MRC Program and Budget Summaries - FY '07

4120-1000 ADMINISTRATION FOR STATE PROGRAMS

Program Contact: John Kepple 617-204-3790

This program funds three (3) positions, including the agency Commissioner and Deputy Commissioner for Community Services, as well as some general administration support for state program and fully funded state positions located within other state direct service accounts.

This account does not include administrative costs of other federal related or state/federal programs.

4120-2000 VOCATIONAL REHABILITATION

Program Contact: Kasper Goshgarian 617-654-7400

This account makes up part of the State requirement for matching and maintenance of effort requirements in the Federal Vocational Rehabilitation (VR) Program. Funding from this account along with Federal account 4120-0020 and SSA trust fund account 4120-0029 are combined for the Agency Vocational Rehabilitation Program. Most of the funding from this account (4120-2000) is used to purchase direct services for individuals in the vocational rehabilitation program and rental costs for many of our local service locations and our central administration office in Boston. All payroll and general administration along with additional purchase of services comes from our federal funds.

The Massachusetts Rehabilitation Commission is in the business of assisting people with disabilities to become more independent, both socially and economically. By helping people with disabilities to obtain, retain and advance in employment, the MRC not only enables those individuals to live with greater independence, it also works to reduce their reliance on state and federal supports. The work of the MRC facilitates the contributions of people with disabilities to the common wealth through the payment of income taxes and by their active participation in the economic life of their communities.

Every person with a disability assisted by the MRC Vocational Program to become employed pays back in taxes and reduced government benefits $5 for every $1 spent on their rehabilitation program. For every $1 spent on the vocational rehabilitation of a person with a disability $14 - $18 are returned to society based upon the projected increase in lifetime earnings. The increase in economic activity in Massachusetts resulting from VR consumers becoming employed produces a $50 million benefit for the economy as a result of increased employee spending and employer investments, which is projected to generate as many as 500 new jobs per year.

The Vocational Rehabilitation Program is a Federal/State Partnership federally defined and empowered by the Rehabilitation Act of 1973, as amended. Roughly 80% of VR program funding comes from the U.S. Department of Education and each state is required to provide a 20% match of federal funds. Massachusetts, and every other state, administers a vocational rehabilitation program that is charged with assisting individuals with significant disabilities to identify employment goals tailored to their personal interests and abilities and to work with them in designing and implementing individualized plans for employment that describe the training, supports and services needed to achieve employment.

In Massachusetts this program with a $52 million budget, assisted 3,602 people with disabilities go to work last year; earning an average wage of $11.60 per hour, $17,000 per year and working an average of 29 hours per week.

The services of the MRC Vocational Rehabilitation Program are aimed at everyone with a disability over the age of 16. Its services are an important source of support for training, education and job placement for older workers facing the need to job shift or upgrade their skills to fit today's job market as well as for youth transitioning from school to adult services and employment.

To be eligible for VR services, a person must have a physical or mental impairment that is a substantial impediment to employment; be able to benefit from VR services in terms of employment; and require VR services to prepare for, enter, engage in, or retain employment.

Numbers served and goals for FY07

  • 34,000 Consumers will be served
  • 22,000 Consumers in active status
  • 3,600 will become employed

 

4120-3000 EMPLOYMENT SERVICES

Program Contact: James Fratolillo 617-204-3854

This account provides employment services to individuals to achieve their vocational goals. The program models developed under this account include extended employment, and supported work/employment. The supports provided through these programs allow individuals to obtain and maintain employment while decreasing their dependence on public assistance. The individual with a disability makes an informed choice to pursue extended employment in an non-integrated setting, a third of which are enclave settings in the community, or competitive/supported employment in an integrated community setting.

The economic and social benefits to the individuals who are able to move from sheltered to integrated, competitive employer mirror those of the vocational rehabilitation program.

EXTENDED EMPLOYMENT

This is a statewide program in which people with disabilities perform work in sheltered settings within a facility or within an enclave environment in a private sector company. Participants attend a program operated by a qualified Community Rehabilitation Provider (CRP) and earn wages in accordance with the Department of Labor (DOL), Fair Labor Standard Act (FLSA). All clients in this program are provided employment services for at least four hours a day, five days a week. Participants of this program develop basic work skills so that they may maintain acceptable work standards with a plan to move into competitive employment. The goals for services in FY 06 are:

Numbers served and goals for FY07

  • Current enrollment is 767 consumers
  • The goal is to transition 36 consumers to competitive/supported employment
  • The goal is to enroll 35 individuals into the program

SUPPORTED WORK / Community Based Employment Program

The Supported Work Program, also referred as the Community Based Employment Program, is designed for persons with challenging disabilities. It is a specialized training program intended to provide assessment, training and placement assistance to its participants. The program's primary goal is transitioning participants into unsubsidized competitive employment. After receiving employment services for up to a year in a competitive work environment, people with disabilities are able to work in competitive employment settings. Another component of this program is Extended Supports, providing ongoing services for individuals to maintain competitive employment.

The outcome of this program is community based employment of at least 20 hours per week where individuals are placed into community jobs where they earn competitive wages and become more independent consumers, paying taxes, with less dependence on public subsidies.

Numbers Served and Goals for FY07

  • 900 individuals will be served
  • 325 individuals will receive long term supports to stay employed
  • 290 individuals receiving extended support services will remain employed

 

4120-4000 INDEPENDENT LIVING

Program Contact: John Chappell 617-204-3620

The program mission is to provide, either directly or through a network of independent living centers and community based programs, services to assist individuals with disabilities to live as independently as possible in the community, and to assure that such individuals are fully aware of service options available to them.

Services provided within this program are:

INDEPENDENT LIVING CENTERS

Program Contact: Karen Langley 617-204-3623

Independent Living Centers (ILC) provide independent living services, peer counseling, skills training, information, referral, and advocacy, to individuals with severe disabilities to assist them in leaving institutions, live in community settings and prevent institutionalization of those presently in the community. ILCs also provide training and technical assistance to local communities to assist them in becoming accessible to the disability community at large.

Numbers served and Goals for FY07

  • Eleven ILCs statewide collectively will serve 15,000 people
  • The centers will assist 90-110 people to leave nursing homes or other institutional settings
  • The centers will assist 500 people to stay out of nursing homes or other institutional settings

TURNING 22 SERVICES

Program Contact: Karen Langley 617-204-3623

The Turning 22 Independent Living Program assists individuals with physical disabilities through the transition from institutional schools to community living settings with the support of independent living skills training and case management services. The individuals served in this program are primarily residents at the Mass Hospital School in Canton and graduates of city and town Special Education Programs who, upon graduation or "turning 22", have limited-to-no community living options. This program provides skills training and peer counseling to students while still institutionalized, and case management supports once in the community. The case management service focuses on coordinating those services that the individual with severe disability cannot do him/herself (i.e., finances, managing personal care attendants, etc.). Year to year estimates of funds needed for these services have been difficult to project six months to a year before "Turning 22" graduates are referred for service. In addition, individuals with traumatic brain injuries also receive more intensive residential and community supports to enable them to transition into community settings.

Numbers Served and Goals for FY07

  • 160 consumers with developmental disabilities will be served
  • 58 with severe physical disabilities will receive supported living case management supports
  • 100 students with disabilities will receive independent living skills training to prepare them for transition
  • 11 with traumatic brain injuries
  • 5 TAC assigned cases
  • 69 will achieve their goals to live in the community

SUPPORTED LIVING

Program Contact: Karen Langley 617-204-3623

The Adult Supported Living Program enables individuals age 18 and over who have a physical disability in combination with a secondary disability to begin or continue living independently in the community with case coordination support. The program utilizes the independent living philosophy in which the individual consumer has the right and responsibility to take risks and make informed choices.

The Adult Supported Living Program provides case coordination services to an individual with a physical disability and an additional secondary disability to assist him or her in managing and organizing various aspects of day to day life. The Massachusetts Rehabilitation Commission contracts with several agencies across the state to provide these case coordination services. A case coordinator meets with a consumer of services on an as-needed basis, generally in his or her home. A case coordinator is also available via phone 24 hours a day for emergencies. On average, a consumer requires approximately one 3 hour meeting per week to accomplish needed tasks. However, case coordination can range from a few hours per month up to ten hours per week.

The case coordinator and consumer jointly develop a plan to address the specific aspects of daily life in which assistance is needed. The case coordinator does not make decisions for a consumer or do physical tasks. Rather, the emphasis is on organizing, finding resources and problem solving. Areas in which assistance can be provided include:

  • PCA Management, Personal Health Care Management, Adaptive Equipment, Housing, Household Management, Financial Management, Social/Recreation Management, Vocational/Education, Transportation Management, Self Advocacy

Numbers Served and Goals for FY07

  • Will serve 90-100 people with significant disabilities on an on-going basis
  • 8-10 will leave the program due to death or re-institutionalization because of health or other reasons
  • 90-100 will achieve their goal to remain in community
  • 5-8 will achieve their goal of moving into the community from nursing homes or other institutional settings

ASSISTIVE TECHNOLOGY SERVICES

Program Contact: Karen Langley 617-204-3623

This program provides funding for individuals with severe disabilities for assistive technology devises and training to enable them to function more independently in family and community. Only individuals who have independent living goals are eligible for services under this program. Individuals who are eligible to receive these services under Vocational Rehabilitation, Special Education or are eligible to receive services through other EOHHS agencies are not eligible under this program. Typical AT devices include adapted computer hardware and software, augmentative communication devices and environmental control units. The devices enable individuals with severe disabilities to communicate with others, manage finances and control their home environment.

Numbers Served and Goals for FY07

  • 316 individuals with disabilities will be provided AT evaluations, equipment and training to achieve their goal

DISABLED ABUSE PROTECTIVE SERVICES

Program Contact: Sabrina Cazeau-Class 508-823-2874 x35

The Massachusetts Rehabilitation Commission (MRC) is responsible for the investigation of complaints of abuse of individuals with disabilities by a caretaker. The Protective Service Program conducts investigations and provides services to abused individuals to prevent further injury.

Most professionals who provide services to individuals with disabilities are mandated by state law to report situations of suspected abuse.

Abuse can exist in different forms and in different combinations. Problems of physical abuse, neglect, emotional abuse and sexual abuse are not uncommon. While difficult to confront, these situations can be resolved with professional help. Unfortunately, many of these problems seldom go away by themselves and often get worse as time goes on.

Initial contact with the referred individual is in the form of an initial investigation which determines whether there has been abuse and what services are necessary to prevent further injury to the individual. The services needed by individuals who have been the victims of abuse range from case management services to the provision of emergency shelter for those at imminent risk of serious harm or death if they were to remain at home. In-home services, such as increased home health aide services or counseling services, are used most often. Individuals who are out of their home because of increased levels of danger often utilize emergency protective service respite while alternatives to living at home are developed. As many as eighteen individuals have used emergency respite services in a given year.

Numbers projected for FY07

  • 250 investigations
  • 87 protective service plans written
  • 159 individuals achieved goals

4120-4001 HOUSING REGISTRY

Program Contact: Karen Langley 617-204-3623

MGL 722 requires the Massachusetts Rehabilitation Commission to develop and operate a central registry of accessible and adaptable housing for people with disabilities. The Housing Registry will "match" people with disabilities who are seeking housing with available units across the Commonwealth.

Numbers Served and Goals for FY07

  • Over 500 persons were able to locate accessible housing through the Registry in FY06
  • The Goal for FY07 is 625

4120-4010 TURNING 22 SERVICES

Program Contact: Karen Langley 617-204-3623

This account provides funding for individuals with disabilities who are "turning 22" or graduating in the current fiscal year. The program funds a continuum of community living options from minimal case management to intensive services with 24/7 supports in secure residential settings to individuals with developmental disabilities "Turning 22".

Goals for FY07

  • 14 consumers will be served
  • 7 with severe physical disabilities
  • 4 with traumatic brain injuries
  • 3 TAC assigned cases
  • 14 will achieve their goal to live in the community

4120-5000 HOMECARE SERVICES

Program Contact: Betty Maher 617-204-3631

The mission of this program is to provide home care services, through a network of contracted provider agencies, to persons with severe disabilities between the ages of 18 and 59, whose disabilities put them at risk of re-hospitalization or institutionalization.

The Home Care Assistance Program (HCAP) was created in order to enhance the independence of individuals with disabilities and prevent unnecessary hospitalization or institutionalization through the provision of direct assistance with homemaking tasks. Homemaking tasks are defined as Instrumental Activities of Daily Living (IADLs) and includes grocery shopping, medication pick-up, meal preparation, laundry, and light housecleaning.

The Home Care Assistance Program provides homemaker services to eligible adults with disabilities who are functionally limited in meeting their own nutritional and environmental needs and have no other resources available to provide such assistance. The assistance of a homemaker helps individuals continue to live in the community. The services are provided either as a stand-alone service when an individual requires only IADL assistance, or as a supplement to other insurance-covered services that provide for assistance with ADLs but do not cover IADLs.

The average consumer receives four hours of assistance per week at an annual cost of less than $4,000. By preventing injuries and further health problems that could result from lack of services, the service pays for itself if even 1-2 days of hospitalization are avoided.

Homemaking Services are provided either by homemakers trained and supervised by Home Care agencies in contract with HCAP, or by individual Home Care Assistant selected and supervised by consumers and paid through contract with MRC. HCAP Case Managers assess and regularly re-assess applicants for eligibility, coordinate services in conjunction with the Home Care agencies and assist consumers with information and referral as needed to advance independent living goals.

Numbers Served and Goals for FY07

  • Will serve approximately 1,800 consumers and receive 100 referrals a month
  • Approximately 1,550 consumers will be in the program at any time
  • 1,800 consumers will achieve their goal of living at home as long as possible each year
  • Will ensure that spending remains within budget appropriations
  • Will conduct a series of provider trainings across the state to ensure best practices

 

4120-5050 EMPLOYMENT, IL, MEDICAID REIMBURSEMENT RETAINED REVENUE

Program Contact: John Chappell 617-204-3620

In FY08 the Massachusetts Rehabilitation Commission is authorized to expend an amount not to exceed $330,000 for the provision of expanded independent living and employment services from revenues collected from federal reimbursements.

 

4120-6000 STATEWIDE HEAD INJURY PROGRAM

Program Contact: Debra Kamen 617-204-3852

The Statewide Head Injury Program (SHIP) is the public program in the Commonwealth of Massachusetts that identifies, cultivates and develops resources and services for Massachusetts residents who have sustained an externally caused traumatic brain injury. This has been accomplished since 1985, through training, program development, and program and service coordination activities.

SHIP has been successful in creating a network of community-based services and supports that assists individuals in maintaining or increasing their level of independence at home, work and in their communities. SHIP recognizes the significant role that families have in supporting the person who has sustained the brain injury, and their needs have been included in our program development efforts.

SHIP has experienced professionals working with individuals with head injuries and their families to access programs and obtain services necessary for rehabilitation and community life. The mission of the program is to assure, within available resources, the provision and coordination of community based services for individuals who have incurred traumatic head injuries.

Any resident of Massachusetts, regardless of age, who has a documented externally caused traumatic brain injury, may be eligible for SHIP services. Individuals must have resulting impairments in behavioral, cognitive and/or physical functioning and must be able to participate in community-based services. After an application is received, SHIP staff will determine eligibility through a review of all available medical and non-medical information related to the individual's injury.

Services provided in this program are:

HEAD INJURY - RESIDENTIAL SERVICES

The Statewide Head Injury Program and the brain injury community have identified supervised housing services as their number one priority. To that end SHIP has developed and provides community-based residential services in numerous communities across the Commonwealth. Each program offers varying levels of supervision and structure based on the individual needs of the consumer(s) residing in these programs. The goal of these services is to assist survivors in the development of independent living skills that allow them to become as fully integrated into their communities as possible.

HEAD INJURY - COMMUNITY BASED SUPPORT SERVICES

Over 80% of the head injury population known to SHIP, lives at home with their families with little, if any, services. Support services for people already living in the community can go a long way to avoid crisis and enhance a person's quality of life. These services/ supports allow an individual to be maintained and/or function more independently in their home, community or workplace, thereby reducing the risk of decompensation and institutionalization as well as burnout of families. Some of the services included in this are linkage to day services, long-term supported employment, respite care, transportation, case management, one-to-one skills development, substance abuse treatment, cognitive retraining, counseling, adaptive equipment, recreation/leisure opportunities, training and behavioral management interventions for families.

Numbers Served for FY07

  • 700 individuals with Traumatic Brain Injury will be served

This information is provided by the Massachusetts Rehabilitation Commission.