March 2020 Meeting Minutes

State Rehabilitation Council (SRC) March 11, 2020 Quarterly Meeting

Web EX / Phone meeting

Topic/ Key Points

Call to Order (Roll Call-In Person):  Tonya Robinson, Joanie Parker, Joseph Delgado, Gregory Lau,  Ellice Switzer, Susan Scheer, Erica Molina, Sarah Halburt, Diane Woodward, Jennifer Semonite, David Morgan, Laura Hartmann, Liam McNabb, Sebastian Chittilapilly, Hillary Nichols, Melinda Dolezal, Lorie Boyd, Peter Herring, Lindsay Miller, Allan Gallagher, Peter Herrig, Lynne Thibdeau, Jenny Hutkowski, Miranda Harms, Naomi Brickel, Imari Wilson Guest speaker

Via Telephone:

Excused: Megan Brown, Rachel Jones

Absent: Angela M. Lockhart-(not participating), Jennifer Machucki,

Welcome to new members:  Naomi Brickel, Miranda Harms and Jenny Hutkowski where welcomed to the SRC.

Review of the agenda: Tonya Robinson-Mayer

Additional Agenda Items:

  • None

Review and approve December 2019 minutes:

  • December 03-04, 2019 Minutes reviewed.  Allan Gallagher motioned to approve; Greg Lau seconded. No abstentions.  The remaining voted in favor of approval.

Public Comment

  • No public comment noted.

Executive Committee Report:

  • No update

ACCES & ACCES-VR Updates, ACCES-VR & SRC Common Priorities:

Diane Woodward, ACCES-VR, Manager-Policy, Training and WIOA Implementation Units

  • Pre-ETS for potentially eligible students:
    • All 19 Pre-ETS provider contracts have been executed.
    • Vendors participated in a February 2020 meeting focused on reporting, billing and developing a community of practice within regions.
  • Core Rehabilitation Services (CRS) Contracts Authorization:
    • CRS payment authorizations expire each year on December 31 each year and must be renewed.
      • Authorizations are “rolled over” in order to continue services.
    • It is anticipated that the roll over process will begin in October 2020 to support an earlier completion this year.
  • Participant and Provider Satisfaction Survey: 
    • Potsdam Institute of Applied Research contract ended in 2019.
    • No new proposals were submitted in response to new Request for Proposal.
    • ACCES-VR will be doing the survey in-house.
    • ACCES-VR is asking SRC for assistance and guidance in developing survey questions.
    • It is anticipated the survey will be sent out electronically to participants in summer or Fall of 2020.
  • Clarification of Non-Degree Training at Trade, Business and Other Schools policy:
    • Training at a non-degree program has always been based on the person meeting ACCES-VR’s financial need threshold
    • Financial need threshold was changed from 350% to 300% of the federal poverty level. ACCES-VR held public hearings and shared with SRC this proposed change prior to making the policy change effective 01/01/2020.
      • ACCES-VR may pay for non-degree training tuition only at the published rate in the
  • Clarification on maximum limits for non-degree training programs at trade and business schools
    • No changed were made to maximum limits with the exception of required equipment and/or tool now having a maximum of $1,000 and Cost-Effective Skills training.
    • Cost-Effective Skills training is when ACCES-VR can provide funding for a non-degree training program that is less than 12-months in duration and when individuals who do not meet the ACCES-VR financial need threshold.
      • The maximum allowable cost to ACCES-VR to pay for cost-effective skills training is $8,000 000 (or the balance of cost after TAP and/or Pell grants are applied, if applicable, and less than $8,000), for the total cost of the program including but not limited to, tuition, books and fees, and required tools and/or equipment.
  • RSA issued a Notice of Interpretation to:
    • Clarify current policy regarding the use of Federal VR funds reserved for the provision of Pre-ETS to pay for auxiliary aids and services needed by all students with disabilities in order to access or participate in required Pre-ETs services under 113( b) of the Rehabilitation Act, and
    • Announce a new policy interpretation with respect to additional VR service needed by eligible students with disabilities that may be paid for with Federal grant funds reserved for the provision of Pre-ETS services and the circumstances under which those funds may be used to pay for additional VR service.
    • There will be a public comment period from February 28, 2020 through March 30, 2020.
    • ACCES-VR is requesting SRC feedback and advisement for public comment by 03/20/20

Interagency Reports:

Advisory Council on Post-Secondary Education for Students with Disabilities:

  • It is anticipated The School Mental Health Resource Center will be providing a presentation to the Advisory Council at the April 2020 meeting.
  • Work on obtaining updates on Transition Source. Transition Source is owned by State Education Department and created managed by Cornell University.
  • The contract for Transition Source is in the process of renewing. 
  • The Council made a recommendation to create a P-12 curriculum for Life Skills to assist students to be better prepared in the transition to college and that has been well received.
  • The committee’s next steps are to gather information across the state as to what is currently being used as Life Skills Curriculum. 
  • Next full council meeting is at the end of April.

Technology Related Assistance for Individuals with Disabilities (TRIAD):

There are 12 TRIAD centers across the New York State that are connected through the National Assistive Technology Data System.

  • All 12 Regional centers are reaching out and working with ACCES-VR District Offices.
  • ACCES-VR/TRIAD program totals from 12/04/19 – 03/11/20
    • 54 loans in which 100 devices were borrowed.
    • 29 demonstrations to 31 individuals.
    • 16 long-term loans in which 21 devices were borrowed.

Disability Rights New York/ Client Assistance Program/ Protection & Advocacy for Beneficiaries of Social Security (DRNY/CAP/BAPSS)

  • DRNY submitted their annual report to RSA – a copy will be sent electronically.

Office of Mental Health:

  • Home Community Based Waiver Services (HCBS) are growing
  • Work continues to make HARP plans available
  • Working on developing State funded programs

New York State Independent Living Council, Inc. (NYSILC)

  • NYSILC is in the process of finalizing their draft state plan

New York State Commission for the Blind (NYSCB):

  • New Job Placement contract has been awarded and there are many new providers. Training and technical assistance will be provided
  • An updated WIOA manual will be posted on the website
  • Annual conference is anticipated to be held in Troy May 6-7, 2020

New York State Office of Special Education:

  • No update

Department of Labor (DOL):

  • Round 8 of the Disability Employment Initiative
    • A toolkit was developed to be used by workforce systems to further employment opportunities for individuals with disabilities through the use of an Integrated Resource Team (IRT).  Requested for input on the tool kit from end users was made.

Office of People with Developmental Disabilities (OPWDD):

  • OPWDD issued an Administrative Directive Memorandum (ADM) to all Pre-Vocational programs
    • This ADM seeks to describe how prevocational services have been redesigned to include new service delivery and documentation requirements
  • Full day trainings and technical assistance will be provided


Presentation by Imari Wilson, Hudson River Regional Youth Partner Advocate YOUTH POWER! Youth Self-Advocacy and Leadership

  • YOUTH POWER is a New York State network hosted by Families Together in NYS
  • Overview of YOUTH POWER services
  • Self-Advocacy, leadership skills, and strategies to teach these were discussed
  • Promote transition from school to adult services

Old Business: 

  • New member orientation has been postponed
  • Preference to do orientation individually or in a small group 
  • Committee chairs to reach out to new committee members with meeting schedule and call-in information, so that new members can participate in meetings, prior to the June quarterly SRC meeting 
    • SRC phone line is available for committees to meet 
    • Send out email to executive committee advising of dates of meetings by phone


SRC Business:

Membership Committee:

  • Reviewing alternative methods New member orientation
  • Working on developing a plan to reach out and on-board new members

Transition Committee:

  • Coordinated and arranged the presentation for the March SRC meeting

Policy and Planning Committee:

  • Will me meeting via zoom to review and compile comment and feedback from the Notice of Interpretation on the use of Federal VR funds reserved for the provision of Pre-ETS to pay for Auxiliary aids and services

Workforce Development:

  • Worked on developing a plan to reach out and on-board new members

Quality Assurance Improvement:

  • No update

4.2 Recommendations:  None at this time


Other Business:  None.

Next Meeting June 23-24, 2020


State Rehabilitation Council

The Council provides advice and support to The State Education Department’s Office of Adult Career and Continuing Education Services-Vocational Rehabilitation (ACCES-VR) on behalf of people with disabilities and their families regarding the delivery of effective rehabilitation services that leads to employment for New Yorker's with disabilities.

State Council

Meeting Dates

The following meetings will be held at the Hilton Garden Inn Albany Medical Center, 62 New Scotland Ave., Albany, NY  12208:

March10-11, 2020
June 23-24, 2020
September 29-30, 2020
December 8-9, 2020

For confirmation of meeting dates or any additional information, contact (518) 402-3955.

Agenda for upcoming meeting

Join the meeting via Zoom