Approved Date: November 19, 2020
Be mindful of the power balance between the VR specialist and the client and document options weighed with the individual and how he/she exercised informed choice on how to proceed in the career planning process. Review VR Process Chart with the client.
2. For clients who are recipients of local, state, and federal benefits, schedule Benefits Orientation. Once completed, refer and authorize for Benefits Assessment. All career planning services should continue while the client is participating in Benefit Counseling to progress towards developing the IPE in a timely manner.
3. Assist client in determining or refining a job goal by utilizing a variety of tools to maximize his/her strengths and accommodate for the disability related needs of the individual. Career exploration is tailored to the client's unique situation and can be completed through a variety of activities.
4. Address Labor Market Information.
5. Review work-related concerns potentially affecting the client getting or keeping the vocational goal he/she is interested in pursuing. Factors to be addressed are disability, financial, legal issues, daily living, work history, attendance, etc.
6. With the client, establish steps, services, and supports necessary to achieve job goal. Address evaluation criteria, service provider responsibilities, comparable benefits, and possible cost participation. Discuss strategies to assume cost in the future.
7. Mutually agree on goal(s), services, and supports required and write the Individualized Plan for Employment (IPE). Document how the specific goal was determined and informed choice was facilitated
and accomplished. Career Planning systemically originates at Initial Meeting through conversation but formally begins after eligibility and priority group determination has been completed and client is removed from the waitlist (during Order of Selection), and progresses through development of the Individualized Plan for Employment (IPE) and throughout the life of the VR case. The foundational assumption is that ALL everyone Reference Meet you Where You Are Model and VR Process Chart .
Informed Choice is a partnership between the specialist and the individual by which exploration of options occurs at each point in the person’s planning and service implementation. Informed Choice is a flexible, ever moving process, empowering an individual to consider a range of options towards self-determination. In the end, both the individual and the specialist hold responsibility for the decisions made and for the outcome of those decisions.
The following basic guidelines for implementing Informed Choice are recommended:
Step 1: Determining the best method of Communication
Clear, consistent communication between the specialist and the individual is important. Depending on the person's preferences and abilities, different communication strategies should be explored. Some things to consider regarding communication are: reading and writing ability, mental health, physical accommodations, hearing, vision, family involvement, and intellectual ability.
Step 2: Gathering of information relevant to the decision being made
Gathering information about services, vendors, and providers can be accomplished in various ways by both the specialist and the client. Here are some examples: Learning specific needs of the individual and researching providers who may be the best fit; Researching the success rate and types of outcomes from various providers; Working with a college or university disability supports/services office and or visiting a college campus in person to learn about available resources and accommodations; and asking peers and supervisor's opinion on his/her experiences with a particular vendor or provider.
Step 3: Discussion of the information collected
Provide information for the vocational area(s) of interest to include the skills, abilities, training and/or experience required to do the job. Address how the vocational information aligns with the client's strengths, resources, priorities, concerns, abilities, capabilities, interests, as well as labor market information.
Step 4: Setting of Goals and Follow-Up
The final step in offering informed choice is to arrive at a decision based upon facts, options, discussion, and research relevant to the specific needs of each individual's situation. Goals should be set, including action steps, determining who is responsible for them, and a timeline for completion of each goal. Ensure progress is being made toward reaching the goals by providing regular follow-up directly with the client.