2010 Annual Report
Massachusetts State Rehabilitation Council

The full graphics version of this report is available for download as a PDF document: SRC 2010 Annual Report pdf format of src-report-2010.pdf

A Message from the Chair
State Rehabilitation Council Structure
SRC Members
About the Massachusetts Rehabilitation Commission (MRC)
MRC Vocational Rehabilitation Program
MRC Finances
Consumer Satisfaction Committee
The Finance/Budget & Placement/Marketing Committee
MRC American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (ARRA)
Joint Committee on VR State Plan and Interagency Relations
RSA State Plan Federal Fiscal Year 2011
SRC Policy and Regulations Committee
Unserved/Underserved Population Committee
Joint Committee on By-Laws and Nominations Committee
Community Living Programs
Home Care Assistance Program Advisory Committee
Disability Determination Services
Task Forces

 

Massachusetts State Rehabilitation Council (SRC) Annual Report

The Massachusetts State Rehabilitation Council was created in March, 1994 by the Governor's Executive Order #368; to implement the requirements of the Rehabilitation Act, as amended by P.L. 102-569 in 1992.

The mandate of the Council is to advise the Commissioner of Rehabilitation Program and the Massachusetts Rehabilitation Commission concerning the operation and delivery of rehabilitation services.

The major purposes of the Council are as set out in the Rehabilitation Act, section 105, which include among others the following:

  • To encourage the personal and vocational growth and development of individuals with disabilities;
  • To promote barrier-free access for persons with disabilities;
  • To ensure the full participation of persons with disabilities in their communities.

Council members are appointed by and serve at the pleasure of the Governor. The membership reflects a diverse representation of people with disabilities and disability advocacy groups; current and former consumers of vocational rehabilitation and independent living services; people in business and industry; education; and community rehabilitation programs. Members of the MRC State Rehabilitation Council are volunteers who donate their time to fulfill the mission of the SRC.

SRC Mission
Our mission is to function as the Massachusetts Rehabilitation Commission's Vocational Rehabilitation Advisory Council focused on supporting and advising the agency in the provision of high-quality, value-based training and services that lead to meaningful and sustainable competitive employment.

SRC Vision
Our vision is to provide a dynamic pathway to economic self-sufficiency for all people with disabilities to break the historic bonds of poverty.

A Message from the Chair

Dear Governor Patrick:

We are pleased to present this 2010 Annual Report which identifies the key activities of the Massachusetts Rehabilitation Commission State Rehabilitation Council (SRC).

During 2009-10 we finalized the SRC's Strategic Plan Goals and Objectives and began focusing the Council's energy on fulfilling the various action items. We invited all of our standing committee chairs and senior Massachusetts Rehabilitation Commission (MRC) management to be part of this ongoing process during the Executive Committee meetings.

The SRC and the MRC continued to work on building an even stronger partnership. The Council participated in many MRC activities and provided recommendations for improvements. One example of this can be seen with our involvement with the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (ARRA) funds and provided advice as to how the MRC should best utilize these important funds to help people with disabilities obtain employment.

Both the MRC and the SRC were challenged by the difficult economy and both took steps to reduce expenses which included reducing meeting expenses and not having an annual consumer conference. The Council also continues to address the lack of appointments and has increased its communication with the Executive Office of Health & Human Services and the Governor's Office. The MRC has been actively involved with the Council in elevating the level of activity relating to this topic.

I would like to express my thanks and appreciation for the relationship we have with our State Independent living Council, the MRC staff and most importantly with the Members of the Council who volunteer their time. I look forward to a better year where the SRC will continue to build strong relationships that will provide meaningful employment outcomes for people with disabilities.

Sincerely, Youcef "Joe" Bellil
SRC Chairperson

State Rehabilitation Council Structure

Executive Committee Oversees:

  • Standing Committees
    • Consumer Satisfaction Survey Committee
    • Joint Committee By-Law & Nomination
    • Joint Committee Business Development/Placement & Finance & Budget
    • Joint Committee State Plan & Interagency Relations
    • Policy & Regulations Committee
    • Unserved/Underserved Populations Committee
  • Task Forces
    • Artists with Disabilities Task Force
    • Western MA Artists with Disabilities Task Force
    • Home Based/Self Employment Task Force
    • LD/ADHD Task Force Transportation Task Force
  • Statewide Program Advisory Councils
    • PCA/ Home Care Advisory Council
    • SHIP/MBIA Advisory Council
  • District Advisory Councils
    • North District Advisory Council
    • South District Advisory Council
    • West District Advisory Council

SRC Members

  • SRC Executive Committee:
    • Youcef "Joe" Bellil, Chairperson
    • Warren Magee, Vice Chairperson
    • Owen Doonan, Secretary
  • SRC Appointed Members
    • Youcef "Joe" Bellil, Business
    • Mark A. Bornemann, Employer
    • Owen Doonan, Business
    • Mike Ferriter, Advocate
    • Nicholas Kaltsas, Business
    • Lusa Lo, Higher Institution
    • Barbara Lybarger, General Counsel (CAP)
    • Warren Magee, Advocate
    • Susan Ventura, Higher Institution
    • Charles Carr, MRC Commissioner, Ex-Officio
  • SRC Ex-Officio Members
    • Maryan Amaral, Newtonville
    • Andrea Bader, Boston
    • Kristin Britton, Quincy
    • Kevin Goodwin, Wayland
    • June Hailer, Pittsfield
    • Inta Hall, Hingham
    • Betty J. King, Boston
    • Jenna Knight, Worcester
    • Hang Lee, Milton
    • David Libunao, Burlington
    • Lisa Matrundola, Mass-Career Centers
    • Karen Murray, Boston
    • Amy Partelow Holyoke
    • Ann Marie Paulson, Lakeville
    • Rita Sagalyn, Concord
    • Angelica Sawyer, Cambridge
    • Reva Stein, Waltham
    • Neil Sullivan, Dedham
    • Barry Sumner, Onset
    • Francis Verville, Fall River

Massachusetts Rehabilitation Commission (MRC)

Mission and Vision
The Massachusetts Rehabilitation Commission (MRC) promotes equality, empowerment and productive independence for individuals with disabilities. We achieve these goals by enhancing and encouraging personal choice in the pursuit of independence and employment in the community.

The MRC provides comprehensive services to people with disabilities in order to maximize their quality of life and economic self-sufficiency in the community.

Multiple programs in the MRC complement each other to assist individuals with disabilities, including: Community Living, Vocational Rehabilitation and Disability Determination Services.

Senior Management Team

  • Charles Carr, Commissioner
  • Kasper Goshgarian, Deputy Commissioner
  • Richard Arcangeli, General Counsel
  • Ruth Paulson, Chief Financial Officer
  • Joan Phillips, Assistant Commissioner of Vocational Rehabilitation
  • Barbara Kinney, Assistant Commissioner of Disability Determination
  • Kevin Collins Chief Information Officer
  • Bill Noone, Director Research Program
  • Al Jones, Human resource Manager


MRC Vocational Rehabilitation Program

Year In Review July 1, 2009 - June 30, 2010

  • 3,022 citizens with disabilities have been successfully placed into employment based on their choices, interests, needs and skills.
  • The earnings of these rehabilitated employees in MA in the first year were $ 50.1 million.
  • Estimated public benefits savings from people rehabilitated in MA were $22.7 million.
  • Average Hourly Wage: $12.28
  • Average Work Hours Weekly: 25.9

*The returns to society based on increases in lifetime earnings range from $14 to $18 for each $1 invested in the MRC Vocational Rehabilitation program.

* $5 is returned to the government in the form of increased taxes and reduced public assistance payments for every $1 invested in the MRC Vocational Rehabilitation program.

* Based on 2004 Commonwealth Corporation Study.

Who Are Our Consumers?

Types of Disabling Conditions:
Psychiatric Disabilities 37.7%
Substance Abuse 10.7%
Orthopedic Disabilities 10.8%
Learning Disabilities 18.3%
Mental Retardation 3.1%
Deaf and Hard of Hearing 5.9%
Neurological Disabilities 2.1%
Traumatic Brain Injury 2.1%
Other Disabilities 9.4%

Average Age: 34
Female: 45.6%
Male: 54.4%
Asian/Pacific Islander: 3.0%
Black: 16.2%
Hispanic: 8.8%
Native American: .8%
White: 80%

Public Vocational Rehabilitation Program Historical Years In Review

MRC Finances:

  • In Sum for Federal FY 10/1/08 - 9/30/09: Federal Funds Expended FY2009
    • Vocational Rehabilitation / Federal $34,799,984
    • Vocational Rehabilitation / SSA $2,798,863
    • Supported Employment $299,299
    • Disability Determination Services $41,008,905
    • Independent Living Services $1,617,008
    • Other Federal Spending $1,374,226
    • Total $81,898,285
  • In Sum for State FY 7/1/08 - 6/30/09 State Funds Expended FY2009
    • Vocational Rehabilitation (VR/EEP) 17,944,832
    • Community Services - All Other 28,422,107
    • DDS Allocation - Rolland Case 6,977,735
    • Other Allocations 3,299,075
    • Head Injury Trust Fund 9,887,631
    • Total $66,531,380

Consumer Satisfaction Committee
Susan Ventura, PhD. Chair

Years Recommendations made to SRC/MRC:

  • Self advocacy is an important determinant of satisfaction, and it is an important determinant of success in life. It should be formally addressed in some fashion by the MRC as part of its regular service provision, particularly for consumers in the early stages of their plan development.
  • This survey has raised questions as to whether the needs of the population with learning disabilities are being met. The LD/ADHD Task Force is working with the Program Research, Evaluation and Development Department on a Needs Assessment for consumers with learning disabilities and attention deficit/hyperactivity disorder.
  • The results of this study should be used by the MRC to create programs and policies that include this population, and insure that counselors are adequately trained.
  • Data from a focus group of Unserved/Underserved MRC consumers supported these survey findings regarding LD/ADHD consumers having a difficult time accessing satisfying services.
  • Respondents repeatedly complained that they did not have enough help in the job search process.
  • Respondents who find employment are frequently not happy with the jobs they get. The use of ARRA funds for hiring additional staff should go a long way toward ameliorating this situation.
  • The Consumer Satisfaction Committee will invite a few VR counselors and a Job Placement Specialist to speak with them about the actual events leading up to a successful or unsuccessful closure, or job placement.
  • Respondents were least satisfied with their choice of providers and recommended counselors or job placement specialists follow-up with consumers both prior to and during employment when using community rehabilitation providers to make sure services are being delivered appropriately.
  • The District VR Contract Coordinators, who supervise the 82 contracted MRC providers, should be required to read the Consumer Satisfaction Survey Report and report back to the Commissioner the steps that they will take to address consumer concerns about provider relations.

Years Accomplishments:

  • Monthly reports to the Assistant Commissioner on changes in consumer satisfaction by area offices.
  • There were 1050 responses to the Consumer Satisfaction Survey in 2009. The response rate of 20.2%, within the lower bound for a mailed satisfaction survey of this type.
  • There was an increase in the proportion of respondents with unsuccessfully closed cases (status 28) who were satisfied with the MRC in 2009 (57.7% vs. 54.9%). There were also more respondents with unsuccessfully closed cases (29% vs. 23.8%), so the increase in satisfaction could be due to increased sample size.
  • Overall satisfaction was down for all groups from 79.6% in 2008 to 77.6% in 2009.
  • Among disability groups, respondents with LD/ADHD (66.7%) and psychiatric disabilities (74.3%) were least likely to be satisfied with the MRC while respondents with hearing or communication disabilities (87.7%) and medical disabilities (87.6%) were most satisfied.
  • Once again, counselors most often ranked as sources of satisfaction followed by respect (86.7%) knowledge (81.7%) ease contact (81.3%) followed by control of plans and decisions (76.1 %).
  • Choice of providers ranked lowest as a source of satisfaction by both successful and unsuccessful closures.
  • Satisfaction with choice of services by people with a specific disability might imply how well the MRC deals with that disability. If a respondent felt there were adequate services for that disability, we might assume it was well served. In this case, respondents with substance abuse were most satisfied with the choice of service, (79.8%) followed by hearing/communication (77.7%) -who were also most likely to be employed.
  • Respondents with neurological (63.3%) and developmental (61.4%) disabilities were least satisfied with the choice of services.
  • Employment services at the MRC were frequently cited for their limitations. Some "respondents believed the MRC would make referrals to jobs not in accord with an IPE. Others spoke of taking 2 jobs because the job didn't pay well or was only part time and they wanted a full time position. These problems can only partially be explained by the economic situation in Massachusetts.

What MRC Consumers Have To Say

  • "MRC gives people like myself the chance of doing better with life when you feel there is nothing you can do."
  • "I am forever grateful to MRC. I was someone who always struggled due to learning disabilities. Today I am a proud RN. My counselor helped me stay focused on my goal, not the road blocks along the way."
  • "MRC gave me the ability to find a great job and an opportunity to excel in it."
  • "It was positive, empowering, and made a profound difference in my life. I am grateful for all MRC has done for me."
  • "MRC helps people with disabilities to advocate for themselves and opens up doors for them."
  • "I felt a good deal of love and respect from the individuals who helped me, especially my counselor, whose concern and commitment to my case helped me believe in myself."

The Finance/Budget & Placement/Marketing Committee
Mark A. Bornemann, Chair

Strategic Goal: The SRC's Finance/Budget & Placement/Marketing Committee will study the development and refinement of employer education programs on support services options and resources.

Years Recommendations made to the SRC/MRC:

  • The development of the Marketing Strategy Team (MST) to develop a direct marketing campaign to employers to further create awareness.
  • Partnered with the Placement Coordinators and their teams to increase awareness of the MRC in general to employers.
  • The MRC-ARRA Projects include among others; 11 job placement specialist and job employment specialists are being hired with the ARRA funds.
  • Work with the MST to determine if there is a budget supporting the MST and MRC marketing and placement strategies.
  • The committee appreciated and supported the MRC - VR marketing brochure that Job Placement Specialists use and distribute to the three Employer Advisory Committees in Boston, Worcester and Springfield. Committee members liked it and suggested that employer's quotes be posted on our website.
  • The Committee identified the Commonwealth as a Model Employer and recognized the State is positioning itself as a lead by example; this might be marketed as a benefit to the employer sector.
  • The concept of "branding" employers, highlighting that reasonable accommodation costs are minimized if MRC does its job well.
  • Work with the MRC Commissioner to determine the strategy to retain the Placement and Employment Specialists after the ARRA Funds are spent.
  • The Committee is diligently working on reaching out to employers and thinking about how to invite them to the Annual Consumer Conference. The Committee also deliberated on the methodologies of marketing the annual Conference to potential employers.
  • By consensus, the Chair recommended to the Commissioner and Assistant Commissioner to set aside approximately 5% of the $6M in reallocated/returned funding to cover the cost of the media spend to develop the Branding.

Years Accomplishments:

  • Partnership between the Committee and MRC-VR marketing team and the Placement Coordinators grew stronger than ever. We have partnered to increases the awareness of MRC among employers.
  • The Committee continued to support MRC use of the ARRA funds, which was partly developed to reach out to the Employers Community by hiring 6 individuals as Employer Service specialists.
  • The Committee strongly acknowledged the innovation to use the ARRA funds to access and place consumers into competitive job position through on-the-job training (OJT) and on-the-job Evaluation (OJE).
  • Committee members suggested the need and participated in creating the MRC - Marketing Strategy Team (MST) and we will provide on-going-support and contribute at MST meetings.
  • A competency data report was created to identify the competencies/skill of the existing committee members and to indicate which competencies may be lacking so that we could recruit new member(s) with the necessary skills to add to the committee's expertise in the areas of finance, human resources and marketing .
  • The Committee developed a strong rapport with the management team of MRC's Finance department for consult and to have greater access to budget reports and to review financial results.

Main accomplishments made in the MRC American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (ARRA)

Grant Outcomes

  • 73 On-The-Job trainings (OJT) providing MRC consumers with industry-specific training with employers have started to date . To date, 31 consumers have been placed into employment through this program.
  • The MRC Job Placement and Employment Specialist team continues to work with employers to identify additional OJT/OJE opportunities for MRC consumers. The Massachusetts Recovery and Reinvestment Office visited MRC OJT employer Fallon Clinic on August 30th and Baystate Health on September 15th and saw firsthand how MRC's ARRA OJT program uses ARRA funding to place individuals with disabilities into employment in high-growth industries across Massachusetts and stimulate the economy.
  • Adaptive Van conversion is completed . Van has been purchased and delivered, equipment has been ordered and delivered, and the modification process is complete. The MRC and Massachusetts Safety Council (CMSC) inspected the van on September 22nd and the van passed the inspection. Van was delivered to CMSC on September 24th. The van will assist many MRC consumers and incorporates state of the art adaptive technology. An unveiling/ribbon cutting ceremony for the van will be held November 15th at CMSC. The van was showcased at an Adaptive Technology Driver Evaluator conference.
  • The Donated Car Program with Good News Garage has delivered 54 cars to MRC consumers as of October 20th. This has allowed these consumers to go to work. 26 additional cars will be delivered in FY2011. MRC completed a site monitoring visit with Good News Garage staff on September 16. Additional deliveries are scheduled for November.
  • All 29 ARRA-funded staff members have started as of September 27th. This completes the staffing component of the VR ARRA grant.
  • All programmatic activity for Youth Leadership Forum completed as of August 27th. The Forum held from July 7th to July 9th at Bridgewater State College. This Forum brought together 25 high school youth with disabilities with 12 college-aged peer mentors to promote job readiness, college readiness, and civic engagement. The forum was a success and all those involved were pleased with the outcome.
  • Youth Summer Program wrapped up on August 28th. Program provided 8 week paid internship opportunities with state agencies for 19 MRC consumers. Youths were placed at state agency work sites in Boston, Springfield, and Worcester.
  • All 11 Independent Living Centers (ILC) Contracts completed. We worked with the ILCs to accelerate spending in the first two full years of the grant and to increase spending on client services. 75% of the grant will be expended in the first two years after the award. MRC will continue to work with the ILCs to move expenditures forward if opportunities arise.
  • To date, all 11 ILCs are continuing to ramp up their new ARRA projects. These projects are a mix of direct client services, outreach efforts, and technological infrastructure improvements designed to increase each ILCs capacity to serve individuals with disabilities across Massachusetts. In addition, several ILCs have hired or retained staff using ARRA Part C funding. All of the Part C ARRA projects will support and enhance the core independent living services provided by the ILCs and will assist individuals with disabilities with living independently in the community and going to work.

Some specific project accomplishments include:

  • Stavros Center for Independent Living is implementing a project to increase and improve the service provided to disabled veterans. A part-time Veterans' Specialist position has been hired to focus solely on providing services to veterans.
  • The Southeast Center for Independent Living participated and assisted in organizing Disability Awareness Day; The 20th Anniversary of the Americans with Disabilities Act. The event was held at Fall River's Government Center, October 7th.
  • AdLib Center for Independent Living continues to use its ARRA funding to enhance services provided at the AdLib Drop-In Center, a social recreational program for individuals with disabilities in Pittsfield. The program offers a wide array of educational and social activities to over 700 individuals. Participation in these activities assists consumers to be more integrated in the community.

Vocational Rehabilitation Services to Youth Year in Review July 1, 2009 - June 30, 2010

Youth Ages 16-22* Served in the Vocational Rehabilitation Program

  • The Vocational Rehabilitation Program served 6,389 youths age 16 to 22 during SFY 2010.
  • 547 young consumers were placed in competitive employment, with an average hourly wage of $11.06
  • Employed young consumers worked an average of 25.9 hours per week.
  • 370 High School Students were served by the Transition Works Grant program which is in its third year. Transition Works is a 5-year, $500,000 demonstration grant funded by the US Department of Education to develop best practices for transitioning youths with disabilities from school to work.

*Age at application for MRC services.

Who Are Our Young Consumers?
Males 60.1% Females 39.9%

Age profile by percent served
age 16 2.9%
age 17 15.4%
age 18 30.3%
age 19 23.6%
age 20 12.0%
age 21 8.7%
age 22 7.1%

Referral Source
688 Referral 28.7%
Lead Education Agency 12.3%
TAC-Assigned 0.2%
Other Referral Source 58.8%

Disability Profile
Sensory/Communicative 7.0%
Physical/Mobility 10.3%
Cognitive/Psychological 82.7%

"The goal of our services is to promote dignity through employment and community living, one person at a time. We hope that all citizens with disabilities in Massachusetts will have the opportunity to contribute as a productive member of their community and family as a result of services provided by the MRC."

FACTS AT A GLANCE
Youth actively receiving services, 6,389
Youth enrolled in training/education programs, 3,717
Youth placed in competitive employment, 547
Average hourly wage for employed youths, $11.06

Joint Committee on VR State Plan and Interagency Relations
Owen Doonan, Chair

Years Recommendations made to SRC/MRC:

  • The LD/ADHD Taskforce is working on developing a needs assessment specifically targeted to consumers with learning disabilities and ADHD with the R&D Department. The population will include four groups: consumers with an IPE, consumers in interrupted status (Status 24), training status (Status 18) and job ready status (Status 20).
  • The Unserved/Underserved population committee will hold Focus groups on issues surrounding individuals in Status 28. Three groups are planned for April that will meet in Boston, Worcester and Pittsfield. It is hoped that these groups will supply valuable information to the MRC as to why people are being closed unsuccessfully.
  • The Transportation Task Force is planning to identify and set up meetings with all the Regional Transit Authorities across the state to see what is and is not going on in their areas. This will assist in mapping out statewide transportation systems and assist consumers to see what's out there for them to use.
  • In addition, the Committee will study the collaborative employment related grant project dealing with "Work Without Limits" at UMass-Shrewsbury; and the Medicaid Infrastructure Initiatives.
  • The Committee will study and incorporate the Governor's initiatives to revamp the State Transportation System. Transportation continues to be another barrier to employment. The Needs Assessment is done once every 3 years and this is the year and this is the year for it to be done. Input into this comes partly from the Consumer Satisfaction Survey.
  • The Committee recommended creating an in-house committee or task force to work with the MRC web-master to revamp the user friendliness of the EHS/MRC website.

Attachment 4.2(c) RSA State Plan Federal Fiscal Year 2011
State Rehabilitation Council Recommendations

The Massachusetts Rehabilitation Commission has an active and productive State Rehabilitation Council (SRC). SRC members through their area consumer advisory councils, SRC sub committees, task forces, quarterly meetings and the annual consumer conference have conducted surveys and needs assessments that have provided input to more effectively address the needs of individuals with the most significant disabilities. The SRC, through the SRC State Plan sub committee, has made the following recommendations to the Commission:

Recommendation 1: Continue to collaborate effectively with the one-stop career centers and other sources of employment opportunities. 
Recommendation 2:
Address lack of affordable accessible transportation as a barrier to employment. 
Recommendation 3:
Partner with local schools and other state and community agencies working with transition age youth with disabilities.
Recommendation 4: Improve the MRC website for easier user interface and accessibility. 
Recommendation 5
: Review current Order of Selection policies and practices. 
Recommendation 6:
Continue to fund the Home Care Assistance Program and its case management services to enable consumers to obtain and maintain employment.

SRC Policy and Regulations Committee
Coleen Flanagan, Chairperson

Mission: "The mission of the SRC Policy and Regulation Committee is to advise and assist in the development of the agency's policies and regulations, including but not limited to, scheduling procedures for public input and publications in the Massachusetts Register by the Office of the Secretary of the Commonwealth."

The Committee will outreach to transition age (16-24) youth with disabilities to increase committee members. The goal is to increase membership by at least five new members. Consumers of MRC Transition Work grants, MRC contracts for youth transition and other programs will be invited to the Committee.

The Committee will study methods for the public hearing, including MRC consumers to share their personal input and options via the Internet. This is an effort to increase participation of MRC consumers in MRC policy promulgations.


Unserved/Underserved Population Committee
Warren Magee, Chairperson

Mission: The mission of this Committee is to advise the MRC regarding residents of the Commonwealth who are unserved/underserved due to their disabilities, culture, ethnicity, race, language, creed, religion, class, sexual preference, age or economic status.

In accordance with the mandates of the reauthorized Rehabilitation Act, Titles 1, 6c and 7, this Committee is charged with ensuring issues of unserved/underserved populations of the Commonwealth are researched, studied and presented to the State Rehabilitation Council.

It was determined that there will be three focus groups, downsized from the original five. One will be in the Eastern part of the state, one will be in the Western part of the state. The third group will be in the Worcester area. All participants from the first two groups will be invited to the third. It is this group that will do the ranking of the comments.

Accomplishment: The first Focus Group held at Ad-Lib Independent Living Center was a success.

Joint Committee on By-Laws and Nominations Committee
Nicholas Kaltsas, Chairperson

Mission: To work toward the determination and selection of interested people eligible for membership in the State Rehabilitation Council in accordance with the SRC By-Laws.

Further, this committee meets with the MRC Consumer Involvement Director to develop a roster of interested people who would be appropriate for future SRC needs.

The Committee deliberated on the SRC By-Laws dealing with membership, mandated representatives by disabilities, gender, geographical and as mandated by the Rehabilitation Act, as amended. This year the committee submitted an appointment and re-appointment slate which has 16 total members and 5 open slots.

The Committee will recommend retaining the SRC ex-officio members with a maximum of 15 ex-officio members. All members of the SRC which will include the membership of the Ex-Officio must have the same standard orientation.

  • The SRC orientation manual is completed and printed in very simplified English to accommodate persons with cognitive disabilities.
  • The SRC provide a one year trial membership, mentoring or role model regimen before a recommendation is made to nominate the individual as a Statutory Member.
  • There was a general appreciation of the SRC Orientation Handbook. The Handbook captures the RSA-SRC training modules, our SRC By-Laws and Mission Statements of our Standing Committees.
  • The Committee deliberated on the number of SRC Ex-Officios membership. Presently, the SRC By-Laws language is that "The Council may choose to select up to fifteen (15) Ex-Officio members."

Community Living Programs Year In Review July 1, 2009 - June 30, 2010

Consumers Served - Community Living Programs
Independent Living Centers: 13,552
Turning 22 Services: 441
Assistive Technology: 242
Housing Registry: 282
Supported Living Services: 162
Brain Injury Services: 1,907
Home Care Services: 1,528
Protective Services: 267

Services Purchased - Community Living Programs
Independent Living Centers: $4,802,633
IL Turning 22 Services: $1,307,801
Assistive Technology : $801,159
Housing Registry: $80,000
Supported Living Services: $1,407,674
Brain Injury Services: $21,947,000
Home Care Services: $5,106,767
Protective Services: $600,501

Home Care Assistance Program Advisory Committee

Mission: The Advisory Committee to the statewide Home Care Assistance Program is comprised of consumers receiving home care services, past consumers, program staff, and representatives from provider agencies. The Committee meets quarterly at the MRC Administrative Office in Boston. As the program has had a focus on Health and Disability, a representative from the Department of Public Health's Office on Health and Disability has joined the Advisory Committee this year.

Years Recommendations Made to SRC/MRC:

  • Reviewed status of Budget and Program Spending and recommended moving people off Wait List.
  • Reviewed Eligibility Definition in Program Regulations and advised that there be no change.
  • Recommended to the SRC that State Rehabilitation Plan supports the need for homemaking services to continue to be made available to people with disabilities

Accomplishments:

  • Collaborated on compilation of Resource Newsletter. Advised program management on spending plan for program, provided advice on methods of economizing, and had members provide testimony at budget hearings as to the effectiveness of services.
  • Advised program management on decisions regarding returning hours to consumers whose time was reduced to manage budget cuts.
  • Reviewed and made recommendations regarding survey to consumers to gain further information about impact of cut to aid in decision-making regarding return of the hours.
  • Provided advice regarding wellness initiatives within program, and methods for training provider staff. Reviewed data gathered from survey of people on the Wait List for services and the Hospitalization Rate Survey.
  • Reviewed and made recommendations to program management on content, layout and use of, the Program Fact Sheet, including use of data gathered from surveys.

What our Consumers Say

  • "Thanks for the help. The weight that has been taken off my shoulders is tremendous!"- Home Care Consumer
  • "Because of the Home Care Assistance Program, I have experienced improvement in my health and well-being. I am improved with greater confidence and stability each day." - Home Care Consumer
  • "Your service has made a tremendous difference in my life and in the way I feel about my disability." -Home Care Consumer
  • "One of my dreams is to be able to do my graphic work…you have opened that door for me" - SHIP Consumer
  • "I feel I really changed from the person I used to be when I first came here (SHIP Head Injury Center). I really hated myself and life but look at me now, now life is the best thing…" - SHIP Consumer

Disability Determination Services

The Disability Determination Services (DDS) is 100% funded by the Social Security Administration (SSA and determines the initial and continued eligibility for federal SSI and SSDI public benefits. Special outreach efforts are made to homeless shelters and individuals diagnosed with HIV.

The DDS has offices located in Boston and Worcester.

In accordance with Social Security regulations, the DDS disability examiners and physician consultants determine eligibility of Massachusetts applicants for two disability programs:

  • Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) - ages 18- 65
  • Supplemental Security Income (SSI) - ages birth - 65

DDS: SSI/DI Claims Processed
Total Receipt of Cases: 87,611
Total Disposition of Cases: 74,062
Initial Claims Filed: 58,385
Percent Allowed: 46.2%
CDR Receipts: 8,500
CDR Dispositions: 7,376
Total Disposition of SSI/DI Cases: 74,062
Accuracy of Decisions: 92%
Federal Accuracy of Decision Standard: 90%

DDS: Purchased Services
Consultative Examinations Purchased: 18,862
Consultative Examination Rate: 25.3%
Medical Evidence of Record Purchased: 63,831
Medical Evidence of Record Rate: 85.7%
Total Medical Costs: $7,424,962
Total Budget: $41,008,905
Cost Per Case: $550.59

Task Forces

Transportation Task Force
Kevin Goodwin, Chair

Years Accomplishments: The Task Force is continuing its project of meeting with the various Regional Transit Authorities (RTA)s across the state.

Years Recommendations made to the SRC/MRC:

  • Look at how the RTA's provide access to local; ILC's, MRC offices, social services, human service agencies, educational options and employment options.
  • RTA consumer advisory groups/committees should meet monthly and not quarterly. This task force encourages regular participation of an MRC representative at these meetings.
  • Towns that are not paying into the RTA's should be encouraged to pay into the RTA's.
  • Extend hours that public transportation runs to cover later hours, primarily to help second shift workers, those who use PCA's, and those who work weekends.
  • We encourage the RTA to come up with a cashless system of accepting funds (such as a ticket or rechargeable card that could be paid for online).
  • A penny for every dollar that a taxpayer pays, in certain RTA regions currently goes to the MBTA and not that region. This should stop. This tax money should go to the specific RTA, instead.
LD/ADHD Task Force
Jennifer Knight, Chair

Mission: To promote, education and advocacy by persons with learning disabilities and attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (LD/ADHD), to enhance community inclusion, independence and economic self-sufficiency.

Recommendations: Provided recommendations for the Attachment 4.2 C of the RSA State plan.

Accomplishments:

  • Represented the LD/ADHD Task Force at the State Independent Living Council (SILC) conference.
  • Had discussion with staff from the Multicultural Independent Living Center of Boston about their experience working with consumers with LD/ADHD.
  • Worked with MRC program Research, Development & Evaluation on the development of the needs assessment survey for consumers with LD/ADHD.
Artists with Disabilities Task Force
Lisa Corfman Co-Chair Maria Malaguti Co-Chair

Mission Statement: The Artists With Disabilities Task Force is a group of people from diverse disciplines working toward creating linkages between artists with disabilities and the Massachusetts Rehabilitation Commission. These linkages advance the goals of independence, self-support and professional development in the art world.

Years Recommendations made to the SRC/MRC: Move forward with an official website developed by the MRC IT department.

Years Accomplishments:

  • Developed a proposal to create software to train MRC counselors in working with artists who have disabilities.
  • Participated in continuous exhibits at the Peace Art gallery at Spaulding Rehabilitation Hospital.
  • Held two Open Studios Arts Fairs.
  • Distributed information on trade-marking and copyrights.
  • Held a booth at the Employer's Summit in June.
  • Held two exhibits at South Station on Boston.
  • Featured 29 artists at the Endicott College Exhibit and Reception.
  • Created the 2011 Calendar featuring the work of thirteen artists.

Taunton Advisory Council (TAC)

Mission: The mission of the TAC is to provide assistance, consultation, and support to the VR office leadership in the areas of the office environment, the provision of customer services, and consumer advocacy.

Projects & Goals:

  • Familiarity with Project Impact [Benefits Planning].
  • Disability Services at local Career Centers.
  • Serve as Host for One Statewide 'State Rehabilitation Council' [SRC] meeting.
  • Awareness of VR legislation & possible advocacy.
  • Office productivity.
  • Participate in statewide SRC activities.
  • Familiarity with the "Recovery Learning Center" & "Chronic Disease Self-Management Program".

This report was created with input from the members of the SRC and the support of the Consumer Involvement Program. Emeka Nwokeji, Director of the Consumer Involvement Program Leslie Wish, Program Coordinator For further information contact Emeka Nwokeji, Director of the Consumer Involvement Program, at 617-204-3665. To receive this report electronically, send an e-mail to consumer.involvement@mrc.state.ma.us This and previous years reports are available at: www.mass.gov/mrc Search for SRC annual report.


This information is provided by the Massachusetts Rehabilitation Commission.