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Scope of Services
Vocational evaluators provide the following services:
- gather information about the consumer's personal, medical, psychological, social, education and work history;
- evaluate the individual's vocational interests, skills, strengths, and limitations;
- document and interpret test results;
- make recommendations relating to the consumer's vocational goal; and
- recommend training or educational needs, accommodations and other types of intervention to assist the individual in reaching their vocational goal.
Prior to each vocational evaluation, DBS will provide the vocational evaluator with a Referral for Vocational Evaluation form (or equivalent). The referral form will:
- indicate why the consumer is being referred for vocational evaluation and
- describe specific issues and/or questions that should be addressed in the evaluator's written report.
Developing the Consumer's Case History
Information about the consumer's case history shall be gathered through a review of available records and consumer self-reports and a summary of this information included in the vocational evaluation report. The consumer's case history should encompass:
- personal information,
- educational background,
- employment history,
- medical history,
- social history,
- psychological/emotional history and current stability,
- daily living activities, and
- independent living skills.
Information To Be Assessed
The evaluation process must address the consumer's employment assets and liabilities, potential for training, and overall work adjustment.
In the majority of instances at least two different techniques should be utilized to provide a more thorough evaluation. Vocational evaluators have the discretionary authority to determine which techniques should be used—in each case, however, the governing factor in selecting the most appropriate techniques must be the individual needs of the consumer.
The following areas shall be assessed.
- Cognitive abilities
- learning ability including attention, concentration, comprehension, memory/ retention, creativity, and conceptualization;
- communication skills and interaction with others;
- ability to follow oral or written instructions;
- work organization and planning; and
- spatial concepts.
- Academic achievements (grade level) in reading, writing, spelling and mathematics.
- Physical abilities
- fine motor abilities including bimanual dexterity, speed, coordination, and strength;
- gross motor abilities including strength, balance, and coordination; and
- stamina/physical tolerances and endurance.
- Sensory abilities (identify preferred learning style: visual, auditory, or tactile)
- use of residual vision,
- auditory processing and sound localization, and
- tactile perception.
- Aptitudes and vocational interests/exploration
- specific equipment and technical skills and
- preferred vocational interests compared to abilities.
- Behavioral observations and work habits
- general behaviors and work related behaviors;
- self-image (pertaining to self and work);
- appearance (grooming, hygiene, appropriate clothing for the work setting, etc.);
- motivation and attitude toward work;
- attendance and punctuality;
- orientation to the work setting and travel within the work setting;
- work stability (including attention to work despite environmental distractions);
- work quality;
- work productivity;
- acceptance of supervision (accepting and responding to suggestions and corrections);
- responsibility for materials and work;
- adherence to workplace standards (employee policies, rules, schedules, etc.);
- safety standards (understanding and adhering to safety standards);
- impulse control (predictable behavior, adequate self-control, etc.);
- stress tolerance;
- persistence (following through on the work task to completion);
- initiative (working independently);
- job seeking skills; and
- the consumer's potential to benefit from vocational rehabilitation services.
All test instruments must be appropriate for use with the DBS target population including appropriate norms, adaptations, and accommodations.
Prior to the initiation of each contract, the vocational evaluator must provide DBS with a written list that:
- identifies each test instrument to be used in evaluating consumers,
- describes what each instrument is intended to measure, and
- cross-references each instrument with the area(s) to be evaluated as outlined in the evaluator's contract.
The emphasis of the vocational evaluation is based on the outcome. Because the scope of each evaluation is governed by the consumer's individual need(s), there are no fixed guidelines regarding the number of days or hours per day required to complete an evaluation. Generally, an evaluation would be expected to take three to five days to gather all of the work characteristics outlined above.
The techniques used to establish and measure consumer work characteristics can generally be categorized as follows.
Standardized tests include tests that measure the consumer's academic achievement, cognitive abilities, aptitude, personality, vocational interests, sensory/motor skills, and independent living skills and compare the individual's performance with the performance of an appropriate sample population.
Psychological tests include any battery of tests or psychometric instruments that are administered and interpreted by a licensed psychologist or psychological associate to assess intelligence, aptitude, academic achievement, interests, personality, and level of adjustment.
Work samples provide a close simulation of an actual industrial task, business operation, or component of an occupational area.
A situational assessment is done at multiple work sites within a usual business or industry setting in the community. These community-based assessments provide an opportunity for the consumer to explore their ability to perform a variety of job tasks and help the consumer make informed choices about the type of work environment and job tasks they prefer. The evaluator's observations and the consumer's experiences are then used to determine the kind of job and needed supports that most closely match the consumer's preferences.
Vocational Evaluation Reports
Vocational evaluation reports must be submitted in the standard format required by DBS using a DARS2869, Vocational Evaluation Report.
Vocational evaluation reports are due within 15 working days after the evaluation is completed.
Each report must summarize
- the cumulative findings of the vocational evaluation; and
- the evaluator's outcome-oriented recommendations relating to the consumer's
- vocational potential,
- vocational rehabilitation needs, and
The direct service provider (i.e., vocational evaluator or psychologist) must sign the evaluation report.
The provider is not required to submit the DARS2869 if the provider performs a psychological evaluation in conjunction with the vocational evaluation. Reporting for this combination must be submitted using the traditional psychological evaluation format.
The evaluator's written report must include:
- consumer demographic information,
- the reason for referral,
- background information (including visual impairment; other medical conditions; psychological, academic and work history; and social/emotional information),
- a complete list of all tests administered,
- interpretations of all test results (including a summary of strengths and limitations),
- the consumer's vocational interests,
- behavioral observations, and
- the evaluator's recommendations.
Each report must include the evaluator's recommendations and must address the following.
- A response to each specific referral question.
- The consumer's optimal level of employment potential and job readiness.
- Specific occupations for the consumer to consider/explore.
- Job-related accommodations or adaptations, if needed.
- Any additional training or education needed for employment.
- Any additional evaluation needs such as medical or psychological evaluations, rehabilitation technology evaluations, etc.
- Consideration for supported employment services, if appropriate.
- Independent living needs, accommodations, and/or adaptations.
- Other vocational rehabilitation needs.
Pre-Staffing, Interim Staffing, and Post-Staffing
After the vocational evaluation has been completed, a post-staffing is required for each consumer receiving services. The meeting must include the evaluator, the consumer (and/or their representative if applicable), and the consumer's counselor or case manager.
If needed, pre-staffings and interim staffings may be held.
All staffings must be documented and placed in the consumer's file.