Pennsylvania Rehabilitation Council Annual Report
Fiscal Year 2012 - 2013
Letter from PaRC Chair for 2012 and 2013
Dear Fellow Pennsylvanians, Governor Corbett, Secretary Hearthway, RSA Commissioner LaBreck, OVR State Board Members and OVR Executive and Administrative Staff,
The PaRC is pleased to present Fiscal Year 2013’s Annual Report. The Council has been very active this past year. We are looking forward to continuing the work set before us this coming year.
It has been an honor to have been elected to serve as the Chair by the members of the Pennsylvania State Rehabilitation Council. In my second term as Chair, we were asked to review many vocational and internal policies to improve and make program services available to eligible customers of Vocational Rehabilitation.
The Council has invested more time and resources into the reviewing and development of the policy suggestions for the Office of Vocational Rehabilitation (OVR) during the past year. As all these policies effect the customer’s eligibility or ineligibility, and the services they receive from OVR, the council and OVR were able to work and compromise on the issues to best meet the needs of OVR customers seeking employment with the current fiscal realities.
Working through the fiscal constraints of the coming year the council will be lead by newly elected Chair, Mr. Bill Chrisner, who is well versed in and a champion of Independent Living and employment for persons with disabilities. Mr. Chrisner and the PaRC will continue to address the issues important to Pennsylvanians with disabilities seeking employment. It is the council’s goal along with OVR to ensure that individual seeking employment will continue to receive the highest quality rehabilitation services.
A special gratitude is extended to the Vocational Rehabilitation administration and the staff from Central Office and the local district satellite offices for their support of their local Citizen Advisory Councils’ (CAC) members. The Rehabilitation council views the local CAC councils as crucial to knowing the local districts’ unique issues regarding employment. To support the CACs, the council has worked with OVR staff to update the CAC handbook, started including CAC information on the Council’s website, and held a public forum in Pittsburgh on Supported Employment to learn about roadblocks to employment in their area.
Also, this past year the council and OVR staff have worked on joining their customer satisfaction surveys. Questions have been added to the OVR survey that the council seeks information from customers on to fulfill their mandate. The council will also continue to seek customer input from their web based customer satisfaction survey at their website www.parac.org.
The State Rehabilitation Council has continued its initiative to collaborate with other related resources and disability partners that affect the outcomes of successful placement within the work forces for individuals with disabilities. This effort continues as we reach out to vested partners in the private and public sectors that can help create more employment options for individuals with disabilities.
The Council supports the Independent Living movement in that persons with disabilities need to receive vital services such as attendant care, transportation, housing, etc., so that they can get and sustain jobs.
The PaRC will continue to work with the PA Office of Vocational Rehabilitation towards the advancement of persons with disabilities seeking and/or maintaining employment and professional development in Pennsylvania.
PA Rehabilitation Council Chair (2012 -2013)