OVR Acting Executive Director Ryan Hyde
and JessieRyan, is here — is here if you could — Ryn, welcome to the table.
>> RYAN HYDE: Hello. Plat Matt are you still having —
>> SPEAKER: I’m on here too.
>> JESSIE CRUM-LASKO: I’m here too.
>> ROBERT OLIVER: Are you hearing me better now? Thank you.
Ryan, take it away.
>> RYAN HYDE: Jessie please feel free to fill any blanks I’m Ryan Hyde acting OVR director, presently.
Have a couple of updates four guys if you want to ask any questions Jessie will be happy to answer them.[laughter]
So I guess unfortunately the PADES conference is going on while you’re meeting is going on maybe you got to go there yesterday.
I was there this morning. Had a really nice speaker.
Talking about employment first that is good.
A lot of work goes into that from OVRs side of the house. So that’s always a good event. Close to 300 students planning on come to go that.
Some of them, from the Bureau of juvenile justice system as well, local school districts that’s all — partnership through us and, BSE and the Governor’s advisory committee.
You guys may have seen or participated in the comprehensive needs assessment that OVR is required to do every 3 years. Temple does that for us through a contract, we, um, put that out for bid every — not — not under a master agreement are with temple. Every 3 years, and they — they coordinate it, based upon the instructions that we provide for them.
So this is the end of the 3 year period. So we’re expecting a physical document here any day to know kind of how to proceed in the future as far as where we should focus on under served and unserved populations as well as any other data they have gathered through their work over the past 3 years. They have done a lot of focus groups and in person meetings and surveys with the disability community to try to figure out under served and unserved population chose is part of the requirement of the comprehensive statewide needs assessment. We’re looking forward to receiving that, we’ll be looking to doing the next one it’s a 3 year cycle we’re required too do I wanted to talk to this group and I didn’t bring there up at the PA rehabilitation council Matt is familiar with it, RSA our Federal parent has now instituted what is called prior approval.
Prior approval — sore I have a fly flying around me — prior approval is something new for us.
It is a Federal requirement under the office of management and budget.
There’s new uniform guidance that OMB office of management budget has issued. The Department of Education, rehab services administration, RSA is under, they are the one that’s give us our funds — they have adopted that uniform guidance so now we’re subject to it.
The prior approval basically, requires OVR for anything over $5,000 that is a — kind of a physical piece of equipment or supply, um, must be sent down we have to receive prior approval from RSA.
We can do aggregate approval annually for certain things that meet the definition.
But, for things that are kind of equipment that don’t meet the definition of equipment such as vehicle mods, home mods, farm Agribility cases small business cases anything related to those we have to send down individually they have to be reviewed, by RSA we have to receive approval from RSA before we can obligate funds. So that will delay certain services by a few weeks.
At least, we just started this really on 10/1, so we have not gotten a sense for how long will stuff is really going to say. We have submitted some things they have come back pretty quick. So hopefully the 3-4 weeks is — the extreme we get things back, relatively quickly.
We do have new contacts at RSA the guys we worked with the past five or so years, RSA down sized a little bit across the country.
They went from 5 teams to 4. So — we got shuffled we have a new set of contacts down there, we’re learning each other and trying to make sure they flow how good Pennsylvania is, compared to all the other states.
I wanted to bring up a new development in Hiram G. Andrews center we instituted a welding program a year ago the first cohort is going through the welding program. It’s a cool facility, they updated one of their rooms it’s all level, they have ten new welding stations that are state-of-the-art they have a virtual welding system I don’t know what else you call it you can go, you don’t have to have metal I have a virtual reality helmet on you have virtual welding equipment and, virtual metal and — I’ve done it, put on masks it looks like you’re welding metal the good thing is you don’t have to actually have metal you save a lot of money buying metal you’re not really going to use for anything.
The students get to practice having the helmet on, are using the equipment getting their distance and penetration all these different things that are important for welding.
To practice on them, the plastic elements, before they hit the metal shop.
They have ten you know regular welding areas as well. It’s really cool. So they’re doubling it. They’re actually going to make a whole other other welding classroom. They got a grant from local organization up there as well as they’re using funding from us.
And they’re going to do — they’re going replicate that welding classroom they’re going to the option for another ten students. So they’re looking to have that start basically as soon as possible.
But, they’re doing construction and you know, running lines right now. That’s exciting for the Hiram G. Andrews Center.
Over the last two years, we have been working with the Bureau of juvenile justice in particular, their schools and there’s a ton of students with disabilities at the schools.
So we have been going out and working with them to provide preemployment transition services they did transfer some money to us we’re using that to draw additional Federal funds when possible.
Then we use those funds to provide preemployment transition services. So we had a symposium together, this past year when we talked about all the stuff we’ve been doing. We hit a lot of students there.
If you’re familiar with the FAB lab it’s a mobile lab where you can go out and collect out 3D printing and other technologies, taking that to a — contracted we don’t — we contract them to go out to the facilities and share this information. Their STEM careers in the FAB lab to these students we’re continually working on that relationship, we never can’t say we never interfaced with the juvenile justice system before, but we really have upped our game we have regular meetings with them, we’re doing stuff, particularly out in Erie, a ton of facilities. Our Erie has a big presence, some stuff in York and Harrisburg and Philadelphia, a lot of the students end up going back to Philadelphia.
Trying to figure out how to make those connections for when people return out of that system so they, get jobs and — don’t — repeat offend. But that’s going to been a really good partnership of the Commonwealth for us and BJJS.
The annual report you may have received this if you’re on our stakeholder report we sent it out via the link.
If not, Matt probably has it, he can forward it to the group you should have all received it. We’re always excited about that. It is a — it will be calendar format we have not gotten printed coins yet you can see the electronically. There’s a ton of, success stories embedded into the annual report. And — as soon as we put that out we’ll start working on next year’s annual report we’ve been having staffing issues within OVR particularly in a couple of offices, Allentown, Philadelphia, Johnstown.
We just haven’t been able to identify rehab counselors specifically. We are working, we changed classification, I think it was year or so ago to add a counselor trainee a person who has a masters degree is not a Masters degree in rehabilitation they can come in at a pay grade six do that job for one year, learn the ropes become a regular counselor after one year’s time.
So those masters degrees are more varied they do require — I think 3 credits currently in counseling. Within those degrees but we’re using that, to try to recruit more counselors we’re actually trying to refine that classification to see if we can make it more broad to catch more people but, in Philadelphia, in particular, we no longer have a feeder school for rehab counselors temple had a program years ago it’s been defunct for some time that’s one of the reasons we’re experiencing problems there. But it may eventually, you know cause delays we are — covering case loads over time and things like that.
>> MATTHEW SEELEY: How successful has that major program you’re talking about people who don’t have the page or in rehab, is that successful?
>> RYAN HYDE: It’s pretty new we also had — change in our civil service software we use in the State. Went to NEAGOV, between that transformation and the implementation of this — this new classification, it hasn’t caught fire yet we have hired over 20 some people a cross the State. That’s good. But — we’re going to try to ramp up some recruitment activities particularly in Philadelphia to try to get some more people. Our recruiter is going down there there’s so many — social work is one of the degrees that would be allowable. So we’re going to try to get down there, hit some of the social work programs see if we can get some more recruits.
One of the big positive things we’ve seen, every year states return money to the Federal government they can’t draw it with match. Thanks to Governor Wolf the legislature, secretary Oleksiak, former secretary Mandarino, OVR has been blessed with additional funds the last couple of years. We have also — generated our own funds as I mentioned with the BJJS they transferred funds to us we have a transfer with the office of developmental programs.
So all these little bits and pieces get rolled up allow us to draw more Federal match we did receive 15.8 million in reallocation funds.
So we’re pretty excited about that.
It wasn’t — we requested more, but they were there was no more funds made available, OVR, Pennsylvania OVR received the most of any state actually two of the last 3 years, received the most reallocation money in the State. So we’re, we’re very proud of that.
Some stats for this year if you have seen the annual report this say repeat. But — we’ve closed 7885 individuals successfully.
Rehabilitated we’re proud of that.
We had 21,000 new applicants and over 25,600 students with disabilities participated in preemployment and transition services either they were potentially eligible or if they may have had an open rehab case. So those are pretty significant numbers. We had a lot of competing priorities right now. The changes in WIOA, have really changed how VR works nationally, the preemployment transition stuff is great. But they took 15 percent of our Federal award for students with disabilities and didn’t give us back fully money for the adult population we’re trying to make that work we will use that reallocation fund to kind of cover the gap. But — it is exciting to see all those students — participating in services, and getting you know, work based learning experiences job readiness self advocacy stuff and I continue to support that CILs should be part with preemployment transition services we have a boilerplate provider agreement people can apply — apply to provide services, self advocacy is right up your alleys if you’re not involved in that, some of the CILs are, if you’re not involved in that you want to think about it, you know, reach out to your local district administrator and they can share the details provider agreement or Jessie can send that to you. You can — think about try to make it as — least bureaucratic as possible. But you know we still have to have curriculum and expectations for what the services will if it’s boilerplate for reimbursement and everything if you’re interested in that.
You know, we’re very willing to talk to you about it.
National disability ememployment awareness month wrapped up in October.
The theme this year was America’s work force empowering all we had 25 public events across the Commonwealth but 50 total events across the Commonwealth.
So there was job fairs and career fairs and speaking engagements all kinds of different things throughout the communities that OVR coordinated. We asked every office to do at least one but as you can tell by the numbers maybe the office 2 or more, some are small or large, Pittsburgh and Erie in particular, did bigger things. Pittsburgh is still spending. Erie just did theirs. Summer academies you’ve heard us talk about the summer academies in years passed we’re planning already for them they just ended, in July and August.
We’re already planning for next year it takes a year to get those off the ground.
So we’re — we’re looking forward to doing those academies.
Again this year Slippery Rock this is the first year we had academy with them, two weeks. That was very successful.
We have a lot of partnerships with Slippery Rock, they came to our board meeting, a few months ago and, presented on all their programs they have a lot of opportunity force students with disabilities there, we’re working with them on.
Many of you — Theo participated in the Commonwealth internship program that we did this past summer. We had 18 Commonwealth interns that participated, in paid summer jobs in various Commonwealth entities.
And we’re looking to replicate that as well. We’ve already in the planning phases for that. We’re hopeful we can maybe expand it to more students and more Commonwealth entities but we selected students upon their majors and put them in jobs that correlated.
>> THEO BRADDY: Can I speak on that?
>> RYAN HYDE: Sure.
>> THEO BRADDY: The CILCP, had participated in that.
Significantly participated in that and — I wanted to when you brought up the idea of expanding that to all 18 centers I jumped on that because of that benefit.
So — like he indicated we’re already moving on — that again with the hope that all 18 centers will agree to participate in that.
Definite benefit but not only a benefit to the center it is a benefit to young people with disabilities getting experience that’s part of our mission as a center. So I would hope, all the centers would agree do participate in that.
Again, I applaud Ryan for coming up with that.
>> RYAN HYDE: That’s my last ask which was — we I believe Sharon may have sent some information out a — you sent if out already? Went out already, about — our OJT process. We are willing to work with you I think we’ll try to figure out what are you looking for? Are you looking for accounting? Social work? IT? You know, what are you looking for? We’ll see if we can —
>> ROBERT OLIVER: OJT meaning —
>> RYAN HYDE: On the job training OJD is on the job training contract with issue with any employer really we basically do a wage reimbursement. So I did want to talk about that a little bit you guys need to identify the skill set you’re looking for we’ll try to identify a college student in your area that we’re supporting to do that type of work for the summer you know we’re pretty flexible Theo and I talked about, the Commonwealth program is 12 weeks if you can do 6 weeks or 8 or 10 or 12 weeks whatever you think is reasonable, part-time full-time you know we’re just looking to get our students internships and experience because we know that you know that’s a resume builder for them, gives them something to talk about interview that will help their career once they graduate from college. So, if you guys have needs, we’ll try to locate a student with that need. You know logistics will probably be the problem making sure someone can get there to your center.
Is there someone we’re supporting with that degree in your area. But — we can work through all that kind of stuff and you know, if we get, five great if we get 18, even better. If we get more than that, better.
It is a a wage reimbursement process though.
So, you would have to pay the person and then submit documentation to the local office they would do this they would reimburse you, you can do it as frequently as every two weeks cut a paycheck you can submit paper work to the office they will submit to our case management system and then, hopefully you’ll get a check or a direct deposit relatively quickly, it will be help offsetting your cost. We do offer a percentage a couple percentage points for like admin charges for workers comp I believe that is in the documentation that Sharon sent out. So that will help with your over all absorption of this person into the, into your center.
But I’m excited about the opportunity.
I think it’s a great partnership for us and the CILs to do that.
Really help, benefit a college student with the disability to help them farther their careers. So happy to answer any questions that really, concludes employee report for today.
>> ROBERT OLIVER: We are okay for for one question, if we can get one question that’s fine, then we need a break. Yvonne did I see your hand up? Is it something you can ask Ryan during the break.
>> YVONNE HUGHES: Yes, it is I can ask during the break.
>> MATT SEELEY: Are you staying.
>> RYAN HYDE: I’ll stick around for awhile I can come back I know secretary Oleksiak —
>> MATT SEELEY: We want to be aware of the secretary’s time as well as yours we can take a break.
>> KATHLEEN KLEINMANN: I would like to ask a question.
>> MATT SEELEY: Ryan can stay with the question can we ask that question, because the — I we have to be mindful of CART as well, she is past due as well.
>> ROBERT OLIVER: Work for you Kathleen?
>> KATHLEEN KLEINMANN: I thought everybody might be interested in the answer that’s all.
>> ROBERT OLIVER: I get it.
We’ll ask — ask your question after the break, everyone will hear the answer.
So — we’ll take a short break I would like to reconvene at 11:09 please.[break]
>> MATT SEELEY: Can we all gather back?
Everybody talking — we didn’t hear you.
We have your attention now.
>> ROBERT OLIVER: Thanks for —
>> ROBERT OLIVER: Does that work better for CART — okay.
>> CAPTIONER: Thank you.
>> ROBERT OLIVER: Okay.
Once again I will turn it over to secretary Oleksiak.
>> SPEAKER: Good morning, before I start my little — is there another question that someone was going to ask Ryan?
>> MATT SEELEY: Court and counsel lien —
>> ROBERT OLIVER: Do you want to start with your question.
>> KATHLEEN KLEINMANN: Yes, I was going to ask — I know the MCOs have objectives under the contract for people who were receiving long-term care services I was wondering how the collaboration between the two departments, is going? And what kind of context that would take to describe it.
>> RYAN HYDE: Thank you Kathleen I say we’re you know in our infancy we actually had, OLTL come with their managed care organizations to the rehab council and there was very aggressive I don’t know what else to call it, debate during their presentation about how to include OVR.
I met Ed Butler, who works for Office of Long Term Living he used to work for OVR long time being we know each other, we met once prior to that and — that is the first time I had had the opportunity to actually meet the managed care organizations. We have asked them to college some time with us.
In November and December to further figure out how this is going to work they’re putting some — um, expectations on OVR. OVR is the payor of first resort or OLTL and office of developmental programs to allow people with disabilities to access their waiver services.
So we’re trying to navigate that new system. Everybody previously was kind of always the last pay or of resort you know OVR was, OLTL was ODP was.
But now there’s some changes at the center for Medicaid and Medicare services which funds ODP and OLTL.
And — now, they’re saying the VR program has to be the first step. So we’re navigating these new waters, carefully. Because we’re concerned about the volume and, making sure that we’re not become a bottle neck for people.
>> MATT SEELEY: If I could follow-up yesterday at the PADES conference this subject came up again there was a presentation by the 3 MCOs and the question that we went over last week with the rehab council what happened when OVR’s budget gets exhausted. One of the guys from the UPMC, Matt admitted that — it would fall onto them they would not admit to that last week. But — so —
>> RYAN HYDE: Good to know.[Laughter]
>> MATT SEELEY: Yeah.