Office of Vocational
Rehabilitation
Early Reach Initiative
EARLY REACH INITIATIVE
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Early Reach Initiative
Workshop Objectives
1. Understand why the OVR Early Reach Initiative was started.
2. Learn more about the OVR Early Reach Initiative.
4. What are your objectives for being here today…?
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Early Reach Initiative
...why didn't I learn to
treat everything like it
was the last time,
my greatest regret is
how much I believed in
the future.”
Jonathan Safran Foer
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Early Reach Initiative
“The future starts
today,
not tomorrow.”
John Paul II
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Early Reach Initiative
What do these companies have in
common?
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Early Reach Initiative
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Early Reach Initiative
Harper Lodge
June 18th 2014
Issue #656.
According to Publisher Jon Goldwater…
“We want Riverdale to look like the world.”
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Early Reach Initiative
Jewel Kats
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Early Reach Initiative
Welcome to the
Future…
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Early Reach Initiative
OVR is Ready…
Are Youth
with Disabilities
Ready?
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Hershey “HEROS” Program
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Early Reach Initiative
OVR is Ready…
* Project Search
Lancaster General Hospital (LGH)
Ephrata
Manheim Central
Penn Manor
Hempfield
Conestoga Valley
Ephrata
Manheim Central
6/19/2014
4/14/2014
6/16/2014
4/28/2014
5/1/2014
5/27/2014
LGH- Summer Intern
LGH
LGH- Horizon Healthcare
LGH
Ruby Tuesday's
WalMart
4/28/2014
LGH
Salad/Dessert Worker
Housekeeper
Warehouse Associate
Housekeeper
Busser
Inventory Associate
FT
FT
PT
FT
PT
PT
$9.35
$9.35
$8.00
$10.35
$3.00 + tips
$8.00
Food Production
Housekeeping
Warehouse
Housekeeping
NA
NA
Housekeeper
FT
$9.35
Housekeeping
* Jobs for All
On the Job Training (Youth OJT)
* Business Services Representatives
Click to
http://www.wgal.com/8-on-your-side/amputee-makes-huge-steps-toward-independence/21674184
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Early Reach Initiative
Transition Definitions – The Rehabilitation Act and IDEA
“A coordinated set of activities
for a student, designed within an
outcome-oriented process, that
promotes movement from school
to post-school activities,
“A coordinated set of activities for
including post-secondary education,
vocational training, integrated
employment (including supported
employment), continuing and adult
education, adult services,
independent living, or community
participation.” (Rehabilitation Act
including post-secondary education,
vocational education, integrated
employment (including supported
employment), continuing and adult
education, adult services,
independent living, or community
participation.” (IDEA 2004)
Amendments 1998)
a child with a disability that is
designed within a result-oriented
process, that is focused on
improving the academic and
functional achievement of the child
with a disability to facilitate the
child’s movement from school to
post-school activities,
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Early Reach Initiative
“Where’s OVR
during the transition
years and the transition
process?”
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Early Reach Initiative
Approximately 104,000 total
students with an IEP in
Pennsylvania between ages 14-21
Approximately 430 OVR
Counselors in Pennsylvania
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Early Reach Initiative
OVR “Transition Realities”
OVR doesn’t have the staff and resources to go to all IEP meetings for all
students with an IEP beginning at age 14.
Many students in transition, especially those who are 14 to 16 years old,
don’t know what they want to be when they grow up and
are not ready to discuss individualized vocational planning with OVR…
not a good use of limited resources to have VR counselors going to IEP meetings
for students beginning at age 14.
When students do start working with OVR, anywhere between
17 through 21 years old, they often come to OVR
ill-prepared to benefit from OVR and vocationally focused services.
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Early Reach Initiative
Question:
How could OVR resolve these
conflicting “Realities” in serving
transitioning youth…
…without additional resources?
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Early Reach Initiative
Early Reach Initiative
Answer:
Develop an OVR Outreach Program, “Early Reach”
to find youth earlier (14 – 16 years old) and their
parents to discuss:
• OVR services and vocational planning
• What to expect from OVR and
when to expect it.
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Early Reach
Coordinator
In each of the 15 OVR District Offices
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Early Reach Initiative
Goal: Early Reach Coordinator in each of the 15 BVRS District Office
Phase 1 – July 2013: Began with five district offices
District Office
Early Reach Coordinator
Dubois
Kimberly Golding
Harrisburg
Stacy Shirk
Norristown
Stephanie Shuler
Philadelphia
Jill Grossberg
Wilkes Barre
Mary Jane Click
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Early Reach Initiative
Goal: Early Reach Coordinator in each of the 15 BVRS District Office
Phase 2 – January 2014: Added six district offices
District Office
Early Reach Coordinator
Allentown
Altoona
Erie
Pittsburgh
Pittsburgh
Washington
York
LaRonda Moorefield
Holly Stapleton
Hillary Hubbell
Sarah Vogel
Melissa Demchak
Amanda Smith
Erin Lohr
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Early Reach Initiative
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Early Reach Initiative
Goal: Early Reach Coordinator in each of the 15 BVRS District Office
Phase 3 – Fall 2014: Add the final four district offices
District Office
Early Reach Coordinator
Reading
Andrea Merrick (August 18th)
Johnstown
Joni Henry (October 20th)
New Castle
Williamsport
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Early Reach Initiative
“Start by doing what's necessary;
then do what's possible;
and suddenly you are doing the
impossible.”
St. Francis of Assisi
The OVR Early Reach Initiative
will include the following…
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Early Reach Initiative
Group Outreach – The main focus…
•To provide outreach presentations to school personnel,
community agencies, students and families to outline the
services offered by OVR.
•To provide vocational consultative services to school
personnel, agencies, students and families to leverage the
variety of services offered during the school years to best
prepare students for OVR and vocational goals.
•To provide consultation on the benefits of early career
planning and the development of independent living skills.
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Early Reach Initiative
Early Reach Initiative
Individual Outreach…
• To track youth with disabilities not yet ready for referral
to OVR so they don’t “fall through the cracks”.
• To assist appropriate students in making application to
OVR and to provide pre-eligibility services, as needed.
• To facilitate a VR counselor’s ability to determine a
student’s eligibility for OVR services.
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Early Reach Initiative
Early
Reach
Group
Outreach
OVR Services
Early
Reach
Individual
Outreach
Application
Employed
Eligibility
Early Reach
Individual
Referral to OVR
Counselor
Closed
Successfully
Employed
Service
Provision
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Early Reach Initiative
“Collaboration, it turns out,
is not a gift from the gods
but a skill that requires
effort and practice.”
Douglas B. Reeves,
Transforming Professional Development Into Student Results
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Early Reach Initiative
Early Reach Coordinators will:
Outreach
Reach out purposefully – find youth with disabilities as early as age
14 and find their parents “where they are”, especially those who are
most likely to be eligible for OVR services and may be under-identified
and under-served.
Reach out creatively - Early Reach is NOT only about interacting
with schools and the education system.
Outreach. Outreach. Outreach.
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Early Reach Initiative
Mary Jane Saras in action…
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Early Reach Initiative
Early Reach Coordinators will:
Educate
Tell youth and parents about OVR. Develop
Clear Expectations. Tell them what to expect
from OVR and when to expect it.
Discuss “eligibility” vs. “entitlement” as youth
“age out” of the education system and the
childhood service delivery system.
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Early Reach Initiative
Stacy Shirk in action…
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Early Reach Initiative
Early Reach Coordinators will:
Consult.
Inform youth about the kinds of competencies they will need in order to
be more job-ready and benefit from VR services (i.e.. time management,
note-taking, assistive technology, leadership skills, self-advocacy skills,
personal hygiene, navigating the community, public transportation, etc.)
Inform youth about their entitlement to general education and special
education.
Inform parents that their students in special education and general
education should maximize their education entitlement so students are
vocationally prepared and able to benefit from VR services.
Consult on the availability of other community resources that provide
services to youth and funding (especially Medicaid).
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Early Reach Initiative
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Early Reach Initiative
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Early Reach Initiative
Early Reach Initiative
Early Reach Coordinators
will answer the question…
“Where’s OVR?”
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Early Reach Initiative
By Being There!
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