ii) a student-client cannot achieve a 1.7 or lower quality point average for the first semester of the freshman year and continue to receive DVH sponsorship.) DVH sponsorship for college can resume at such time that the student-client brings his cumulative grade point average to a 2.0 or above. However, in no case will the total DVH college sponsorship exceed four academic years and two summer terms or three academic years and three summer terms.

h. The DVH will pay maximum of $300 per academic year for books and supplies and $100 for summer sessions.

i. Each vocational rehabilitation client being sponsored for college training is required to review and sign a document called the VR-27C (Terms and Conditions of DVH Sponsorship of College Students). Failure to sign and return the "Terms and Conditions" document constitutes grounds for termination of DVH college sponsorship. Failure to comply with the terms and conditions as set forth in "Terms and Conditions" document will also result in termination of DVH college sponsorship. The VR-27C must be reviewed and signed annually by the client. This must be done prior to the development of the IWRP and authorization for the academic year involved.

j. DVH clients attending college will be served by the DVH rehabilitation counselor who serves the territory in which the college is located. Student-clients attending college out-of-state but within 25 miles of Virginia will be served by the DVH rehabilitation counselor whose territory is in closest proximity to the college. Where more than one DVH rehabilitation counselor's territory is in equal proximity to an out-of-state college (such as in Washington, D.C.), the DVH rehabilitation counselors involved will divide as equally as possible the number of such college student-clients to be served. Student-clients attending colleges more than 25 miles from the Virginia state line will be served by the DVH rehabilitation counselor in whose territory the student-client resides when not at college.

14. It is the policy of the Vocational Rehabilitation Program to provide personal and vocational adjustment training services in the least expensive manner compatible with adequate quality and comprehensiveness of service. Sponsorship decisions involving selection of training vendors or providers will be so governed.

15. Vocational training sponsorship for any vocational rehabilitation client will be limited to that which prepares the client to meet the minimum entry job qualifications for the job he plans to obtain. If, due to the presence of high numbers of qualified job seekers, it is determined that the vocational rehabilitation client will need more than minimum qualifications to reasonably expect to gain employment in the chosen job field, the Vocational Rehabilitation Program may provide training which prepares the vocational rehabilitation client at more than minimum qualification level. In such situations, the sponsorship decision will be made by the Vocational Rehabilitation Program on an individual basis--taking into account available information regarding qualification profiles of entry-level personnel in the client's chosen career field. In instances where an individual's employment is interrupted by sudden blindness, the Vocational Rehabilitation Program will make every effort to assist the individual to return to his previous employment or to an equivalent position.

16. Vocational training will not be provided by the Vocational Rehabilitation Program for clients whose vision is restored by physical restoration to normal or near normal status. That is, clients who after the provision of physical restoration services have vision better than 20/100 distance acuity in the better eye with glasses or who are left with a visual field of more than 30 degrees in the better eye are not eligible for vocational rehabilitation sponsorship for vocational training.

17. In order for the Vocational Rehabilitation Program to continue vocational training sponsorship, the vendor or provider of such training must provide the Vocational Rehabilitation Program with periodic training reports dealing with the client's performance and progress. "Periodic" here is defined as the time period stipulated in writing by the Vocational Rehabilitation Program at the time of authorizing the service.

18. In sponsoring its clients for vocational evaluation or adjustment and vocational adjustment training at a sheltered workshop or other rehabilitation facility, the Vocational Rehabilitation Program will abide by the fee schedule developed and maintained by the Virginia Department of Rehabilitative Services (VDRS). In instances where out-of-state rehabilitation facilities are not listed in the VDRS fee schedule, the Vocational Rehabilitation Program will pay the same amount as the state vocational rehabilitation agency (agencies) pay for services.

19. Vocational Rehabilitation Program clients will be sponsored, as needed, for prevocational training services in a variety of settings. Such prevocational training consists of, but is not necessarily limited to, work adjustment training and behavior modification training.

20. The following rules apply to provision of maintenance services:

a. Hospitalization incidental to treatment of intercurrent illness is deemed by the (federal) Rehabilitation Services Administration to be maintenance; and therefore, any vocational rehabilitation client to be sponsored for hospitalization for intercurrent illness must be eligible for maintenance services as described in this section of this chapter.

b. It is the policy of the Vocational Rehabilitation Program to pay maintenance, as far as possible, at the prevailing rate in the community. Payment rates and schedules are revised as needed to keep them current.

c. Maintenance payments are provided only to enable individuals to participate in other vocational rehabilitation services. Maintenance may only be provided when supportive of other vocational rehabilitation services. Maintenance payments may be made to cover food, shelter, clothing, personal incidentals, intercurrent illness, and other subsistence expenses.

d. Maintenance payments may be provided during diagnosis and evaluation, active case services, and post-employment.

e. Payments for maintenance shall not exceed the amount of increased expenses that the rehabilitation program causes to the individual or his family.

f. Maintenance can be paid by the Vocational Rehabilitation Program for clients who reside at home during their rehabilitation programs, but only to the extent of increased costs to the client as a result of participating in the rehabilitation program. When training is outside of their home area, maintenance may be paid only to the extent of increased cost to the client after all available comparable services and benefits have been used.

g. Vocational Rehabilitation Program clients who are SSDI or SSI recipients are not eligible for maintenance payments from the Vocational Rehabilitation Program, except when there is an increased maintenance cost due to participating in a rehabilitation program. In such instances, the Vocational Rehabilitation Program may pay the difference between actual maintenance costs and the amount of the client's monthly SSDI or SSI benefits.

21. The Vocational Rehabilitation Program makes payments when necessary for transportation for vocational rehabilitation clients incidental to participating in their rehabilitation programs. The amount of payment is limited to that of the least expensive available common carrier. If common carrier service is not available in the client's locality, the Vocational Rehabilitation Program may pay up to the current amount per mile for travel by automobile which is authorized for employees of the Commonwealth of Virginia. It is the policy of the Vocational Rehabilitation Program to provide necessary transportation for eligible clients in the least expensive manner. Transportation, in the sense of relocation and moving expenses necessary for clients to enter employment, is also available to eligible individuals.

22. The Vocational Rehabilitation Program provides services to the vocational rehabilitation client's family members when necessary to the vocational rehabilitation of the client. Due to the highly individualized nature of client situations, the provision of services to family members must be considered on an individualized basis to determine the "necessity." Examples of services to client's family members include: (i) providing bookkeeping training to the client's spouse if the Vocational Rehabilitation Program intends to assist the client start a small family business and (ii) providing child care service if the client is a single parent with small children and the client's vocational rehabilitation involves vocational training or other activities requiring the client's being out of the home.

23. The Vocational Rehabilitation Program provides tactile interpreting for deaf-blind vocational rehabilitation clients when necessary for them to achieve their vocational objectives. The rate of payment, when it is necessary to purchase such tactile interpreter service, is determined in consultation with the Virginia Department for the Deaf and Hard of Hearing.

24. The Vocational Rehabilitation Program provides reader services for its clients when necessary to assist them in vocational training. The Vocational Rehabilitation Program requires that other available resources for this service be utilized before or in place of the Vocational Rehabilitation Program. The maximum number of hours per academic year for which the Vocational Rehabilitation Program will purchase this service per client is 400 hours. Rates of payment for reader service for vocational rehabilitation clients will be set by the Virginia Department for the Visually Handicapped at as nearly as possible to the federal minimum wage amount—taking into account available fiscal resources of the Vocational Rehabilitation Program.

25. The Vocational Rehabilitation Program provides rehabilitation teaching services to its clients through an arrangement with the Rehabilitation Teaching Program of the Virginia Department for the Visually Handicapped and through the Virginia Rehabilitation Center for the Blind.

26. The Vocational Rehabilitation Program discharges its responsibility of payment for note taking in academic and vocational training by providing adaptive equipment which may be used by the blind and severely visually handicapped to take notes. The equipment consists of slate and stylus, tape recorder, or braillewriter.

27. The Vocational Rehabilitation Program discharges its responsibility for provision of orientation and mobility instruction for its clients through DVH staff. The following client group priorities exist for providing orientation and mobility instruction services:

a. Clients employed or entering employment;

b. Clients in or entering vocational evaluation or vocational training;

c. Clients enrolled in personal adjustment training only; and

d. Clients having limited (restricted to home and yard) mobility needs and objectives.

At such times that DVH orientation and mobility instructors' workloads require prioritization of clients in terms of waiting periods for services, the above listed priority sequence will be followed.

28. The Vocational Rehabilitation Program provides, as necessary and as its operating budget allows, telecommunications, sensory, and other technological aids and devices for its clients to assist them to achieve their rehabilitation objectives. Due to the high cost of many such telecommunications and other sensory aids and devices, the Vocational Rehabilitation Program commits itself only to providing them when they are essential to the client's successful achievement of his rehabilitation objectives. Clients in or entering employment or vocational training are accorded first priority in the provision of such aids and devices. Any purchase of an aid or device with costs exceeding $2,000 must receive the prior approval of the Vocational Rehabilitation Program director.

29. In determining the most appropriate sensory aid to provide, the Vocational Rehabilitation Program will provide the least expensive aid or device which is determined to adequately meet the client's needs in relation to achieving his vocational goal. In instances involving the proposed provision of a closed circuit television, optical to tactile conversion system (Optacon), or other device designated by the Vocational Rehabilitation Program, a DVH low vision examination report must certify that the client does not have sufficient vision to use less expensive optical aids.

30. Clients of the Vocational Rehabilitation Program will receive necessary vocational rehabilitation services incidental to opening new employment opportunities in the fields of rehabilitation, medicine, health, welfare, public safety, law enforcement, and other appropriate public service employment.

31. Placement in suitable employment is provided by the Vocational Rehabilitation Program through designated staff members of the DVH.

32. Vocational Rehabilitation Program staff, in providing the job placement service, may assign certain tasks to the client (such as, reviewing newspaper personnel recruitment ads, contacting prospective employers to arrange for employment interviews, completing sample employment applications, etc.). Failure by the client to discharge reasonable task assignments may constitute grounds for discontinuing job placement assistance from the Vocational Rehabilitation Program.

33. Clients requesting sponsorship from the Vocational Rehabilitation Program in establishing self-employment enterprises are required to cooperate in any feasibility studies which are deemed necessary by the Vocational Rehabilitation Program. Failure to cooperate in such feasibility studies will result in termination of consideration for sponsorship.

34. Post-employment services necessary to maintain suitable employment are provided, as necessary, by the Vocational Rehabilitation Program. Any vocational rehabilitation services may be provided in post-employment status but cannot involve a complex or comprehensive rehabilitation effort unrelated to the original IWRP. Only individuals who have been served by the Vocational Rehabilitation Program in the past and have been determined to be rehabilitated can be eligible for post-employment services from the Vocational Rehabilitation Program. If the Vocational Rehabilitation Program determines that complex or comprehensive vocational rehabilitation services are necessary, the individual cannot be served in post-employment status but shall undergo determination of eligibility for vocational rehabilitation services as described in 22VAC45-50-30 A.

35. Although federal law and regulations (the Rehabilitation Act of 1973 (29 USC § 701 et seq.), as amended, and its implementing regulations) do not prescribe a specific time limit for the duration of post-employment services, it is clear from federal (Rehabilitation Services Administration) guidance that post-employment services are not to be "complex" or "comprehensive" and must be related to the original handicapping condition and IWRP. Therefore, the following rules apply for provision of post-employment services by the Vocational Rehabilitation Program:

a. To be eligible for consideration for post-employment services, the individual must have been determined within the previous 12-month period to have been rehabilitated.

b. The provision of post-employment services by the Vocational Rehabilitation Program shall not exceed 12 months in duration.

c. Individuals being assisted by the Vocational Rehabilitation Program in post-employment status shall have their post-employment services and arrangements documented via amendments to their IWRP.

36. The Vocational Rehabilitation Program will assist clients as necessary to procure occupational licenses (including any license, permit, or other written authority required by a state, city, or other governmental unit to be obtained in order to enter an occupation or enter a small business), tools, equipment, initial stocks, and supplies. Such assistance will include the payment of examinations or issuance fees.

37. The Vocational Rehabilitation Program may provide other goods and services which can reasonably be expected to benefit a handicapped individual in terms of employability.

38. Rehabilitation engineering services may be provided for disabled individuals when such services are necessary to enable the individual to access a training program or employment.

a. An evaluation to determine the need for rehabilitation engineering services may be provided as part of the thorough diagnostic evaluation, and is not based on financial need. The cost of the rehabilitation engineering service following the evaluation is based on financial need.

b. Rehabilitation engineering should be considered on an individual basis as appropriate.

c. Rehabilitation engineering is appropriate when modification of equipment or adaptive equipment is necessary to enable an individual to participate in training or employment. The vocational rehabilitation counselor must use his judgment when there is more than one alternative available for adapting or modifying equipment for training or employment or both.

d. Rehabilitation engineering services shall be entered on the individual's individualized written rehabilitation program.

22VAC45-50-90

22VAC45-50-90. Supported employment services. (Repealed.)

Supported employment is available as a vocational option to individuals who were traditionally not eligible for vocational rehabilitation services.

A. Individuals who are eligible for supported employment services are those who are blind or who are visually impaired with a second physical or mental disability, and who cannot successfully become employed without ongoing supported services.

B. Vocational rehabilitation pays for the time-limited phase of supported employment, and third party funding must be available for the ongoing phase of supported employment before vocational rehabilitation can obligate funds for the time-limited phase of supported employment.

C. Supported employment must occur in an integrated work setting. Individuals shall be employed for an average of 20 hours per week over the pay period.

22VAC45-50-100

Part IV
Program Procedures and Reviews

22VAC45-50-100. The individualized written rehabilitation program: procedures. (Repealed.)

A. It is Vocational Rehabilitation Program policy that the individual's views be taken into account and that the individualized written rehabilitation plan be jointly developed. As evidence that the individualized written rehabilitation program was jointly developed by the DVH rehabilitation counselor and the disabled individual, the rehabilitation counselor will do the following:

1. Forward a copy of the plan to the individual along with a stamped, self-addressed postcard for the individual to sign and return. The postcard states that the individual has received the copy and is aware of provisions of his plan.

2. Enter the individual's views, either in paraphrase or verbatim, regarding his rehabilitation program on the "plan of services" page of the individualized written rehabilitation program.

B. It is Vocational Rehabilitation Program policy that the DVH rehabilitation counselor inform the individual or his representative of all agency procedures and requirements affecting the development and review of the individualized written rehabilitation program.

C. At least once a year, the periodic review of the individual's individualized written rehabilitation program (IWRP) will be conducted by the rehabilitation counselor in a face-to-face interview with the individual whenever possible. The review will be conducted via telephone if a face-to-face interview is not feasible. The individual's views will always be taken into account in redeveloping the IWRP. In all cases, a written copy of the periodic review and redeveloped IWRP will be forwarded to the individual along with a stamped, self-addressed postcard for the individual to sign to indicate that he has received a copy of his updated, redeveloped IWRP and is aware of its content.

D. The vocational rehabilitation program shall fully comply with the federal regulations relating to the termination of services if an individual is determined to be no longer eligible for services. When a case is closed by the vocational rehabilitation program from active status because it has been determined that the individual no longer has rehabilitation potential, the required annual review at that time shall be conducted by a representative of the agency's program evaluation and support team (PEST) rather than the rehabilitation counselor who made the ineligibility decision.

22VAC45-50-110

22VAC45-50-110. Rates of payment. (Repealed.)

A. Reference to policies governing rates of payment may be found in the following sections of this chapter:

1. Medical fees 22VAC45-50-80 C 4;

2. College fees 22VAC45-50-80 C 13;

3. Obligation of sheltered workshops or other rehabilitation facilities for vocational evaluation and adjustment 22VAC45-50-80 C 18;

4. Maintenance 22VAC45-50-80 C 20;

5. Transportation 22VAC45-50-80 C 21;

6. Interpreter service for deaf-blind 22VAC45-50-80 C 23; and

7. Reader service 22VAC45-50-80 C 24.

B. The vendor's acceptance of an authorized fee from the medical fee schedule shall be considered a payment in full for medical services.

C. The vendor's acceptance of an authorized fee for a nonmedical service is considered payment in full for that service unless mutually agreed otherwise by the vendor, the client, and the Vocational Rehabilitation Program of the Department for Visually Handicapped.

22VAC45-50-120

Part V
Financial Participation

22VAC45-50-120. Participation by handicapped individuals in the cost of vocational rehabilitation services. (Repealed.)

A. The Virginia Department for the Visually Handicapped has elected to uniformly apply a financial needs assessment for vocational rehabilitation clients in the Commonwealth. Financial need, however, is not applied in order that clients receive the following services:

1. Reader service for clients enrolled in college or in a vocational training program;

2. Adjustment training provided at the Virginia Rehabilitation Center for the Blind in Richmond;

3. Prevocational adjustment training, such as, rehabilitation teaching, provided to vocational rehabilitation clients by the Department for the Visually Handicapped field staff;

4. Interpreter services for the deaf-blind;

5. Diagnosis and evaluation;

6. Counseling, guidance, and referral;

7. Job placement and follow-up;

8. Orientation and mobility training;

9. Summer work experience for high school and college students; and

10. The purchase of adaptive equipment for vocational training or employment, or both.

B. Those services where financial need will be assessed include:

1. Tuition for college or other training;

2. Medical treatment and physical restoration services;

3. Books and supplies;

4. Services to members of a handicapped individual's family when necessary to the vocational rehabilitation of the handicapped individual;

5. Occupational licenses, tools, equipment, and initial stock and supplies;

6. Maintenance during training;

7. Personal incidentals during training;

8. Post-employment services;

9. Telecommunications, sensory, and other technological aids and devices (when such aids and equipment are not used as adaptive devices for vocational training or employment or both;

10. Transportation; and

11. Rehabilitation engineering services when not incidental to the evaluation of rehabilitation potential.

C. Vocational rehabilitation clients will be required to utilize all available similar benefits for maintenance, training, transportation, medical treatment, and physical restoration when it is appropriate to utilize such benefits.

D. Financial eligibility will be based on the following:

1. Gross income. A uniform income level will be used for all vocational rehabilitation clients. An annual review will be made and updated as needed.

The income eligibility is based on 80% of the federal estimated median income in Virginia, which is published annually in the Federal Register. The median income levels will be reviewed on an annual basis and updated as appropriate. The chart below reflects the gross income level and liquid assets exemptions for financial eligibility as applied by the Vocational Rehabilitation Program:

[NORMAL LIVING REQUIREMENTS]

Number of Persons Depending on Income

Monthly Amounts

Annual Amounts

1

$1,313.00

$15,760.00

2

1,717.00

20,609.00

3

2,122.00

25,459.00

4

2,526.00

30,308.00

5

2,929.00

35,157.00

6

3,334.00

40,007.00

7

3,410.00

40,916.00

8

3,485.00

41,825.00

Add $300 per month for each additional person in the family, if more than eight.

2. Income from real property. Real property will not be considered for financial eligibility, but income from such property is to be considered as part of the client's gross income.

3. Liquid assets. Will be applied toward the cost of those services for which financial need is considered when the liquid assets exceed the amount established for financial eligibility.

Exemptions for Liquid Assets

Number in Family

Amount

1

$10,000.00

2

11,200.00

3

12,400.00

4

13,600.00

5

14,800.00

6

16,000.00

7

17,200.00

8

17,400.00

4. Allowable deduction.

a. Unusual medical costs. The only deductions that will be considered will be unusual medical expenses which are not of a routine nature and for which the costs will not be covered by comparable services and benefits. Medical conditions that are not considered routine are those which are acute or traumatic and which place an additional burden upon the family income and resources. Those routine medical expenses that could not be deferred would include routine doctors' visits and hospital insurance premiums.

b. Tuition costs for client or family member to attend a private or public educational facility.

When the client's gross income, liquid assets, or both exceed the financial eligibility requirement after allowable deductions have been considered, the client and his family will have to apply the excess toward the cost of those services provided by vocational rehabilitation for which there is financial need considered.

22VAC45-50-130

Part VI
Client's Rights

22VAC45-50-130. Appeal procedures. (Repealed.)

A. The Virginia Department for the Visually Handicapped affords any resident of Virginia who has a complaint pertaining to services sought or provided the right to a review and a fair hearing.

B. When an individual files a formal complaint, he will meet with the employee and his supervisor. The grievant will be reminded as to the availability of the Client Assistance Program within the Department for Rights of the Disabled to assist him in the appeals process.

C. If resolution is not reached at Step B, the assistant deputy commissioner for services meets with the grievant, his representative, the employee, and his supervisor.

D. If resolution is not reached at Step C, the grievant can request a hearing before an impartial hearing officer.

E. The impartial hearing officer will submit his decision to the commissioner of the Department for the Visually Handicapped, who can either accept or overturn the decision of the impartial hearing officer.

F. DVH vocational rehabilitation staff will inform each applicant or individual being provided vocational rehabilitation services of the procedure to file a complaint, including the names and addresses of those persons with whom to file a complaint.

22VAC45-50-140

22VAC45-50-140. Protection, use, and release of personal information. (Repealed.)

A. The Virginia Department for the Visually Handicapped's Vocational Rehabilitation Program considers all personal information about prospective clients, current clients, and past clients as confidential information.

B. Individuals referred for vocational rehabilitation services will receive an explanation at intake of the confidentiality of personal information including:

1. The need for confidential information;

2. Conditions for accessing and releasing this information;

3. The authority under which confidential information is collected;

4. The principle purpose for which DVH will use or release the information;

5. Explanation of whether information the client is providing is mandatory or voluntary and the effects of not providing the information;

6. Identification of those situations where the agency does or does not require the client's written permission to release the information; and

7. Identification of agencies to which information is routinely released.

C. Explanation of policies and procedures affecting personal information will be made by appropriate media by DVH's Vocational Rehabilitation Program to individuals who do not communicate in English or who rely on special modes of communication.

D. Policies and procedures concerning protection, use, and release of personal information will be utilized to provide the highest standard for confidentiality which is provided for in federal or state law.

E. DVH's Vocational Rehabilitation Program will use personal information only for purposes directly connected with the administration of the Vocational Rehabilitation Program. Information containing identifiable personal information will not be shared by DVH's Vocational Rehabilitation Program with advisory or other bodies which do not have official responsibility for the administration of the program.

F. When requested in writing, DVH/Vocational Rehabilitation Program will make all case information promptly available to the individual or his representative.

G. Personal information obtained by DVH's Vocational Rehabilitation Program from other agencies or organizations will be released only by, or under conditions established by, the other agency or organization.

H. DVH's Vocational Rehabilitation Program will release personal information to an organization, agency, or individual for audit, evaluation, or research when such endeavors are directly connected with the administration of the Vocational Rehabilitation Program, when it would significantly improve the quality of life for the visually handicapped individual, and if assurances are given that:

1. The information will be used only for the purposes for which it is being provided.

2. The information will be released only to persons officially connected with the audit, evaluation, or research.

3. The information will not be released to the individual involved.

4. The information will be managed in a manner to safeguard confidentiality.

5. The final product will not reveal any identifying personal information without the informed, written consent of the involved individual or his representative.

I. DVH's Vocational Rehabilitation Program releases personal information to other agencies or organizations for program purposes only if they demonstrate that the information is necessary for their program and upon receipt of informed, written consent of the individual.

J. Medical or psychological information which is determined by a physician or psychologist to be harmful to the individual may be released when the other agency or organization assures DVH that the information will be used only for the purpose for which it is provided and that it will not be released to the involved individual.

K. DVH's Vocational Rehabilitation Program will release any personal information required:

1. To fulfill federal law;

2. To fulfill court order or in response to a law-enforcement investigation of fraud or abuse (except where expressly prohibited by federal law); and

3. To protect the individual or others when the individual poses a threat to the safety of himself or others.

L. Upon the request of the U.S. Secretary of Education or his designee, the DVH's Vocational Rehabilitation Program will release to the secretary or his designee a complete and certified copy of the case record including transcripts of the fair hearing decision for the purpose of the secretary's review of the final decision.

22VAC45-50-150

22VAC45-50-150. Periodic review of extended employment in rehabilitation facilities. (Repealed.)

The Virginia Department for the Visually Handicapped annually reviews and reevaluates the status of handicapped clients it has placed in employment in rehabilitation facilities to determine their potential for placement or training for future placement in the competitive labor market. These reviews and reevaluations are conducted by administrative staff. Where potential for competitive labor market placement or training is found, a referral is made to the appropriate rehabilitation counselor.

22VAC45-50-9998

FORMS (22VAC45-50)

Terms and Conditions for DVH Sponsored College Students, DVH-04-037A (eff. 4/94).

22VAC45-51

CHAPTER 51
REGULATIONS GOVERNING PROVISION OF SERVICES IN VOCATIONAL REHABILITATION

22VAC45-51-10

22VAC45-51-10. Definitions.

The following words and terms when used in this chapter shall have the following meanings, unless the context clearly states otherwise:

"Applicant" means an individual who submits an application for vocational rehabilitation services.

"Appropriate modes of communication" means specialized aids and supports that enable an individual with a disability to comprehend and respond to information that is being communicated. Appropriate modes of communication include, but are not limited to, the use of interpreters, open and closed captioned videos, specialized telecommunication services and audio recordings, Brailed and large print materials, materials in electronic formats, augmentative communication devices, graphic presentations, and simple language materials.

"Assistive technology device" means any item, piece of equipment, or product system, whether acquired commercially off the shelf, modified, or customized, that is used to increase, maintain, or improve the functional capabilities of an individual with a disability.

"Assistive technology service" means any service that directly assists an individual with a disability in the selection, acquisition, or use of an assistive technology device including:

1. The evaluation of the needs of an individual with a disability, including a functional evaluation of the individual in his customary environment;

2. Purchasing, leasing, or otherwise providing for the acquisition by an individual with a disability of an assistive technology device;

3. Selecting, designing, fitting, customizing, adapting, applying, maintaining, repairing, or replacing assistive technology devices;

4. Coordinating and using other therapies, interventions, or services with assistive technology devices, such as those associated with existing educational and rehabilitation plans and programs;

5. Training or technical assistance for an individual with a disability or, if appropriate, the family members, guardians, advocates, or authorized representatives of the individual; and

6. Training or technical assistance for professionals (including individuals providing education and rehabilitation services), employers, or others who provide services to, employ, or are otherwise substantially involved in the major life functions of individuals with disabilities to the extent that training or technical assistance is necessary to the achievement of an employment outcome by an individual with a disability.

"Blind" means having not better than 20/200 central visual acuity in the better eye measured at 20 feet with correcting lenses or having visual acuity greater than 20/200 but with the widest diameter of the visual field in the better eye subtending an angle of no greater than 20 degrees, measured at a distance of 33 centimeters using a three-millimeter white-test object, a Goldman III-4e target, or other equivalent equipment. Such blindness shall be certified by a duly licensed physician or optometrist. (§ 51.5-60 of the Code of Virginia)

"Client assistance program" means the program located within the disAbility Law Center of Virginia for the purpose of advising applicants or eligible individuals about all available services under the Rehabilitation Act, as amended by the Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act of 2014 (29 USC § 3101 et seq.), as amended, and to assist them in their relationship with programs, projects, and facilities providing rehabilitation services.

"Community rehabilitation program" means a program that provides directly or facilitates the provision of one or more of the allowable vocational rehabilitation services to individuals with disabilities to enable those individuals to maximize their opportunities for employment, including career advancement.

"Comparable services and benefits" means services and benefits that are (i) provided or paid for, in whole or in part, by other federal, state, or local public agencies, by health insurance, or by employee benefits; (ii) available to the individual at the time needed to ensure the progress of the individual toward achieving the employment outcome in the individual's individualized plan for employment and (iii) commensurate to the services that the individual would otherwise receive from the designated state vocational rehabilitation agency. For the purposes of this definition, comparable benefits do not include awards and scholarships based on merit.

"Competitive employment" means work in the competitive labor market that is performed on a full-time or part-time basis in an integrated setting and for which an individual is compensated at or above the minimum wage, but not less than the customary wage and level of benefits paid by the employer for the same or similar work performed by individuals who are not disabled.

"DBVI" means the Department for the Blind and Vision Impaired.

"Eligible individual" means an applicant for vocational rehabilitation services who meets the eligibility requirements in 22VAC45-51-40.

"Employment outcome" means, with respect to an individual, entering or retaining full-time or, if appropriate, part-time competitive employment in the integrated labor market to the greatest extent practicable, supported employment, or any other type of employment, including self-employment, telecommuting, or business ownership, that is consistent with an individual's strengths, resources, priorities, concerns, abilities, capabilities, interests, and informed choice.

"Extended employment" means work in a nonintegrated or sheltered setting for a public or private nonprofit agency or organization that provides compensation in accordance with the Fair Labor Standards Act (29 USC § 201 et seq.) and any needed support services to an individual with a disability to enable the individual to continue to train or otherwise prepare for competitive employment, unless the individual through informed choice chooses to remain in extended employment.

"Extended services," as used in the definition of "supported employment," means ongoing support services and other appropriate services that are needed to support and maintain an individual with a most significant disability in supported employment and that are provided by a state agency, a private nonprofit organization, an employer, or any other appropriate resource from funds other than funds received under 34 CFR Part 361 and 34 CFR Part 363 after an individual with a most significant disability has made the transition from support provided by DBVI.

"Family member" for the purposes of receiving vocational rehabilitation services means an individual who is either a relative or guardian of an applicant or eligible individual or lives in the same household as an applicant or eligible individual who has a substantial interest in the well-being of that individual and whose receipt of vocational rehabilitation services is necessary to enable the applicant or eligible individual to achieve an employment outcome.

"Financial need test" means the test developed by DBVI and used to consider the financial need of applicants or eligible individuals with blindness or visual impairment for the purpose of determining the extent of their participation in the costs of vocational rehabilitation services.

"Impartial hearing officer" means an individual who is not an employee of a public agency other than an administrative law judge, hearing examiner, or employee of an institution of higher education; is not a member of the State Rehabilitation Council for the Blind and Vision Impaired; has not been involved previously in the vocational rehabilitation of the applicant or eligible individual; has knowledge of the delivery of vocational rehabilitation services, the state plan, and the federal and state regulations governing the provision of services; has received training with respect to the performance of official duties; and has no personal, professional, or financial interest that would be in conflict with the objectivity of the individual. An individual is not considered to be an employee of DBVI for the purposes of this definition solely because the individual is paid by the DBVI to serve as a hearing officer (34 CFR 361.5(b)(25)).

"Individual's representative" means any representative chosen by an applicant or eligible individual, as appropriate, including a parent, guardian, other family member, or advocate, unless a representative has been appointed by a court to represent the individual, in which case the court-appointed representative is the individual's representative.

"Individual with a most significant disability" means an individual who has no functional vision or is significantly visually impaired; has a secondary disability that profoundly limits two or more life activities, such as mobility, communication, self-care, interpersonal skills, self-direction, work tolerance, or work skills in terms of achieving an employment outcome; and the individual's vocational rehabilitation is expected to require three or more vocational rehabilitation services for one year or more.

"Individual with a significant disability" means the significant visual impairment does not enable the individual to obtain a driver's license in Virginia with normal correction; "seriously limits" one or more life activities, such as mobility, communication, self-care, interpersonal skills, self-direction, work tolerance, or work skills, in terms of achieving an employment outcome; and the individual's vocational rehabilitation shall  require two or more substantial vocational rehabilitation services for a minimum of three months.

"Individualized plan for employment" or "IPE" means a unique plan for employment that is customized for each eligible individual receiving vocational rehabilitation services.

"Integrated setting," with respect to the provision of services, means a setting typically found in the community in which applicants or eligible individuals interact with nondisabled individuals, other than nondisabled individuals who are providing services to those applicants or eligible individuals, to the same extent that nondisabled individuals in comparable positions interact with other persons.

"Maintenance" means monetary support provided to an individual for expenses, such as food, shelter, and clothing, that are in excess of the normal expenses of the individual and that are necessitated by the individual's participation in an assessment for determining eligibility and  vocational rehabilitation services under an individualized plan for employment.

"Mediation" means the act or process of using an independent third party to act as a mediator, intermediary, or conciliator to assist persons or parties in settling differences or disputes prior to pursuing formal administrative or other remedies.

"One-stop center" means a center designed to provide a full range of assistance to job seekers under one roof. Established under the Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act of 2014 (29 USC § 3101 et seq.), the centers offer training, career counseling, job listings, and similar employment-related services.

"On-the-job training" means job training received in a real work environment for individuals who are job ready.

"Ophthalmologist" means a physician specializing in diseases of the eye.

"Optometrist" means any person practicing the profession of optometry as defined by § 54.1-3200 of the the Code of Virginia and regulations of the Board of Optometry (18VAC105-20).

"Order of selection" means the order defined in the state plan for vocational rehabilitation services that DBVI shall follow in selecting eligible individuals to be provided vocational rehabilitation services when DBVI determines that it is unable to provide the full range of vocational rehabilitation services to all eligible individuals.

"Personal assistance services" means a range of services provided by one or more persons designed to assist an individual with a disability to perform daily living activities on or off the job that the individual would typically perform without assistance if the individual did not have a disability. The services shall be designed to increase the individual's control in life and ability to perform everyday activities on or off the job. These services shall be necessary to the achievement of an employment outcome and may be provided only while the individual is receiving other vocational rehabilitation services. These services may include training in managing, supervising, and directing personal assistance services.

"Personal information" means all information that describes, locates, or indexes anything about an individual including (i) social security number, driver's license number, agency-issued identification number, student identification number, or real or personal property holdings derived from tax returns and (ii) education, financial transactions, medical history, or employment record.

"Post-employment services" means one or more of the services identified in 22VAC45-51-80 that are provided subsequent to the achievement of an employment outcome and that are necessary for an individual to maintain, regain, or advance in employment, consistent with the individual's strengths, resources, priorities, concerns, abilities, capabilities, interests, and informed choice.

"Profoundly limits" means the individual is unable to use vision (with or without visual aids) to assist him in performing such functions as mobility, communication, self-care, interpersonal skills, self-direction, work tolerance, or work skills and the individual has not acquired the adaptive skills to compensate for the lack of functional vision.

"Qualified and impartial mediator" means an individual who is not an employee of a public agency other than an administrative law judge, hearing examiner, employee of a state office of mediators, or employee of an institution of higher education; is not a member of the State Rehabilitation Council for the Blind and Vision Impaired; has not been involved previously in the vocational rehabilitation of the applicant or eligible individual; is knowledgeable of the vocational rehabilitation program and the applicable federal and state laws, regulations, and policies governing the provision of vocational rehabilitation services; has been trained in effective mediation techniques consistent with any state-approved or recognized certification, licensing, registration, or other requirements; and has no personal, professional, or financial interest that would be in conflict with the objectivity of the individual during the mediation proceedings.  An individual serving as a mediator is not considered to be an employee of DBVI for the purposes of this definition solely because the individual is paid by DBVI to serve as a mediator.

"Rehabilitation technology" means the systematic application of technologies, engineering methodologies, or scientific principles to meet the needs of, and address the barriers confronted by, individuals with disabilities in areas that include education, rehabilitation, employment, transportation, independent living, and recreation. The term includes rehabilitation engineering, assistive technology devices, and assistive technology services.

"Seriously limits" means an individual has some functional vision (with or without visual aids) that is used by the individual in performing such functions as mobility, communication, self-care, interpersonal skills, self-direction, work tolerance, or work skills and the individual has not acquired the adaptive skills to compensate for the limited functional vision.

"Significant visual impairment" means vision worse than 20/70 in the better eye with correction or a field of vision restricted to less than 70 degrees in the better eye.

"Supported employment" means (i) competitive work in an integrated setting or employment in integrated work settings in which individuals are working toward competitive employment, consistent with the strengths, resources, priorities, concerns, abilities, capabilities, interests, and informed choice of the individual with ongoing support services for individuals with the most significant disabilities for whom competitive employment has not traditionally occurred or for whom competitive employment has been interrupted or intermittent as a result of a significant disability, and who, because of the nature and severity of their disabilities, need intensive supported employment services from DBVI and extended services after transition to perform this work or (ii) transitional employment for individuals with the most significant disabilities due to mental illness.

"Transition services" means a coordinated set of activities for a student designed within an outcome-oriented process that promotes movement from school to post-school activities, including post-secondary education, vocational training, and integrated employment (including supported employment), continuing adult education, adult services, independent living, or community participation.

"Transportation" means travel and related expenses that are necessary to enable an applicant or eligible individual to participate in a vocational rehabilitation service, including expenses for training in the use of public transportation vehicles and systems.

"Vocational rehabilitation services" or "services" means goods and services that are available to assist the individual with a disability in preparing for, securing, retaining, or regaining an employment outcome that is consistent with the individual's strengths, resources, priorities, concerns, abilities, capabilities, interests, and informed choice as described in 22VAC45-51-70 and 34 CFR 361.48.

"Work adjustment training" means a training process utilizing individual and group work or work-related activities to assist individuals in understanding the meaning, value, and demands of work; to modify or develop attitudes, personal characteristics, and work behavior; and to develop functional capacities, as required, in order to assist individuals toward their optimum level of vocational development.

22VAC45-51-20

22VAC45-51-20. Protection, use, and release of personal information (34 CFR 361.38).

A. General provisions. DBVI shall safeguard the confidentiality of all personal information, including photographs and lists of names to ensure that:

1. Current and stored personal information is protected;

2. All applicants and eligible individuals and, as appropriate, those individuals' representatives, service providers, cooperating agencies, and interested persons are informed through appropriate modes of communication of the confidentiality of personal information and the conditions for accessing and releasing this information;

3. All applicants or their representatives are informed about DBVI's need to collect personal information and the policies governing its use including:

a. The purposes for which DBVI intends to use or release the information;

b. An explanation of whether providing requested information is mandatory or voluntary and the effects of not providing requested information;

c. Identification of those situations in which DBVI requires or does not require the informed written consent of the individual before information may be released; and

d. Identification of other agencies to which information is routinely released; and

4. An explanation of DBVI policies and procedures affecting personal information shall be provided to each individual in that individual's native language or through the appropriate mode of communication.

B. All personal information in the possession of DBVI shall be used only for the purposes directly connected with the administration of the DBVI vocational rehabilitation program. Information containing identifiable personal information shall not be shared with advisory or other bodies that do not have official responsibility for the administration of the program. In the administration of the program, DBVI may obtain personal information from service providers and cooperating agencies under assurances that the information shall not be further disclosed except as described in subsection A of this section.

C. Release to applicants and eligible individuals.

1. When requested in writing, DBVI shall make all requested information in that individual's record of vocational rehabilitation services accessible to and shall release the information to the individual or the individual's representative promptly.

2. Medical, psychological, or other information that DBVI determines may be harmful to the individual shall not be released directly to the individual but shall be provided to the individual through a third party chosen by the individual, which may include an advocate, family member, or medical or mental health professional. If a representative has been appointed by a court to represent the individual, the information shall be released to the court-appointed representative.

3. Personal information obtained by DBVI from another agency or organization may be released only by, or under conditions established by, the other agency or organization.

D. Release for audit, evaluation, and research. DBVI may release personal information to an organization, agency, or individual engaged in audit, evaluation, or research only for purposes directly connected with the administration of the vocational rehabilitation program, or for purposes that would significantly improve the quality of life for applicants and eligible individuals and only if the organization, agency, or individual assures that:

1. The information shall be used only for the purposes for which it is being provided;

2. The information shall be released only to persons officially connected with the audit, evaluation, or research;

3. The information shall not be released to the involved individual;

4. The information shall be managed in a manner to safeguard confidentiality; and

5. The final product shall not reveal any identifying personal information without the informed written consent of the involved individual or the individual's representative.

E. Release to other programs or authorities.

1. Upon written consent of the individual or, if appropriate, the individual's representative, DBVI shall release personal information to another agency or organization for its program purposes only to the extent that the information shall be released to the involved individual or the individual's representative and only to the extent that the other agency or organization demonstrates that the information is necessary for its program.

2. Medical or psychological information that DBVI determines may be harmful to the individual shall be released if the other agency or organization assures DBVI that the information shall be used only for the purpose for which it is being provided and that it shall not be further released to the individual.

F. DBVI shall release any personal information required by federal and state laws or regulations.

G. DBVI shall release personal information in response to investigations in connection with law enforcement, fraud, or abuse, unless expressly prohibited by federal or state laws or regulations, and in response to an order issued by a judge, magistrate, or other authorized judicial officer.

H. DBVI shall also release personal information in order to protect the individual or others if the individual poses a threat to his safety or to the safety of others.

I. DBVI shall release to the Governor or his designee a complete and certified copy of the case record including transcripts of a fair hearing decision for the purpose of the Governor's review of an impartial hearing officer's final decision when one of the parties to a fair hearing requests a review.

22VAC45-51-30

22VAC45-51-30. Processing referrals and application.

A. DBVI has established and implemented standards for the prompt and equitable handling of applications of individuals for vocational rehabilitation services. These standards include timelines for making good faith efforts to inform individuals of application requirements and to gather information necessary to initiate an assessment for determining eligibility and priority for services.

1. An individual shall be considered to have submitted an application for vocational rehabilitation services from DBVI when the individual or the individual's representative, as appropriate:

a. Has completed and signed a DBVI vocational rehabilitation services application form, which is available at the six DBVI regional offices, DBVI Headquarters, and on the DBVI website;

b. Has completed a common intake application form in a one-stop center requesting vocational rehabilitation services; or

c. Has otherwise requested vocational rehabilitation services from DBVI; and

2. Has provided to DBVI information necessary to initiate an assessment to determine eligibility and priority for vocational rehabilitation services; and

3. Is available to complete the assessment process.

B. Once an individual has submitted an application for vocational rehabilitation services, including applications made through common intake procedures in one-stop centers established under § 121 of the Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act of 2014, an eligibility determination shall be made within 60 days, unless (i) exceptional and unforeseen circumstances beyond the control of DBVI preclude making a determination within 60 days, and DBVI and the individual agree to a specific extension of time or (ii) an exploration of the individual's abilities, capabilities, and capacity to perform in work situations is carried out in accordance with 22VAC45-51-40 or, if appropriate, an extended evaluation is necessary.

22VAC45-51-40

22VAC45-51-40. Eligibility for vocational rehabilitation services.

A. The DBVI Vocational Rehabilitation Program shall serve only individuals who are blind or who have significant visual impairment and have attained the age of 14 years. DBVI and the Virginia Department for Aging and Rehabilitative Services shall identify client populations served by each agency through a cooperative agreement.

B. Any qualified applicant residing in Virginia shall be served by the DBVI Vocational Rehabilitation Program. Services may be provided to otherwise qualified non-U.S. citizens who can produce a permanent or working visa, or their green card registration number. Copies of these documents shall be retained in the applicant's case service record.

C. DBVI shall conduct an initial assessment to determine whether an applicant is eligible for vocational rehabilitation services and to determine the individual's priority under an order of selection for services if DBVI is operating under an order of selection pursuant to 22VAC45-51-60. The initial assessment must be conducted in the most integrated setting possible, consistent with the individual's needs and informed choice. The applicant for vocational rehabilitation services may use a qualified service provider of his choice in obtaining necessary assessments to determine eligibility for services and priority for services.

D. Qualified applicants shall be assessed as meeting the following eligibility criteria to receive vocational rehabilitation services from DBVI:

1. The applicant shall meet the criteria of being blind or visually impaired through one or more of the following:

a. The individual has a visual impairment that results in functional limitations related to obtaining, regaining, or maintaining employment and causes the individual to require the specialized services available through DBVI;

b. The individual has a rapidly progressive eye condition that, in the opinion of a qualified ophthalmologist, will cause the individual to experience functional limitations related to obtaining, regaining, or maintaining employment and causes the individual to require the specialized services available through DBVI, or

c. The individual is in a situation where eye treatment or surgery, or both, are recommended and there are functional limitations in performing employment duties.

2. The individual's blindness or visual impairment shall constitute or result in a substantial impediment to employment.

3. The individual shall require vocational rehabilitation services to prepare for, secure, retain, or regain employment.

4. The individual shall be able to benefit in terms of an employment outcome from the provision of vocational rehabilitation services.

E. Applicants who are unemployed, underemployed, or in unstable employment as determined by the DBVI vocational rehabilitation counselor meet the requirement that there exists a substantial impediment to employment.

F. A beneficiary of social security benefits due to blindness under Title II or XVI of the Social Security Act shall be presumed eligible for DBVI vocational rehabilitation services under subsection D of this section provided the individual intends to achieve an employment outcome consistent with the unique strengths, resources, priorities, concerns, abilities, capabilities, interests, and informed choice of the individual.

G. Vocational rehabilitation services shall not be provided to a potentially eligible individual on the basis of an interim determination of eligibility.

22VAC45-51-50

22VAC45-51-50. Comprehensive assessment of qualifications for individualized plans of employment.

Once it is determined that an individual is eligible for DBVI vocational rehabilitation services, to the extent additional data are necessary to make a determination of the employment outcomes and the nature and scope of vocational rehabilitation services to be included in the individualized plan for employment of an eligible individual, a comprehensive assessment shall be conducted to determine the unique strengths, resources, priorities, concerns, abilities, capabilities, interests, and informed choice, including the need for supported employment, of the individual. This comprehensive assessment:

1. Shall be limited to information that is necessary to identify the rehabilitation needs of the individual and to develop the individualized plan of employment of the eligible individual.

2. Shall be used as a primary source of information to the maximum extent possible, as appropriate, and in accordance with confidentiality requirements may include:

a. Existing information obtained for the purposes of determining the eligibility of the individual and assigning priority for an order of selection for the individual; and

b. Information that can be provided by the individual and, if appropriate, by the family of the individual.

3. May include, to the degree needed to make such a determination, an assessment of the personality, interests, interpersonal skills, intelligence and related functional capacities, educational achievements, work experience, vocational aptitude, personal and social adjustments, and employment opportunities of the individual and the medical, psychiatric, psychological, and other pertinent vocational, educational, cultural, social, recreational, and environmental factors that affect the employment and rehabilitation needs of the individual.

4. May include, to the degree needed, an appraisal of the patterns of work behavior of the individual and vocational rehabilitation services needed for the individual to acquire occupational skills and to develop work attitudes, work habits, work tolerance, and social and behavior patterns necessary for successful job performance, including the use of work in a real job situation to assess and develop the capacities of the individual to perform adequately in a work environment.

5. May include referral for the provision of rehabilitation technology services to the individual to assess and develop the capacities of the individual to perform in a work environment.

6. May include an exploration of the individual's abilities, capabilities, and capacity to perform in work situations, which must be assessed periodically during trial work experiences, including experiences in which the individual is provided appropriate supports and training.

22VAC45-51-60

22VAC45-51-60. Order of selection for services.

A. When DBVI is unable to serve all potentially eligible individuals due to insufficient funds, an order of selection for vocational rehabilitation services shall be implemented. The order of selection shall consist of a group of categories that designate who shall be served first based on:

1. The individual's blindness or visual impairment including secondary disabling conditions;

2. Whether the individual's blindness or visual impairment profoundly or significantly limits one or more life activities such as mobility, communication, self-care, interpersonal skills, self-direction, work tolerance, or work skills in terms of achieving an employment outcome; and

3. The number of vocational rehabilitation services required over an extended period of time.

B. When an order of selection must be instituted, DBVI shall:

1. Consult with the State Rehabilitation Council for the Blind and Vision Impaired regarding (i) the need to establish an order of selection, (ii) establishment of categories in the order of selection, (iii) establishment of criteria for each category, and (iv) administration of the order of selection;

2. Conduct a public hearing prior to implementation of the order of selection;

3. Continue to provide services to all individuals currently receiving services under an individualized plan for employment;

4. Provide assessment services to determine eligibility for individuals who apply for services;

5. Provide referral services to individuals who apply for services;

6. Identify service and outcome goals and the time within which the goals may be achieved for individuals in each priority category within the order; and

7. Assure that:

a. Individuals with the most significant disabilities shall be selected first for the provision of vocational rehabilitation services; and

b. Individuals who do not meet the criteria for the categories being served shall have access to services provided through the information and referral system.

22VAC45-51-70

22VAC45-51-70. Scope of vocational rehabilitation services for individuals who are blind or vision impaired.

The following vocational rehabilitation services shall be available to assist individuals who are blind or visually impaired in preparing for, securing, retaining, or regaining an employment outcome that is consistent with the individual's strengths, resources, priorities, concerns, abilities, capabilities, interests, and informed choice:

1. An initial assessment for determining eligibility and priority for vocational rehabilitation services conducted by a DBVI vocational rehabilitation counselor, including, if appropriate, an initial assessment in rehabilitation technology;

2. A comprehensive assessment for determining vocational rehabilitation needs conducted by a DBVI vocational rehabilitation counselor, including, if appropriate, an assessment by other DBVI staff skilled in rehabilitation technology;

3. Vocational rehabilitation counseling and guidance, including information and support services to assist an individual in exercising informed choice;

4. Referrals and other services necessary to assist applicants and eligible individuals to secure needed services from other agencies, including other components of the statewide workforce investment system and to advise those individuals about the client assistance program established within the disAbility Law Center of Virginia;

5. Physical and mental restoration services, to the extent that financial support is not readily available from a source other than DBVI, such as through health insurance or other comparable services and benefits;

6. Vocational and other training services, including personal and vocational adjustment training, books, tools, and other training materials, except for training or training services in an institution of higher education (i.e., universities, colleges, community colleges, junior colleges, vocational schools, technical institutes, or hospital schools of nursing), that may be paid for with funds under this chapter only if maximum efforts have been made by DBVI and the individual to secure grant assistance in whole or in part from other sources to pay for that training and they are not available;

7. Maintenance, as defined in 22VAC45-51-10;

8. Transition services, which are a coordinated set of activities based on the individual student's needs, taking into account the student's preferences and interests, and including instruction, community experiences, development of employment and other post-secondary adult living objectives and, if appropriate, acquisition of daily living skills and functional vocational evaluation. Transition services must promote or facilitate the achievement of the employment outcome identified in the student's individualized plan for employment (34 CFR 361.5(b)(55));

9. Transportation, as defined in 22VAC45-51-10;

10. Vocational rehabilitation services to family members as defined in 22VAC45-51-10 if necessary to enable the applicant or eligible individual to achieve an employment outcome;

11. Interpreter services, including sign language and oral interpreter services, for individuals who are deaf or hard of hearing and tactile interpreting services for individuals who are deafblind;

12. Reader services, rehabilitation teaching services, and orientation and mobility services for individuals who are blind;

13. Job-related services, including job search and placement assistance, job retention services, follow-up services, and follow-along services;

14. Supported employment services as defined in 22VAC45-51-10;

15. Personal assistance services as defined in 22VAC45-51-10;

16. Post-employment services as defined in 22VAC45-51-10;

17. Occupational licenses, tools, equipment, initial stocks, and supplies;

18. Rehabilitation technology as defined in 22VAC45-51-10 including vehicular modification, telecommunications, sensory, and other technology aids and services;

19. Transition services as defined in 22VAC45-51-10;

20. Technical assistance and other consultation services to conduct market analyses and develop business plans for individuals who are pursuing self-employment or telecommuting or establishing a small business operation as an employment outcome; and

21. Other goods and services determined necessary for the individual who is blind or visually impaired to achieve an employment outcome.

22VAC45-51-80

22VAC45-51-80. Development of the individualized plan for employment.

A. General requirements.

1. As described in 22VAC45-51-50, DBVI shall conduct an assessment for determining vocational rehabilitation needs, if appropriate, for each eligible individual, or if DBVI is operating under an order of selection, for each eligible individual to whom DBVI is able to provide vocational rehabilitation services. The purpose of the assessment is to determine the employment outcome and the nature and scope of vocational rehabilitation services to be included in the individualized plan for employment.

2. The IPE shall be developed and implemented within 90 days for each individual determined eligible for vocational rehabilitation services, or if DBVI is operating under an order of selection, for each eligible individual to whom DBVI is able to provide vocational rehabilitation services. DBVI shall take into consideration the needs of the individual and if an IPE cannot be developed within 90 days because a vocational goal cannot yet be established, DBVI and the individual shall agree upon an extension.

3. Vocational rehabilitation services shall be provided in accordance with the provisions of the IPE.

4. The IPE shall:

a. Be designed to achieve the specific employment outcome selected by the individual consistent with the individual's unique strengths, resources, priorities, concerns, abilities, capabilities, interests, and informed choice; and

b. To the maximum extent appropriate, result in employment in an integrated setting.

B. Required information. DBVI shall provide information to each eligible individual or, as appropriate, the individual's representative, in writing and, if appropriate, in the native language or mode of communication of the individual or the individual's representative, including:

1. Available options for developing the IPE, including the option that an eligible individual or, as appropriate, the individual's representative may develop all or part of the IPE:

a. Without assistance from DBVI or other entity; or

b. With assistance from:

(1) A DBVI vocational rehabilitation counselor;

(2) A vocational rehabilitation counselor who is not employed by DBVI; and

(3) Resources other than those in subdivisions 1 b (1) and 1 b (2) of this subsection.

2. Additional information to assist the eligible individual or, as appropriate, the individual's representative in developing the IPE, including:

a. Information describing the full range of components that shall be included in an IPE;

b. As appropriate to each eligible individual:

(1) An explanation of DBVI guidelines and criteria for determining an eligible individual's financial commitments under an IPE;

(2) Information on the availability of assistance in completing DBVI forms required as a part of the IPE; and

(3) Additional information that the eligible individual requests or DBVI determines to be necessary to the development of the IPE.

c. A description of the rights and remedies available to the individual including recourse to the processes for review of DBVI determinations described in 22VAC45-51-140; and

d. A description of availability of the client assistance program within the disAbility Law Center of Virginia and information on how to contact that office.

C. IPE requirements:

1. The IPE shall be a written document prepared on forms provided by DBVI.

2. The IPE shall be developed and implemented in a manner that gives individuals the opportunity to exercise informed choice in selecting:

a. The employment outcome, including the employment setting;

b. The specific vocational rehabilitation services to achieve the employment outcome, including the settings in which vocational rehabilitation services will be provided;

c. The entity or entities that will provide the vocational rehabilitation services; and

d. The methods available for procuring the vocational rehabilitation services.

3. The IPE shall be:

a. Agreed to and signed by the eligible individual or, as appropriate, the individual's representative; and

b. Approved and signed by a DBVI vocational rehabilitation counselor.

4. DBVI shall provide a copy of the IPE and a copy of amendments to the IPE to the eligible individual or, as appropriate, to the individual's representative, in writing and, if appropriate, in the native language or mode of communication of the individual or, as appropriate, the individual's representative.

5. The IPE shall be reviewed at least annually by a DBVI vocational rehabilitation counselor and the eligible individual or, as appropriate, the individual's representative to assess the eligible individual's progress in achieving the identified employment outcome.

6. The IPE shall be amended, as necessary, by the individual or, as appropriate, the individual's representative, in collaboration with a DBVI vocational rehabilitation counselor (to the extent determined to be appropriate by the individual) if there are substantive changes in the employment outcome, the vocational rehabilitation services to be provided, or the providers of the vocational rehabilitation services.

7. Amendments to the IPE shall not take effect until agreed to and signed by the individual or, as appropriate, the individual's representative and by a DBVI vocational rehabilitation counselor.

8. The IPE for a student with a disability who is receiving special education services shall be developed:

a. In consideration of the student's individualized education plan; and

b. In accordance with the plans, policies, procedures, and terms of the interagency agreement between DBVI and the Virginia Department of Education designed to facilitate the transition of students who are blind or vision impaired from school to the receipt of vocational rehabilitation services.

9. Content of the IPE. Each IPE shall include:

a. A description of the specific employment outcome chosen by the eligible individual that is:

(1) Consistent with the individual's unique strengths, resources, priorities, concerns, abilities, capabilities, career interests, and informed choice; and

(2) To the maximum extent appropriate, results in employment in an integrated setting.

b. A description of the specific vocational rehabilitation services under 22VAC45-51-70 that are:

(1) Needed to achieve the employment outcome, including, as appropriate, the provision of assistive technology devices, assistive technology services, and personal assistance services, including training and management of those services; and

(2) Provided in the most integrated setting that is appropriate for the vocational rehabilitation services involved and is consistent with the informed choice of the eligible individual.

c. Timelines for the achievement of the employment outcome and for the initiation of vocational rehabilitation services.

d. A description of the entity or entities chosen by the eligible individual or, as appropriate, the individual's representative that shall provide the vocational rehabilitation services and the methods used to procure those vocational rehabilitation services.

e. A description of the criteria used to evaluate progress toward achievement of the employment outcome.

f. The terms and conditions of the IPE, including, as appropriate, information describing:

(1) The responsibilities of DBVI;

(2) The responsibilities of the eligible individual, including:

(a) The responsibilities the individual shall assume in relation to achieving the employment outcome;

(b) If applicable, the extent of the individual's participation in paying for the cost of vocational rehabilitation services; and

(c) The responsibility of the individual with regard to applying for and securing comparable services and benefits as defined in 22VAC45-51-10; and

(3) The services received by the individual from other comparable services and benefits as defined in 22VAC45-51-10.

10. Post-employment services. The IPE for each individual shall contain, as determined to be necessary, statements concerning:

a. The expected need for post-employment services prior to closing the record of vocational rehabilitation services of an individual who has achieved an employment outcome;

b. A description of the terms and conditions for the provision of any post-employment service; and

c. If appropriate, a statement of how post-employment services shall be provided or arranged through other comparable services and benefits as defined in 22VAC45-51-10.

22VAC45-51-90

22VAC45-51-90. Provision of services for individuals who are blind or visually impaired.

The provision of vocational rehabilitation services shall be based on the rehabilitation needs of each individual as identified in that individual's IPE and shall be consistent with the individual's informed choice. DBVI shall not place arbitrary limits on the nature and scope of vocational rehabilitation services to be provided to the individual to achieve an employment outcome:

1. In-state vocational rehabilitation services shall be preferred provided that the preference does not effectively deny an individual a necessary vocational rehabilitation service. If the individual chooses an out-of-state vocational rehabilitation service at a higher cost than an in-state vocational rehabilitation service and if either vocational rehabilitation service would meet the individual's rehabilitation needs, DBVI shall not be responsible for those costs in excess of the cost of the in-state vocational rehabilitation service.

2. DBVI shall maintain written policies governing the rates of payment for all purchased vocational rehabilitation services.

3. DBVI shall maintain a fee schedule designed to ensure a reasonable cost to the program for each vocational rehabilitation service that is not so low as to effectively deny an individual a necessary vocational rehabilitation service and not absolute and permits exceptions so that individual needs can be addressed.

4. DBVI shall not place absolute dollar limits on specific vocational rehabilitation service categories or on the total vocational rehabilitation services provided to an individual.

5. DBVI shall not establish absolute time limits on the provision of specific vocational rehabilitation services or on the provision of vocational rehabilitation services to an individual. The duration of each vocational rehabilitation service needed by an individual shall be determined on an individual basis and reflected in that individual's IPE.

6. DBVI shall authorize vocational rehabilitation services in a timely manner.

7. Written authorizations shall be made either before or at the same time as the purchase of vocational rehabilitation services. An oral authorization may be given in an emergency situation, and the nature of the emergency, the specific authorization given, and the manner in which the authorization was made shall be documented in the individual's case file, and the authorization shall be confirmed in writing and forwarded to the provider of vocational rehabilitation services.

22VAC45-51-100

22VAC45-51-100. Participation of individuals in the cost of services based on financial need.

A. Individuals shall be required to participate in the costs of vocational rehabilitation services listed in subsection F of this section provided by DBVI based on financial need. DBVI shall consider certain factors in order to determine the financial needs of individuals applying for and receiving DBVI vocational rehabilitation services.

B. DBVI shall consider an individual's financial need based on certain allowances and exclusions including:

1. The individual's gross income. DBVI shall use a uniform income level including normal living requirements based on the median income for a four-person family provided by the Bureau of the Census as published in the Federal Register (45 CFR 96.85) for the Low Income Home Energy Assistance Program (LIHEAP). The individual's financial need shall be based on 100% of the federal estimated median income in Virginia, which is published annually in the Federal Register;

2. The individual's income or a portion of the individual's income based on family size;

3. The estimated cost of the individual's vocational rehabilitation services specifically related to the individual's disability and not covered by comparable services and benefits; and

4. The tuition costs for the individual or a family member to attend a private or public educational facility.

C. DBVI shall consider the financial needs of eligible individuals using the following income:

1. Annual taxable income (gross income);

2. Annual nontaxable income such as social security benefits, veterans' benefits, retirement benefits, and workers' compensation benefits;

3. Total cash assets, including checking and savings accounts, certificates, stocks, and bonds. DBVI shall maintain Exemptions for Liquid Assets table; and

4. Income from real property.

D. Annually, DBVI shall make a determination of the financial contribution of the individual resulting from an examination of (i) the number of persons in the family unit; (ii) annual taxable income minus allowances; and (iii) exclusions based on individual costs for medical or educational services specifically related to the individual's disability.

E. Individuals with disabilities receiving social security benefits under Title II or XVI of the Social Security Act are exempt from consideration of financial need for vocational rehabilitation services.

F. DBVI shall consider the financial need of eligible individuals who receive the following vocational rehabilitation services:

1. Tuition for college or other training;

2. Medical treatment and physical restoration services;

3. Books and supplies;

4. Services to members of an eligible individual's family when necessary to the vocational rehabilitation of the eligible individual;

5. Occupational licenses, tools, equipment, and initial stock and supplies;

6. Maintenance, as defined in 22VAC45-51-10, during training;

7. Personal incidentals during training;

8. Telecommunications, sensory, and other technological aids and devices when such aids and equipment are not used as adaptive devices for vocational training or employment or both;

9. Transportation; and

10. Rehabilitation engineering services when not incidental to the evaluation of rehabilitation potential.

22VAC45-51-110

22VAC45-51-110. Participation of individuals in use of comparable services and benefits.

A. Prior to providing any vocational rehabilitation services to an eligible individual, or to members of the individual's family, DBVI shall determine whether comparable services and benefits, as defined in 22VAC45-51-10, exist under any other program and whether those services and benefits are available to the individual unless such a determination would interrupt or delay the following:

1. The progress of the individual toward achieving the employment outcome identified in the IPE;

2. An immediate job placement; or

3. The provision of vocational rehabilitation services to any individual who is determined to be at extreme medical risk, based on medical evidence provided by an appropriate qualified medical professional.

B. The following vocational rehabilitation services shall be exempt from a determination of the availability of comparable services and benefits and financial need consideration:

1. Assessment for determination of eligibility and vocational rehabilitation needs and priority of vocational rehabilitation services;

2. Counseling and guidance, including information and support services to assist an individual in exercising informed choice;

3 Referral and other services to secure needed services from other agencies;

4. Job-related services, including job search and placement assistance, job retention services, follow-up services, and follow-along services;

5. Post-employment services consisting of services listed under subdivisions 1 through 4 of this subsection;

6. Reader service for eligible individuals enrolled in college or in a vocational training program;

7. Adjustment training and evaluations provided at the Virginia Rehabilitation Center for the Blind and Vision Impaired in Richmond;

8. Prevocational adjustment training, such as rehabilitation teaching, provided to eligible individuals receiving vocational rehabilitation services from DBVI staff;

9. Interpreter services for eligible individuals who are deafblind;

10. Orientation and mobility training;

11. Summer work experience for high school and college students;

12. Work evaluation up to 30 days;

13. Community evaluation training program with rehabilitation teaching;

14. Work experience for adults up to three months;

15. Work adjustment training up to three months;

16. On-the-job training up to 30 days;

17. Supported employment services; and

18. Personal assistance services.

C. If comparable services and benefits exist under any other program and are available to the individual at the time needed to ensure the progress of the individual toward achieving the employment outcome in the individual's IPE, DBVI shall use those comparable services and benefits to meet, in whole or part, the costs of the vocational rehabilitation services.

D. If comparable services and benefits exist under any other program, but are not available to the individual at the time needed to ensure the progress of the individual toward achieving the employment outcome in the individual's IPE, DBVI shall provide vocational rehabilitation services until those comparable services and benefits become available.

22VAC45-51-120

22VAC45-51-120. Periodic review of ineligibility determinations.

When DBVI determines that an applicant is ineligible for vocational rehabilitation services or determines that an individual receiving vocational rehabilitation services under an IPE is no longer eligible for vocational rehabilitation services, DBVI shall:

1. Make a determination of ineligibility only after providing the individual, or as appropriate, the individual's representative, with an opportunity for full consultation;

2. Inform the individual in writing, supplemented as necessary by other modes of communication consistent with the informed choice of the individual, of the ineligibility determination including reasons for that determination;

3. Inform the individual in writing, supplemented as necessary by other modes of communication consistent with the informed choice of the individual, the means by which the individual may express and seek remedy for dissatisfaction, including the procedures for review of determinations by DBVI;

4. Provide the individual with a description of services available from the client assistance program established in the disAbility Law Center of Virginia; and

5. Within 12 months of the ineligibility determination and annually thereafter if requested by the individual or, if appropriate, by the individual's representative, review any ineligibility determination that is based on a finding that the individual is incapable of achieving an employment outcome. This review need not be conducted in situations in which the individual has refused it, the individual is no longer present in the state, the individual's whereabouts are unknown, or the individual's medical condition is rapidly progressive or terminal.

22VAC45-51-130

22VAC45-51-130. Periodic review of extended employment.

DBVI shall annually review and reevaluate the status of each individual with a disability who has achieved an employment outcome either in an extended employment setting in a community rehabilitation program or in any other employment setting in which the individual is compensated in accordance with § 14(c) of the Fair Labor Standards Act and 29 CFR Part 525 for two years after the individual achieves the employment outcome (and thereafter if requested by the individual or, if appropriate, the individual's representative) to determine the interests, priorities, and needs of the individual with respect to competitive employment or training for competitive employment.

22VAC45-51-140

22VAC45-51-140. Review of determinations made by DBVI.

A. An applicant or eligible individual who is dissatisfied with any determination made by DBVI that affects the provision of vocational rehabilitation services may request, or, if appropriate, may request through the individual's representative, a timely review of that determination.

B. General requirements.

1. Notification. DBVI shall provide the applicant, or eligible individual or, as appropriate, the individual's representative, notice of:

a. His right to obtain review of DBVI determinations that affect the provision of vocational rehabilitation through an impartial due process hearing conducted by an impartial hearing officer;

b. His right to informal dispute resolution;

c. His right to pursue mediation with respect to determinations made by DBVI that affect the provision of vocational rehabilitation services to the applicant or eligible individual conducted by an impartial certified mediator;

d. The names and addresses of individuals with whom requests for mediation or due process hearings may be filed;

e. The manner in which a mediator or impartial hearing officer may be selected; and

f. The availability of the client assistance program, established in the disAbility Law Center of Virginia, to assist the applicant or eligible individual during mediation sessions or impartial due process hearings.

2. Timing. DBVI shall provide notice of the review process:

a. At the time the individual applies for vocational rehabilitation services;

b. At the time the individual is assigned to a category in DBVI's order of selection;

c. At the time the IPE is developed; and

d. Whenever vocational rehabilitation services for an individual are reduced, suspended, or terminated.

3. DBVI shall not suspend, reduce, or terminate vocational rehabilitation services provided to an applicant or eligible individual, including evaluation and assessment services and IPE development, pending a decision by a hearing officer, mediator, or informal resolution unless:

a. The individual or, in appropriate cases, the individual's representative, requests a suspension, reduction, or termination of services; or

b. DBVI has evidence that the services have been obtained through misrepresentation, fraud, collusion, or criminal conduct on the part of the individual or the individual's representative.

C. Informal dispute resolution.

1. DBVI maintains a two-step informal dispute resolution process that is available, at a minimum, whenever an applicant or eligible individual or, as appropriate, the individual's representative, requests an impartial due process hearing under this section.

a. Step 1. If an individual has a complaint or grievance that cannot be resolved in conversation with the DBVI employee, the individual must prepare a written grievance on a grievance form obtainable from DBVI. The grievance form is submitted by the individual to the DBVI employee and the employee's supervisor. The supervisor shall meet with the individual, and as requested, the individual's representative, within a reasonable time not to exceed two weeks of DBVI's receipt of the grievance form. The supervisor shall work with the individual to reach a mutually satisfactory solution to the grievance.

b. Step 2. If the individual's grievance is not resolved in Step 1, the individual may request a meeting with the Deputy Commissioner of DBVI. This request shall be made in writing to the deputy commissioner within two weeks of the Step 1 decision. The deputy commissioner shall meet with the individual and, as requested, the individual's representative within five full working days of receipt of the Step 2 request. The deputy commissioner shall reply in writing to the individual within three full working days following the Step 2 meeting. In the event that the individual's complaint involves the supervisor, the deputy commissioner shall handle the Step 1 meeting, and the commissioner shall handle the Step 2 meeting.

c. Steps 1 and 2 may be conducted in person or by telephone.

2. Participation in the informal dispute resolution process shall be voluntary on the part of the applicant or eligible individual and on the part of DBVI.

3. The informal dispute resolution process shall not be used to deny the right of an applicant or eligible individual to a hearing, including the right to pursue mediation.

4. If informal dispute resolution is not successful in resolving the dispute, a  formal hearing shall be conducted within 60 days of the applicant's or eligible individual's request for review of a determination made by DBVI, unless DBVI and the individual agree to a specific extension of time.

D. Mediation.

1. A mediation process shall be made available, at a minimum, whenever an applicant or eligible individual or, as appropriate, the individual's representative requests an impartial due process hearing under this section.

2. Participation in the mediation process shall be voluntary on the part of the applicant or eligible individual and on the part of DBVI.

3. Use of the mediation process shall not be used to deny or delay the applicant's or eligible individual's right to pursue resolution of the dispute through an impartial hearing held within the time period specified in subsection E of this section.

4. The mediation process shall be conducted by a qualified and impartial mediator who shall be selected from a list of qualified and impartial mediators maintained by DBVI.

5. At any point during the mediation process, either party or the mediator may elect to terminate the mediation.  In the event mediation is terminated, either party may pursue resolution through an impartial hearing.

6. The applicant or eligible individual or, as appropriate, the individual's representative shall have the opportunity to submit during mediation sessions or due process hearings evidence and other information that supports the applicant's or eligible individual's position.

7. The applicant or eligible individual may be represented during mediation sessions or due process hearings by counsel or other advocates selected by the applicant or eligible individual.

E. Formal due process hearings.

1. If the individual is not satisfied with decisions made during the informal resolution process or through mediation, he may proceed to a formal due process hearing by making a request in writing to the DBVI Vocational Rehabilitation Director.

2. The formal due process hearing shall be conducted by an impartial hearing officer within 60 days of the applicant's or eligible individual's request for review of a determination made by DBVI unless informal resolution or a mediation agreement achieves resolution prior to the 60th day or the parties agree to a specific extension of time.

3. DBVI shall randomly select the impartial hearing officer from a list of qualified hearing officers identified jointly by the State Rehabilitation Council for the Blind and Vision Impaired and the Department for Aging and Rehabilitative Services.

4. The hearing officer shall conduct the formal due process hearing in accordance with this section and federal vocational rehabilitation regulations.

5. In addition to the rights described in this section, the applicant or eligible individual or, if appropriate, the individual's representative shall be given the opportunity to present witnesses during the hearing and to examine all witnesses and other relevant sources of information and evidence.

6. The applicant or eligible individual or, as appropriate, the individual's representative shall have the opportunity to submit during the formal due process hearings evidence and other information that supports the applicant's or eligible individual's position.

7. The applicant or eligible individual may be represented during the formal due process hearings by counsel or other advocates selected by the applicant or eligible individual.

8. Conduct of the formal due process hearing:

a. The hearing officer shall determine the proprietary of attendance at the hearing of those individuals not having a direct interest in the hearing.

b. The hearing officer may, at the beginning of the hearing, ask for statements clarifying the issues involved.

c. Exhibits offered by the applicant or eligible individual may be received by the hearing officer; when received, the exhibits shall be marked and made part of the record.

d. The applicant or eligible individual and his representative and the DBVI employee shall then present claims, proof, and witnesses who shall submit to questions or other examinations. The hearing officer, at his discretion, may vary this procedure but shall present full opportunity to all parties and witnesses for presentation of any material or relevant proof.

e. The parties shall produce such additional evidence as the hearing officer may deem necessary to reach an understanding or determination of the dispute. The hearing officer shall be the judge of relevancy or materiality of the evidence presented in the case. All evidence shall be taken in the presence of the parties.

f. After all evidence has been presented, the hearing officer shall declare the hearing closed.

9. At the conclusion of the formal hearing, the hearing officer shall issue a written decision of his findings of fact and conclusions of law within 30 days of the completion of the formal hearing.

10. The hearing officer's decision shall be a final decision, and the applicant or eligible individual may appeal the hearing officer's decision to a representative from the Governor's office within 20 days of the mailing of the impartial hearing officer's decision.

22VAC45-51-9998

FORMS (22VAC45-51)

Application for Vocational Rehabilitation Services, DBVI-04-01 (rev. 4/2014)

Consent to Release Confidential Information for Alcohol or Drug Patients, DBVI-70-22 (rev. 10/2015)

Consent to Release Health Information, DBVI-70-23 (rev. 10/2015)

Consent to Release Personal Information, DBVI-70-29 (rev. 10/2015)

Eye Exam Report, DBVI-70-20E (rev. 7/2014)

Financial Determination/Redetermination Statement Form, DBVI-70-06 (rev. 9/2014)

Health Checklist/General Medical Examination, DBVI-70-04 (rev. 6/2014)

Individualized Plan for Employment Form (eff. 12/2015)

Individualized Plan for Employment Planned Services Form (rev. 12/2015)

Service Complaint/Grievance Form, DBVI-70-01 (rev. 9/2013)