PROJECT TITLE
NYS Community Employment Specialist Technical Assistance Support Center (CES TASC)

OVERVIEW

The Yang-Tan Institute provides training, technical assistance, consultation and targeted evaluation and research to support the statewide network of Community Employment Specialists. This is done under a memorandum of agreement with the New York State Education Department (NYSED), Office of Adult Career and Continuing Education Services - Vocational Rehabilitation (ACCES-VR).

NYSED continues to place an emphasis on the role of high-quality transition planning for youth with disabilities, investing both human and financial resources across special education and vocational rehabilitation to support improved employment outcomes for individuals with the most significant disabilities. In this capacity, ACCES-VR serves more than 35,000 transition-aged youth each year. The goal of the CES TASC is to build the VR system's capacity around effective methods for improving the quality of VR services and so enhancing the employment outcomes for youth with disabilities. The Yang-Tan Institute is helping to form a logic model for understanding the goals and intended outcomes of ACCES-VR's transition initiatives, measuring the success of these efforts, and is focusing on developing informational materials and curricula that can be used when brokering relationships on behalf of ACCES-VR with local schools and businesses.

PROJECT ACTIVITIES

1. Technical assistance, consultation, and targeted evaluation/research to support NYSED, ACCES-VR: The Cornell team supported ACCES-VR’s development of a logic model that clearly articulate resources, activities, short-, mid- and long-term outcomes, and impacts across the VR-sponsored transition-related activities in the base year. The logic model has indicators for measurement of success, performance benchmarking, and development of an evaluation plan. Since the base year, the Yang-Tan Institute continues to work with ACCES-VR to evaluate and track progress and provide organizational development support as needed. A targeted research study will also be done using ACCES-VR administrative data.

2. Design and Distribute Materials Working with ACCES-VR and other transition stakeholders: The Yang-Tan Institute will design and distribute materials for use by Community Employment Specialists (CES) throughout 10 regional centers. This will include a common training curriculum, informational materials, and support media pertaining to promising and evidence-based practices.

3. Host Learning Community Webinars: These support the ongoing work, collaboration, and cross training of general VR counselors, Senior Transition VR Counselors, and CES. The Yang-Tan Institute works with ACCES-VR to design, implement, and evaluate distance learning communities, which will be focused on promoting effective employment practices.

4. Capacity Building: Twice a year, Yang-Tan Institute assists ACCES-VR with designing, implementing, and evaluating a two-day training curriculum for in-person events. Each event highlights a particular topic of focus or capacity building strategy that gives the CES and TAYS the support they need to become more effective at their jobs.

5. Reporting Tool: The Yang-Tan Institute designed and implemented an online reporting tool for the CES and TAYS to enter all of their activities and pull data for reports. The Yang-Tan Institute hosts and maintains this tool.

CONTACT INFORMATION

Thomas Golden

Email: tpg3@cornell.edu

FUNDING AGENCY

New York State Education Department, Office of Adult Career and Continuing Education Services - Vocational Rehabilitation

PRINCIPAL INVESTIGATOR

Thomas P. Golden

COLLABORATING PARTNERS

Ten Regional Community Employment Specialist Contractors: Berkshire UFSD (Long Island, Mid-Hudson, and Capital District/North Country regions); The Guidance Center of Westchester, Inc; Resource Center for Independent Living; ARISE Child and Family Services; Southern Tier Independence Center; Erie I BOCES; NYSARC, Inc - NYC Chapter.