ACCES-VR

Adult Career and Continuing Education Services-Vocational Rehabilitation

Quality Assurance and Monitoring

The ACCES-VR Quality Assurance and Monitoring Unit (QAMU) is committed to accountability, measuring performance and long term continuous improvement in the delivery of vocational rehabilitation (VR) services by setting the standard for effective, efficient and responsive public service and ensuring the delivery of the highest quality VR services to the people of New York. The QAMU accurately evaluates the quality of ACCES-VR services through a variety of monitoring activities designed to provide an objective quality assurance process independent of specific service provision units. The QAMU strives to carry out unit activities in a manner that exceeds the expectations of consumers and federal and state regulations.

Mission

  • Ensure efficient Vocational Rehabilitation (VR) program operations and delivery of quality services;
  • Ensure that assets are protected and public funds are expended appropriately; and,
  • Ensure that applicable federal and state laws, regulations, policies and procedures and guidelines are met, as well as applicable.

The mission is accomplished through independent and objective:

  • Identification and analysis of risk;
  • Identification of performance outcomes, both internal and external;
  • Monitoring of service delivery against clear and known standards to track success and failure;
  • Recommendations for corrective action; and
  • Provision of technical assistance; advice; and, assistance.

The work is completed via:

  • Planned and systematic reviews utilizing review instruments developed in partnership with stakeholders;
  • Timely distribution of concise reports to appropriate entities who have the opportunity to provide feedback; and
  • Other quality assurance monitoring techniques consistent with accomplishing the mission.

Contact Information

Toll Free: 1-800-222-5627

Main Unit Phone: 518-474-1711

Fax: 518-486-4683

Email: accesadm@mail.nysed.gov

Address:

New York State Education Department
Adult Career and Continuing Education Services - Vocational Rehabilitation
Quality Assurance and Monitoring Unit
89 Washington Avenue, Room 560 EBA
Albany, New York 12234

Unit Functions

Management

  • Michelle Barlow

Due Process

  • Patricia Mazzariello

Monitoring

  • Jumoke Buki Branco
  • Betty Jane Kline
  • John Quain
  • Anne Sternbach
  • Edward Williams

Administrative Support

  • Miriam Coplon – 1-800 Line
  • Joyce Giordiano – Database Development/Maintenance
  • Patrick Nagle – ACCES-VR Email Inquiries

Unit Activities

Due Process (Appealing an ACCES-VR Decision)

If a consumer of ACCES-VR does not agree with a decision made by ACCES-VR, the individual has the right to appeal within 90 days of the action or decision. The consumer may seek and receive a timely review of the decision and resolution of any disagreement by requesting one or more of the following due process options: Informal Review, Administrative Review, Mediation and/or Impartial Hearing. Additional information regarding the appeals process can be found at in the ACCES-VR Due Process Rights Brochure (PDF Document, 300KB, 6pg)

Resources (Due Process):

Vendor Quality Reviews

ACCES-VR counselors work on a direct basis with community rehabilitation programs (vendors) and our consumers to ensure the highest degree of quality services for the agency as well as the customers being served. Each vendor has a contract with ACCES-VR outlining standards and objectives with the goal of providing quality services leading to competitive job placement and satisfaction for consumers with disabilities. Monitoring staff of the QAMU conduct periodic reviews of vendors throughout the state to ensure vendor compliance with applicable regulations, policies, procedures and guidelines.

On an annual basis, the QAMU reviews supported employment services as the core of the quality assurance review process. Additional contracted services may be reviewed including services provided under the ACCES-VR Unified Contract Services (UCS) including job development, placement and retention.

Prior to conducting a review, the quality assurance monitor reviews available program information, including contract specifications and reports of previous reviews. The review begins with an opening meeting with the provider to discuss issues, concerns and the monitoring instrument. The funding agencies (if applicable) are also invited to participate in the meeting. Consumer records are examined using a protocol that addresses each of the required components of the program. Upon completion of the record review, there is an exit meeting, including the monitor(s), provider agency, funding agencies and ACCES-VR District Office. Here, the monitor states the major findings of the review and provides an opportunity for discussion. Often, questions related to the findings and program requirements are clarified at this meeting. Any finding the provider does not agree with can be addressed, and the provider is offered an opportunity to provide additional applicable documents.

After the review, the monitor writes a summary report of the review which is sent to the provider agency, the ACCES-VR district office, and to the other appropriate funding agencies. If there are findings of compliance failure, the provider will identify and take action steps to correct those problems. In some instances, the provider may be asked to submit a corrective action plan. The purpose is to ensure consumers receive high quality service.

Resources (Supported Employment):

Statewide Record Reviews

Annually, the QAMU conducts statewide reviews of district office records on a variety of different topics, i.e., Youth Transition, Presumed Eligibility, Homemaker Services, Supported Employment, etc. QAMU staff and selected counseling staff are assembled to conduct the reviews to ensure high quality services are delivered in accordance with policies and contract requirements. Information obtained from these reviews is used to identify successful activities and practices to benchmark and replicate statewide. Additionally, these reviews uncover issues that may need to be addressed. The ultimate goal is improved employment outcomes for consumers.

Consumer Annual Satisfaction Surveys

Annually, the QAMU conducts Consumer Satisfaction Surveys of consumers who received service sometime during the previous year. This is an extremely important measure of quality for ACCES-VR and is a shared priority of ACCES-VR and the State Rehabilitation Council. Results of the Consumer Satisfaction Survey are evaluated annually and used to enhance service provision.

Toll Free Automated General Information Line

The QAMU maintains the toll free (1-800-222-5627) information line. Individuals can call the toll free line to obtain general information about ACCES-VR or speak directly to a QAMU staff member regarding services and/or complaints. The toll free line is staffed Monday – Friday from 8:30 am to 5:00 pm. Messages left on voicemail after hours, will be returned the next business day.

ACCES-VR General Email Account

The QAMU maintains the general email account for inquires pertaining to the vocational rehabilitation program. Inquires can be directed to accesadm@mail.nysed.gov. A QAMU staff member will respond to your email inquiry as soon as possible.

Last Updated: July 7, 2014