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LEADERSHIP AGENDA

Operational Scan

ECONOMIC INDICATORS

DEPARTMENT PERFORMANCE

DEPARTMENT PERFORMANCE

Department for the Blind

Emily Wharton, Director

Mission Statement:
The Iowa Department for the Blind is the means for persons who are blind to obtain for themselves universal accessibility and full participation in society in whatever roles they may choose, including roles that improve Iowa's economic growth.

Competitive employment outcomes
Blind Iowans average wage vs. average state wage
Individuals indicating a more positive attitude after training
Iowans using services of Department for the Blind
Library book circulation

MORE DEPARTMENT PERFORMANCE

  • Download PDF document   Performance Plan - How we measure our progress

  • Download PDF document   Strategic Plan - How we plan for progress

  • Download PDF document   Performance Report - How we report our progress

  • Department Home Page - Learn more about this department

Highlighted Measure:

Competitive employment outcomes as a percentage of all employment outcomes based on federal fiscal year.

Data Source: eFORCE and
www.ed.gov/rschstat/eval/rehab/standards.html

 

Updated 07/12/2016

GRAPH - Blind Iowans Achieving Competitive Employment

Why this is important:
The Iowa Department for the Blind is the state agency responsible for providing most of the services Iowans who are blind need to live independently and work competitively. The mission is to be the means for persons who are blind to obtain for themselves universal access and full participation as citizens in whatever roles they may choose.


What we're doing about this:
Critical services are targeted to the vocational and independent living needs of blind Iowans. Without these individualized services including counseling, transition, training and necessary accommodations, Iowans who are blind could not compete in two and four year post-secondary education, meet employer needs, and obtain high quality employment.

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Highlighted Measure:

Ratio of average VR wage to average state wage as a percentage as compared to the national average.

NOTE: National data are not yet available.

Data Source: eFORCE and
www.ed.gov/rschstat/eval/rehab/standards.html

 

Updated 07/12/2016

GRAPH - Blind Iowans' Average Wage Compared to Average State Wage


Why this is important:
These services enable blind individuals to develop the confidence and skills to meet Iowa employer needs and job demands. Individuals develop the pride of achievement and self-sufficiency. They become an effective, contributing part of Iowa and become a part of their communities.


What we're doing about this:
Placement specialists regularly meet with counselors and clients to provide employment leads and develop career and job placement plans. They also meet with employers to provide information about the blind as an untapped workforce. The Department now has two job clubs: one in Des Moines and the other in Council Bluffs. These are proving to be useful as a means for blind jobseekers to share important information with one another.

The Department provides necessary services for Iowans who are blind to live independently and work competitively. The Vocational Rehabilitation (VR) services assist Iowans who are blind in preparing for, obtaining, and retaining employment. The highly trained VR Counselor and blind individual identify a vocational goal and the services needed to achieve the goal. This can involve assessment and evaluation of persons' needs, skills and resources so that they can make an informed choice. Individuals often need training to acquire the skills of blindness and vocational development involving the client and counselor. VR Counselors help the individual write a resume, practice interviewing, and locate job-search and placement resources. Job-site assessment and procurement and appropriate assistive technology devices and training in the use of adapted equipment are provided where necessary. Follow-up services after job placement can be critical to both the blind employee and the employer to ensure that the individual is successful and the employer is satisfied with reliability, productivity, and profitability.

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Highlighted Measure:

Individuals indicating they have a more positive attitude about their blindness after training.

Data Source: eFORCE

 

Updated 07/12/2016

GRAPH - Ratio of Objectives Met to Increase Independent Living for Older Iowans

Why this is important:
Instruction in the skills and techniques of blindness, guidance and counseling, and positive peer interaction is provided through home training and community-based training programs. Without proper and early intervention, many older Iowans who experience a severe loss of vision make major life changes that involve a loss of self-sufficiency and increased dependence on costly long-term and institutional supports. Development of blindness skills coupled with a positive, self-confident attitude pertaining to blindness enables individuals to postpone or avoid costly institutional supports and prolong the time they are able to continue as independent and contributing members of Iowa's society.


What we're doing about this:
Independent Living staff members provide individualized home training in blindness skills needed to independently and competently carry out essential activities of daily living such as travel with the long white cane; communication techniques; and home management skills (i.e., cooking, cleaning, and shopping). To further enhance skill development and to promote a positive adjustment to blindness, staff members encourage and facilitate peer interaction through involvement with peer support groups and group training in blindness skills. Additionally, Independent Living staff members provide in-service training to other service providers to meet the unique needs of individuals who are blind.

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Highlighted Measure:

Number of individual Iowans using Iowa Department for the Blind services per state fiscal year.

Data Source: Department for the Blind, CUL system

 

Updated 07/12/2016

GRAPH - Iowans Using Services of Department for the Blind

Why this is important:
Iowans who cannot read standard print because of disabilities need information to continue their education, acquire and maintain jobs, participate in community and democratic processes and activities, and maintain a quality of life which includes mental stimulation, knowledge of current issues and events, and enjoyable leisure activities. The library makes all of this possible.


What we're doing about this:
Improving public information and outreach to serve more reading-disabled Iowans; upgrading automated circulation system for more efficiency and better, more customer-centered service; increasing programming; cooperating with newspaper services to make them available to all patrons; producing newsletters to inform patrons of new and existing services; digitizing old Braille to preserve content and reduce space needs; recruiting new Braillists and narrators; upgrading Brailling and recording processes and programs; implementing patron training on digital resources; building professional-quality recording studio; training volunteers in math, music and tactile Braille production.

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Highlighted Measure:

Number of books circulated to blind Iowans in an alternative format including Braille, cassette, electronic text, large type, descriptive video, and talking book disc.

Data Source: Department for the Blind, CUL System

 

Updated 07/12/2016

GRAPH - Library Book Circulation

Why this is important:
By providing access to information of all types, the Library plays a critical role in helping citizens who cannot read standard print because of a visual, physical or reading disability maintain their independence, work, and participate in community and family activities.


What we're doing about this:
The Library educates groups (e.g., visiting congregate meal sites, conference exhibits) about available library services and contacting all new patrons to resolve questions.

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