Compendium of Budget Information for the 2014 General Session
Appropriations Subcommittee (PDF)
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The Utah State Office of Rehabilitation (USOR), under the direction of the State Board of Education, operates programs designed to assist individuals with disabilities to prepare for and obtain gainful employment as well as increase their independence. USOR contains a single line item and multiple programs, including an Executive Director's Office and four operating divisions: Services to the Blind and Visually Impaired, Rehabilitation Services, Disability Determination Services, and Services to the Deaf and Hard-of-Hearing. Detail on USOR operations can be found here. USOR provides tailored services focusing on the needs, interests, abilities, and informed choices of the individuals served. USOR works in concert with other community service and resource providers to offer rehabilitative services throughout the state. Services are provided upon determination of eligibility for such. Eligibility requirements differ depending upon the division or services desired. In general, eligibility is based upon patrons having a physical or mental impairment that constitutes a substantial need in order to attain independence and/or gainful employment. State law requires a financial needs test to determine the extent to which a client may receive services.
The State Office of Rehabilitiation has one appropriations line item with five individual programs.
The Smith-Fess Act authorizing the state-federal vocational rehabilitation program was passed by Congress and signed into law in 1920. The program officially opened in Utah in 1921. The Utah State Office of Rehabilitation was created during the 1988 Legislative session under the direction of the State Board of Education and State Superintendent of Public Instruction. Prior to 1988 two separate departments, the Division of Rehabilitation Services and the Division of Services for the Blind and Visually Impaired, existed as separate divisions under the Utah State Office of Education.
Statutory provisions for the Utah State Office of Rehabilitation may be found in UCA, Section 53A, Chapter 24. In addition to state law, many functions provided by USOR have provisions detailed in federal law. Those federal law references, where available, follow the references in Utah Code.
The Legislature intends that the Utah State Office of Rehabilitation prepare proposed performance measures for all new state funding for building blocks and give this information to the Office of the Legislative Fiscal Analyst by June 30, 2013. The Utah State Office of Rehabilitation shall provide its first report on its performance measures to the Office of the Legislative Fiscal Analyst by October 31, 2013. The Office of the Legislative Fiscal Analyst shall give this information to the legislative staff of the Health and Human Services Interim Committee.
The Utah State Office of Rehabilitation utilizes various indicators to measure the performance of the agency. During the 2013 General Session of the Legislature, Utah State Office of Rehabilitation -- Performance Measures was presented showing an eight year history of USOR output and outcome measures. An update of these output and outcome measures will be provided during the 2014 General Session of the Legislature.
Two primary sources provide revenue for USOR. The largest contributor is the federal government, providing approximately 76 percent of total USOR revenues in FY 2013. In addition to federal funds, USOR receives a significant appropriation from state funds. Education Fund revenues, along with a small amount of state General Fund, account for roughly 23 percent of the total appropriation. In addition to state and federal resources, the office collects dedicated credits generated primarily through fees and the sale of services, goods and materials. For analysis of current budget requests and discussion of issues related to this budget click here.
With the approval of the State Board of Education, the State Superintendent appoints the Executive Director of USOR. The Executive Director administers the office in accordance with the direction of the State Superintendent, policies of the State Board, and applicable state and federal laws and regulations.
The Executive Director's Office supervises and coordinates the four operating divisions, which include: the Division of Services for the Blind and Visually Impaired, the Division of Rehabilitation Services, the Division of Disability Determination Services, and the Division of Services to the Deaf and Hard of Hearing.
Functions of the Executive Director's office include planning, budgeting, policy and procedure development, program evaluation, program and fee approval, facility and lease management, computer network development and maintenance, contracts and monitoring, public relations, special project grants, personnel, and training. The office also acts as the primary interface between the Legislature, the State Board of Education, the Rehabilitation Services Administration and the Social Security Administration for the various divisions.
The following statutes detail the creation of the Executive Director's office, provide for the appointment of the Executive Director and enumerate the functions of the office.
The Education Fund provided 58 percent of funding for the Executive Director's Office in FY 2013. The office receives approximately 42 percent of its revenue from the federal government. In addition, the Executive Director's office generates a small portion of its revenue from dedicated credits.
The Division of Services for the Blind and Visually Impaired (DSBVI) assists individuals who are blind or visually disabled to obtain employment and increase their independence. The division provides a variety of services that include orientation and mobility assistance, clinical vocational rehabilitation counseling, training, adaptive technology services, adjustment to blindness training activities, visual screening of children, and prevention of blindness training. The division also administers a Business Enterprise Program that includes cafeterias, gift shops, and convenience stores and vending routes in various government locations. These businesses are operated by blind vendors under the program's guidelines.
The DSBVI provides pre-school vision screening. According to state law, DSBVI coordinates vision screening for pre-school and kindergarten age children throughout Utah. Several youth with amblyopia and other severe vision problems are discovered each year through the screenings provided by the division.
Low Vision Services The division offers free low-vision clinics weekly in Salt Lake City, and on a regular basis in rural areas throughout the state. The program offers services to aid consumers in adjusting to their particular low vision needs such as devices, training, and utilizing the minimum level of remaining residual vision.
DSBVI employs a deaf-blind specialist who provides services for those who are deaf-blind, and who coordinates services for these individuals with other state or USOR programs. In addition to the deaf-blind specialist, the division receives funding through the Rehabilitation Services Administration to conduct an older-blind program. Individuals age 55 and older with severe vision problems may be eligible for these services. The division contracts for three full-time older-blind specialists in Logan, Price and St. George and two part-time specialists in Vernal and Moab through the Independent Living Centers in the respective areas. These individuals assist the older-blind population in rural areas with in-home instruction, support services, and involvement in division and community programs.
The following statutory references define the creation of DSBVI, the division's responsibilities and the appointment of an advisory council.
Financing of DSBVI consists of 55 percent federal funds and 45 percent state Education Fund.
Rehabilitation Services is comprised of two major programs: Vocational Rehabilitation and Independent Living.
Vocational Rehabilitation provides services directed towards the goal of employment. Services include clinical vocational rehabilitation counseling and guidance, comprehensive assessment of rehabilitation needs, assistive technology, job training, job placement, and post-employment follow-up. Eligibility for vocational rehabilitation is based on the presence of physical or mental impairment that constitutes a substantial impediment to employment. Once determined eligible, an individual will work with a counselor to develop an individualized program that leads to employment.
The division provides statewide services to people with disabilities through 28 offices. All 41 school districts in the state, through cooperative agreements, receive vocational rehabilitation services. Vocational rehabilitation counselors are assigned to each high school in the state. The division also works through cooperative agreements with the Department of Workforce Services, the Division for Children with Special Health Care Needs, the State Board of Regents, the Division of Services for People with Disabilities, the Division of Medical and Healthcare Financing in the state Department of Health (Medicaid), and the Division of Substance Abuse and Mental Health.
Utah's Independent Living Centers enable people with disabilities statewide to live independently. The Division of Rehabilitation Services works with the independent living centers, the Division of Services for the Blind and Visually Impaired, and the Utah Statewide Independent Living Council to coordinate services. Services provided include: peer support, skills training, recreation and community integration programs, and assistive technology.
Eligibility for the program is based on the presence of a disability coupled with the ability to benefit from services. All services are based on individual need in accordance with an Independent Living plan that includes specific goals and objectives. Services are time-limited and designed to assist consumers to increase and maintain their levels of independence and community participation.
Currently, six Independent Living Centers (ILC's) and four satellites operate throughout Utah, including: Options for Independence in Logan with a satellite in Brigham City; Tri-County Independent Center in Ogden; Utah Independent Living Center in Salt Lake City, which also operates a satellite in Tooele; Central Utah Independent Living Center in Provo; Active Re-Entry Independent Living Center in Price, which also operates two satellites in Vernal and Moab; and Red Rock Independent Living Center in St. George. Each ILC operates on a combination of State and federal funding. All ILCs provide, at a minimum, the services detailed above.
The statutory references below detail the Division of Rehabilitation Services, Assistive Technology Services, and various advisory councils in Utah law. Appropriate federal law references may be found following the state code section.
The federal government provided the largest portion of division funding at over 78 percent in FY 2013. A combination of state funds (Education Fund and General Fund) contributes roughly 21 percent of division funds. The remaining division revenue is generated through dedicated credits.
The division's dedicated credits revenue comes from a Department of Workforce Services receivable contract, a Department of Health receivable contract, and the Department of Education -- At Risk Students receivable contract, all of which contribute to this revenue source.
Rehabilitation Services receives revenue from state General Fund of $265,100. This funding stream has existed at or near the current level for several years. The General Fund appropriation provides for the Utah Center for Assistive Technology (UCAT). UCAT began as a federal grant serving multiple state agencies, such as the Division of Services for People with Disabilities, the Division for Children with Special Health Care Needs, the Division of Aging, and the Department of Workforce Services. When the federal grant ended, the Legislature continued the program and placed the Center under the direction of the Utah State Office of Rehabilitation. The General Fund is used to continue services to other non-education related state agencies. Note: the Utah Center for Assistive Technology (UCAT) is a separate entity and different than the Utah College of Applied Technology, also known as UCAT.
This state administered federal program develops, adjudicates, and processes all disability claims of Utah residents under Title II and Title XVI of the Social Security Act. The determination of who may benefit is based on criteria developed by the federal Social Security Administration.
The following statutes govern the operation of the Division of Disability Determination Services (DDDS).
Disability Determination Services receives almost all of its revenue from the federal government, except for a small Education Fund appropriation which helps support the Disabilities Determination Services Advisory Council UCA 53A-15-205.
The Division of Services to the Deaf and Hard-of-Hearing (DSDHH) helps increase productivity, independence, and community integration of individuals who are deaf or hard-of-hearing. Program services provided through the Robert G. Sanderson Community Center for the Deaf, and a satellite office in St. George, include: information and referral, educational classes, counseling and case management services, recreation and leisure activities, telecommunication services for the deaf, repair and maintenance of assistive technology, interpreter services, and a library. The division operates four programs: Deaf and Hard of Hearing, Utah Interpreter Programs, Outreach and Technology Program, and the Individualized Program. These programs are detailed in the following paragraphs.
Programs for the Deaf -- The deaf program includes activities and services to fulfill social, recreational, and adult learning needs with barrier-free communication. Specialized programs have been developed for deaf seniors, deaf teenagers, families with deaf children, people with multiple disabilities and some degree of deafness, and people who have lost their hearing as adults.
Programs for the Hard of Hearing -- The hard of hearing specialists work with hard-of-hearing and late-deafened individuals and their families to support those individuals with building various degrees of adjustment/coping skills by providing a barrier-free environment in which to learn, share experiences and enjoy socialization with others who have similar experiences. They provide classes, workshops, and sign language and speech reading training. They also provide information and resources on self-advocacy, assistive technology, purchasing hearing aids, the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA), self-help strategies and employment issues.
Utah Interpreter Program -- The program provides interpreter training, mentoring, best practices, and certification. The Center offers classes and workshops to help interpreters improve skills, increase knowledge, and prepare for certification.
The Center performs interpreter certification quality assurance evaluations to ensure that the deaf community is receiving quality interpreting services.
Individualized Services Program -- Services are provided at no cost to individuals who are deaf and hard of hearing, such as mental health counseling in family, group or individualized settings; case management services; assistance with reading documents; and referring clients to appropriate agencies or service providers.
Outreach and Technology Program -- Outreach services offer information and referrals to the public regarding deaf and hard-of-hearing issues. The program provides presentations or workshops on the needs and technology available for individuals who are deaf or hard of hearing.
The center offers a demonstration lab that has equipment available for individuals to test before purchase. Equipment includes special phones for the hard of hearing, TTY devices, doorbell and phone transmitters and flashers, baby cry devices, fire/burglar alarms, and computer software and hardware.
The following statutes detail the creation of the division, division responsibilities, and the appointment of an advisory council.
The table below provides a five-year budget timeline for the division. The table illustrates that Education Fund represents 91 percent of the total division revenue. The only other revenue source in the division's budget is dedicated credits. The division generates dedicated credits through the sale of services that includes items such as: building rental income (Utah Association for the Deaf and a bookstore); fees for interpreter certification evaluation; fees for interpreter services to Courts and state agencies; fees for interpreter training workshops; fees for sign language classes; and mental health service fees.
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COBI contains unaudited data as presented to the Legislature by state agencies at the time of publication. For audited financial data see the State of Utah's Comprehensive Annual Financial Reports.