Additional Resources

PA OVR Order of Selection (OOS) – Overview Webinar

Wednesday, July 31, 2019

OVR will explain the PA OVR Order of Selection. Under federal law, state vocational rehabilitation programs that do not have sufficient funding or personnel to provide services to everyone who is eligible must set priorities to serve those with the most significant disabilities. The Department of Labor & Industry’s (L&I’s) Office of Vocational  Rehabilitation (OVR) has been operating under this prioritization, called an order of selection, since March 1, 1994. Pennsylvania expects to receive less federal supplemental funding for the vocational  rehabilitation program, and requests for services have outpaced  available resources. The state must amend the vocational rehabilitation services plan to ensure continuation of services. As a result, OVR temporarily closed the order of selection and created a waiting list for new customers, effective July 1, 2019.  PowerPoint

PA Secondary Transition Directory

2018-2019 Secondary Transition Directory.pdf

Projects Related to Transition




PA Employment First

The Employment First State Leadership Mentoring Program (EFSLMP) is a cross-disability, cross-systems change initiative of the US Dept. of Labor, Office of Disability Employment Policy (ODEP). The goal of  EFSLMP  is to align policies, coordinate resources, and update service delivery models, in order to facilitate increased integrated employment options for people with the most significant disabilities. ODEP’s  EFSLMP  National Community of Practice (CoP) Webinar Series is structured to augment the technical assistance areas of primary focus in Employment First systems change (Capacity Building, Provider Transformation, School-to-Work Transition, Employer Engagement, and Policy/Funding Alignment).

In line with the PA  EFSLMP  emphasis on Provider Transformation, this series of webinars presents information to support individuals with disabilities obtaining and maintaining competitive integrated employment. (Click on the titles, below, to access the streaming media archive for each recorded webinar.)

2017 Webinars

1)  Communicating Discovery and Customized Employment to Individuals and Families (Karen Lee) 
(Recorded on February 28, 2017) 
Customized Employment can be a confusing yet exciting adventure for all stakeholders. People who receive supports, families and staff may have heard the term but not know how it fits into their lives. This one hour webinar will give you practical ideas for how, when and where to introduce the topic of customized employment to stakeholders. Join Karen Lee, Executive Director of  SEEC  in Silver Spring Maryland as she shares the tools they used in becoming a customized employment agency.

2)  Engaging Families and Communities  (Corey Smith) 
(Recorded on March 28, 2017)
This webinar presents information regarding how to effectively engage families and community stakeholders in supporting individuals in obtaining and maintaining competitive integrated employment. Included in this discussion is information regarding building social capital and utilization of the Discovering Personal Genius ( DPG ), or Discovery methodology.  DPG , is a structured method of revealing an individual’s existing or emerging skills, the tasks they perform or desire to learn, and their preferred conditions of employment (e.g., work schedule, job duties/tasks, pay, and company culture).  DPG  results in knowing the employment seeker in a more personal way and “discovering” the most important factors for employment, including their unique skills, interests, learning style, support needs, and personal preferences.

3)  Engaging Staff in Competitive Integrated Employment Practices  (Rick McAllister)
(Session Occurred on April 25, 2017 – Due to technical difficulty the recording of this webinar is not available, however the related handout is located on this site)

This webinar session included a discussion on current best practices in developing business partnerships and employment opportunities. Information presented included strategies and techniques for networking and overcoming challenges in employment development.

4)  Employment Networks & Ticket to Work  (Sharyn Hancock)
(Recorded on May 23, 2017)
In this webinar Sharyn Hancock, Disability Resource Coordinator from Workforce Essentials Inc. presented information regarding Ticket to Work and Employment Networks. The Ticket to Work and Self Sufficiency (Ticket) program is a Federally-funded employment program designed to provide Social Security disability beneficiaries (i.e., individuals receiving Social Security Disability Insurance and/or Supplemental Security Income benefits based on disability) the choices, opportunities and support they need to enter the workforce and maintain employment with the goal of becoming economically self-supporting over time. An Employment Network (EN) is an entity that enters into an agreement with the Social Security Administration (Social Security) to either provide or coordinate the delivery of services to Social Security disability beneficiaries. The EN can be an individual, a partnership/alliance (public or private) or a consortium of organizations collaborating to combine resources to serve eligible individuals. ENs participating in the Ticket to Work program (Ticket program) must adhere to certain rules and regulations.

5)  Building Strong Employer Relationships Managing the Employer Engagement Process (Dale Verstehen)
(recorded on June 24, 2017)

This webinar will provide methodology and strategies for provider organizations to manage the employer engagement process to achieve stronger employer relationships. This webinar is intended to foster coordination and commitment amongst employment staff who work with local employers to offer consistent, quality employment services that benefit local employer’s business operations. Key learning objectives of this session include:

  • Contrast staff development to staff training

  • Establish an employer engagement process

  • Track and support staff activity related to employer engagement

  • Support inexperienced job developers as they start to work with employers

  • Develop an employer engagement plan to expand the number of employment services and employers served

6)  How to Dispel Myths about  SSI  to Increase Employment Outcomes  (Susan Harrell)
(recorded on July 25, 2017)
This webinar will provide an overview of  SSI  and the available work incentives. It will provide strategies and tools that assist in helping job seekers understand the information. It will focus on the importance of on framing the conversation as financial stability rather than just benefits planning. Recommendations on when a job seeker should be referred to a Work Incentive Planning and Assistance Service will be discussed.

7)  Overcoming the  STIGMA  of Living and Working with the Labels of Significant Mental Health Challenges  (Rich Toscano)
(recorded on August 22, 2017)
This webinar addresses the core principles and most effective means to overcome the stigma of mental illness as it relates to assisting those with a MH label to attain meaningful and satisfying employment. (Click on the following hyperlink for additional materials:  Handouts  )

2018 Webinars

1)  Employment First State Leadership Mentoring Webinar  (Gale Fanjoy, Geni Sasnet, Karen Lee)
(recorded on February 6, 2018) 
This session provided an overview of  SSI  and the available work incentives. It featured strategies and tools that assist in helping job seekers understand the information. It also addressed the importance of framing the conversation as financial stability rather than just benefits planning. Recommendations on when a job seeker should be referred to a Work Incentive Planning and Assistance Service was discussed.

2)  The Basics of Workforce Development Best Practices in Recruiting, Hiring, Training and Retaining Staff  (Karen Lee, Gail Fanjoy, Sara Genevieve Sasnett)
(recorded on February 27, 2018)
This session focused on activities and strategies after the initial orientation process. The discussion included tips for how to create an ongoing workforce development and training strategies, conduct meaningful evaluations, and create teams that support continued development of highly performing staff.

3) Management in Decentralized Supports; Teams, Reallocation of Resources and Geographical Considerations (Karen Lee, Gail Fanjoy, Sara Genevieve, "Genni" Sasnett)
(recorded on March 27, 2018)
In this second installment of the EFSLMP Workforce Webinar Series, Gail, Genni and Karen continue to discuss strategies and tips to help you reach your goal of a high performing workforce. This session focused on activities and strategies after the initial orientation process. The discussion included tips for how to create an ongoing workforce development and training strategies, conduct meaningful evaluations and create teams that support continued development of highly performing staff. 

4) Best Practices in Rural Areas Part 1: The Martin, TN Experience (Thomas Wilds)
(Recorded on April 24, 2018)
From a CEO's stand point, Tom will discuss how St. John’s Community Services, a historic non-profit, merged with a rural agency in Martin TN and transformed it from center based to community based. He’ll discuss the initial challenges faced and the tools used. He’ll also outline the transformation process using the ODEP assessment tool and discuss the adventure during the first 3 years of the process. Topics will include:  Leadership, Strategic Planning, Human Resources, Customer Focus, Operations, Knowledge Management and Results.

5) Best Practices in Rural Areas Part 2:  The Martin TN Experience (Dwayne Webb)
(Recorded on May 22, 2018)
From a provider’s perspective, Dwayne Webb will discuss how St. John’s Community Services transformed the organizational culture of a rural agency in Martin, Tennessee. He will discuss the step by step processes that were utilized to move services away from sheltered workshop and day habilitation programs to those now successfully operating 100% in the community. He’ll also outline how the EFSLMP assisted with the organizational transformation process. Topics will include: Creating buy- in from all stakeholders, Barriers to transportation, Philosophy / Culture changes, Steps for organizational change to be effective, Funding strategies, Success stories and Post transformation growth.

6) Best Practices in Rural Areas Part 3:  A Deeper Dive (Cory Smith)
(Recorded on June 26, 2018)

7) The Use of Assistive Technology - Conversations with Employers (Marsha Threlkeld)
(Recorded on July 24, 2018)
How can you discuss with an employer how equipment might be used, how it will be paid for, and who might be of assistance in making this work? Join us to hear about communication with potential employers about the successful use of Assistive Technology while on the job. More and more job seekers are using Assistive Technology to be as integrated, communicative, and productive as possible in the workplace. Assistive Technology can tool-up the workforce and assist each employee to have the equipment they need to succeed. People with speech or communication difficulties can use voice generating devices. People who need more support with organizing and prioritizing their work can use handheld devices and apps. People who can’t read get information through pictures or recorded information. These and more scenarios will be presented and discussed. With technology, businesses can be accessible to all sorts of employees and customers alike. It can leverage the talents of many types of workers and create a welcoming and inviting customer experience.

8) Strategies for Engaging with Employer Partners (Rick S. McAllister)
(recorded on October 23, 2018)
The customer’s needs (the job seeker and the employer) are the focus of this approach. The presentation will demonstrate tactics and approaches for employment staff to effectively facilitate the employment development flow. Communication, partnerships and managing information will be highlighted throughout this program.