NYS Comprehensive Statewide Needs Assessment with ACCES-VR

Overview

The Yang-Tan Institute (YTI) has partnered with New York State Education Department (NYSED), Office of Adult Career and Continuing Educational Services - Vocational Rehabilitation (ACCES-VR) in order to assist the agency in several key areas:

  • Identifying the existing needs of New Yorkers with the most significant disabilities, including those who need supported employment and/or customized employment options
  • Understanding the needs of New Yorkers with disabilities who have been historically marginalized and unserved or underserved (i.e., individuals from racial and ethnic minority groups, individuals living in poverty, youth in foster care)
  • Exploring the capacity of community rehabilitation providers to meet the needs of individuals with disabilities, including traditional employment services providers (e.g., supported employment, direct placement), postsecondary education and training providers (colleges and proprietary schools), assessment providers (psychological), and assistive technology

Project Activities

The proposed needs assessment activities are conceptualized across three phases:

Phase 1: Comparative assessment of needs—NYS needs in context

The purpose of this activity is to conduct a high-level analysis using a variety of data sources to paint a composite picture of the need for VR services in New York State.

Phase 2: Refining needs with Group Concept Mapping

In this phase, using the Group Concept Mapping (GCM) process, the project will explore the question of “What does an effective, progressive, and culturally responsive vocational rehabilitation program that services the diverse needs of youth and adults with disabilities include?” The YTI research team, in partnership with ACCES-VR leadership and the SRC, will utilize GCM to obtain the perspective of five groups who are critical to understanding the VR context within New York State:

  • Individuals with disabilities
  • Youth and families
  • WIOA Partners: Labor (Titles I and III), Adult Education (Title II), Perkins
  • Community Rehabilitation Providers: These include, but are not limited to, traditional employment services providers (e.g., supported employment, direct placement), postsecondary education and training providers (colleges, proprietary schools, vocational training programs), assessment providers (psychological), and assistive technology/rehabilitation technology, driver rehabilitation, and adjunct services
  • ACCES-VR staff

Phase 3: Finalizing needs with focus groups

The YTI team, in partnership with ACCESS-VR and SRC, will use the outcomes of the sorting and rating process to identify a targeted group of stakeholders from Phase 2 (up to 50 participants) to engage in an in-depth focus group process. This process will review the findings of the summary reports and seek clarification on the gaps identified in the GCM process, in order to:

  • Identify barriers to filling these gaps
  • Gain feedback on strategies and suggestions to consider on strengthening services

Contact Information

Andrew Karhan
Email: ak2589@cornell.edu
Phone: 518-441-7337

Funding Agencies

NYS ACCESS-VR

Principal Investigator

Andrew Karhan

Collaborating Partners