September 5th – 7th, 2017

September 5th
Free pre-conference sponsored by WINTAC (Workforce Innovation Technical Assistance Center)

September 6th – 7th
Full 2-day conference

Session Descriptions


Join us in beautiful downtown Omaha! We offer an exciting lineup of vocational rehabilitation experts and peers to discuss best practices in employment for people with disabilities.

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Wednesday, September 6


Welcome | 8:00-8:45am | Room: Midlands

8:00 to 8:10 am
Mark Schultz, Deputy Commission of Education, Director of Nebraska VR

8:10 to 8:15 am
Carlos Servan, Nebraska Commission for the Blind and Visually Impaired

8:15 to 8:45 am
Carol Dobak, Director of RSAs State Monitoring and Program Improvement Division, Acting RSA Deputy Commissioner, and Acting Commissioner

Keynote | 8:45-10:00am

Success is Not a Matter of Chance     Kathy Peissig | Dustin Olson
Room: Midlands

Measuring what matters to customers and stakeholders and how this leads to changes in the way we do business. Several of Nebraska’s businesses will share their indicators for success as they continue to improve services to be the best in their fields.

Concurrent Sessions | 10:30-11:30am

Effective and Efficient Coordination and Assessment of Pre-Employment Transition Services in High Schools
Pisnu Bua-Iam  |  Doug Snuffer  |  Basil White   |  Joseph “Zeke” Hampton
Room: Winnebago

Learn how to effectively and efficiently coordinate and assess the pre-employment transition services in high schools. The Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act (WIOA) mandates VR agencies to work closely with high schools at the local level to ensure the provision of pre-employment transition services. The coordination of this process can be quite challenging. This presentation will outline the planning, processes, and outcomes of the pre-employment transition services assessment and coordination activities in West Virginia.

Outcomes and Impact of a Collaboration Model to Implement Employment Focused Strategic Planning
Deborah Collard  |  Susan Davis Payne
Room: Lewis and Clark

Learn more about how to utilize a Collaboration Model to develop a strategic plan that focuses on successful competitive integrated outcomes for individuals receiving Vocational Rehabilitation Services within a rehabilitation center. Participants will learn how to develop an employment focused Collaboration Model and gain an understanding of the importance of partnership and collaboration between center-based and field-based VR services.

Why Return to Work? Consumer Perspective from the SGA Qualitative Study
Allison Taylor
Room: Nebraska Iowa

Learn about how some VR consumers made decisions about returning to work and staying on or going off of SSDI. This presentation will discuss the SGA Qualitative Study, an in-depth investigation into the experiences and perspectives of VR customers in Minnesota and Kentucky who are Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) beneficiaries. You will gain an understanding of how and why some consumers make decisions about returning to work and the role that Social Security and Vocational Rehabilitation plays in those decisions.

WIOA Information Technology Support Center: Aligning Data and Applications Across Partners Through IT
Mark Schultz
Room: Capitol Dodge

The WIOA Information Technology Support Center (WITSC )is funded by USDOL with a Steering Committee comprised of federal and state representatives of ETA (Labor), OCTAE (Education), RSA and ACF (HHS). Learn more about the purpose of WITSC, its guiding principles, and help shape intended support by providing input on the issues of most importance, greatest needs, and emerging practices.

Lunch: On Your Own | 11:45 – 1:00pm

Return on Investment Lunch | 11:45 – 1:00pm
Room: Ballroom East

Roundtable Discussions | 1:00 – 2:30pm
Room: Ballroom Center/West


  • Designing a Fair VR Fee Structure to Appropriately Reward CRPs. — Andrew Clemon, David Vandergroot
  • Evidence-Based Practices to Support Employment for Adults with Autism and Transition-Aged Youth. — B. Jasmine Park, Elizabeth Frentzel, Joann Starks, Rachael Anderson
  • So, You Just Got Assigned the Program Evaluation Function. Now What? –Terry Donovan
  • Understanding Data Elements to Report Accurate Data: Garbage In – Garbage out. — Ann Lynn Banton
  • Using External Data Sources in VR Planning and Reporting. — Carly Lykes Frostman
  • What Do We Want to Write Together? — Michael Shoemaker

PEQA Advanced Session | 1:00 – 4:00pm
Room: Capitol Dodge

Bill Hoyt | Anna Fetter

Bill Hoyt, Department Chair of Counseling Psychology at UW-Madison, and Anna Fetter, doctoral
candidate in Counseling Psychology, will offer an introductory workshop on use of “R”, an open
source statistical program. Program content will include online availability of “R” and review of the
range of basic analyses (correlations, t-tests, ANOVA, and simple linear and multiple regressions). A
sample data set based on the RSA 2016 code book will be available. Participants should bring a
laptop or device to use in the workshop. This workshop is sponsored by the Rehabilitation Services Administration of the Department of Education through PEQA.

Concurrent Sessions | 2:45 – 4:00pm

Moving Beyond Reporting to Manage Your Program
Donald Alveshere | Dan Bartels | Terry Donovan
Room: Lewis and Clark

This is a practical session of working with RSA-911 data elements to help VR improve services and tell their story to stakeholders better by using analytic tools. Participants will learn how to analyze data to look for both positive and negative trends, and how to use data visualization techniques other than just bar charts, pie charts and line graphs.

Staff Evaluation Approaches: Aligning with Changes in the WIOA Common Performance Measures
Rachel Anderson | Kara Lang
Room: Winnebago

How will WIOA Common Performance Measures impact staff evaluation, training, and skills development? This presentation will provide participants with strategies and best practices regarding the impact that WIOA will have with staff evaluation and training and skills development. It will provide insight into the process of amending performance standards and share recommendations and ideas being used for VR counselor performance evaluation goals.

Collaboration and Complexity in Comprehensive Program Evaluation: Virginia’s Career Pathways Project
Kirsten Rowe | Barbara Burkett | Deborah Collard
Room: Midlands – Nebraska | Iowa | Missouri

Researchers from the RSA-funded Virginia’s Career Pathways for Individuals with Disabilities project will describe their collaborative approach to conducting program evaluations. They’ll discuss their mapping of evaluation activities and findings, as well as the goals and objectives of this complex project. You will learn how this project can strengthen the alignment of VR programs with other programs authorized by the Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act, along with the importance of the strategies for involving key stakeholders in the development and implementation of comprehensive project evaluations.

Reception: The Summit Group’s 10th Anniversary Celebration
4:30 – 6:00pm
Room: Ballroom Center/West

Thank you to our reception sponsor,
Alliance Enterprises, Inc.!



Thursday, September 7


Welcome | 8:00-8:30am | Room: Midlands

8:00 to 8:15 am
Darlene Groomes| Associate Professor, Oakland University

8:15 to 8:30 am
Michael Shoemaker | Utah State Office of Rehabilitation and Co-founder of the Summit Group

Keynote | 8:30-10:00am

Vision 2020 – How Will We Measure Success?    Stephen Wooderson
Room: Midlands

Stephen Wooderson, CEO of the Council of State Administrators of Vocational Rehabilitation (CSAVR), will provide an update on CSAVR Vision 2020, including stakeholder feedback on evidence expected to document success.

Concurrent Sessions | 10:30-11:30am

Tools of the Trade: Part 1 of Part 2
Michael Shoemaker | Saara Grizzell | Becky Wiersig | Terry Donovan
Room: Lewis and Clark

This will be a facilitated session for those who are responsible for performance management, program evaluation, and quality assurance functions in state Vocational Rehabilitation. They are to bring their best evaluation tool in either print or electronic version to share with other participants. Participants attending this session will also need to attend the Part II session later in the day. Participants will share in small group sessions their best tool used for evaluating performance management, program evaluation, and quality assurance. They will explain how the tool is used to improve quality within their agencies.

Using Data Analytics for Program Evaluation and Performance Management
Purvi Sevak | Todd Honeycutt
Room: Winnebago

Vocational Rehabilitation agency staff has access to an array of data. This presentation will describe a different way that VR agencies can use their data for performance management and program evaluation. Participants will see a demonstration of the VR Program Evaluation Coach, a new online tool that agency staff can use for pulling data for the purpose of evaluating VR services and programs.

Pre-Employment Transition Services and Secondary School
Brigid Griffin | Lindsay Brown
Room: Capitol Dodge

Learn how to develop relationships with secondary schools and gain access to provide Pre-Employment Transition Services in the schools. You will learn how to track the five Pre-ETS services, what supports are needed in the provision of these services, and the costs tied to the provision of these services. Learn how Nebraska modified their data system to track Pre-Employment Transition Services and the associated costs for those services.

Return on Investment and Ethical Considerations
Robert Froehlich
Room: Nebraska Iowa

Ethical principles will be applied to highlight important considerations when developing ROI measurements in the context of the Vocational Rehabilitation ethical decision-making process. Participants will learn how to apply the CRC Code of Ethics, identify scenarios that can assist with policy development, determine ethical approaches to using ROI, and examine resources and strategies.

PEQA Advanced Session | 1:00 – 3:30pm
Room: Capitol Dodge

Anna Fetter

Anna Fetter, doctoral candidate in Counseling Psychology at UW-Madison, will be available for individual consultation with participants regarding the use of “R” or to troubleshoot questions regarding data applications in program assessment. Sign up for consultation times at the conference registration/information table by the end of business on Wednesday. These consultations are sponsored by the Rehabilitation Services Administration of the Department of Education through PEQA.

Concurrent Sessions | 1:00 – 2:30 pm

Tools of the Trade: Part 2 of Part 2
Michael Shoemaker | Saara Grizzell | Becky Wiersig | Terry Donovan
Room: Lewis and Clark

This is a continued facilitated session from Part 1 for those who are responsible for performance management, program evaluation and quality assurance functions in state Vocational Rehabilitation. Participants attending this session should have attended the Part I session earlier in the day. They will be sharing their best tool used for evaluating performance management, program evaluation and quality assurance. Those who did not participant in Part 1 are welcome to participate and learn about the Tools of the Trade. During this session participants will be giving and receiving positive and constructive feedback on their best evaluation tool that was shared in Part I. Participants will be able to take away evaluation tools to have as a reference for future work.

Succession Planning in the 21st Century
Lucy Mohs | Fred Wollet
Room: Nebraska Iowa

The Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act (WIOA) has placed more demands on an already complex and thinly stretched VR workforce. Find out what Florida General VR has learned since the implementation of WIOA around succession planning and documenting efforts to increase Return on Investment outcomes from a fiscal and human resource management perspective. Participants will learn about best practices and program evaluation tools.

Helping VR SSDI Recipients Achieve Success
Joe Marrone | Susan Foley | Todd Honeycutt | Kellie Scott | Chris McVey
Room: Winnebago

Learn about the final evaluation results of an RSA-funded randomized controlled trial of VR innovations for SSDI customers in two states. This trial involved a team comprised of a VR Counselor, a Job Placement Specialist and a Financial Educator in a pre-IPE status providing information about opportunities for increased income. Participants will learn about approaches to design of a randomized control design with a public VR agency, and the policy and program design implications.

Networking with Summit Presenters | 2:30 – 3:30pm | Room: TBD

Get to know the Summit Presenters! Attend this networking event to meet the Summit presenters, learn more about your interest areas, and meet others with similar interests.

Closing Event | 3:30 – 4:00pm
Room: Ballroom

  • Join your colleagues to ask and answer questions
  • Learn about the Certification on Vocational Rehabilitation Program Evaluation and Quality Assurance
  • Provide the conference planners with feedback
  • Review lessons learned

Navigators’ Wrap-Up Meeting | 4:00 – 5:00pm
Room: Nebraska Iowa


Save the Date: September 4-6, 2018 Summit Conference. Join Us in Oklahoma City.