There have been some changes made to Vocational Rehab.
Iowa Vocational Rehabilitation Services (IVRS) partners with each Iowa High School in providing potentially eligible students with Pre-Employment and Transition Services (Pre-ETS). In Central Rivers AEA, an IVRS Counselor is assigned to a high school out of three IVRS Regional Offices: Ames, Mason City or Waterloo.
Each fall, a local school plan is developed in each high school, in collaboration with district, AEA and IVRS staff, to identify and address specific needs in the district. New for school year 2021-2022, an awareness and support of the plan must be recognized by the signature of the LEA principal, AEA administrator and IVRS supervisor.
For a student to be considered potentially eligible, they must be between the ages of 14 and 21, with a disability. To participate in Pre-Employment Transition Services (Pre-
ETS), there must be documentation of a disability and a completed Pre-ETS agreement. Examples of documentation include: IEP, 504 Plan, Health Plan. A IVRS Counselor will want to have communication with the Professional School Counselor, School Nurse, 504 Coordinator, district Special Education staff and AEA team members serving the district in order to identify students who may potentially eligible for Pre-Employment Transition Services.
Also new for the 2021-2022 school year is a change in eligibility requirements for individualized, intensive IVRS services. In order to be determined eligible for services, a student must have a formal diagnosis of a disability. The IVRS Counselor will do an in-depth review of all existing information prior to testing. IVRS staff will continue to use the IEP and other information to determine areas of significant limitation; however, for those students who do not have a diagnosis, IVRS will need to send the individual for testing. IVRS will pay for the testing if needed to determine eligibility. Local area IVRS offices are working to connect with local providers who are willing to do this testing, if needed.
For Transition Alliance Programs (TAP) and Making the Grade (MTG) programs, potentially eligible students are able to receive Pre-ETS through both programs. For our Project SEARCH programs, potentially eligible students can tour and learn more about the program through Pre-ETS, but in order to participate through IVRS the student would need to be determined eligible and have this service written into his/her employment plan. For students to receive any services outside of Pre-ETS for TAP and MTG (or any other program) the student would need to be eligible for IVRS.
Iowa Vocational Rehabilitation has a website with resources to help students, parents and educators understand and access IVRS programs and services.
If you have any questions, please contact Ann Lupkes.