In this manual, references to DARS now refer to TWC. The manual includes both links to public content and links to content available only to staff.

Chapter 1: General Information

1.1 Purpose

The Criss Cole Rehabilitation Center (CCRC) is a residential and comprehensive vocational rehabilitation training facility operated by the Department of Assistive and Rehabilitative Services (DARS), Division for Blind Services (DBS). This chapter establishes guidelines for the services provided to CCRC students and for how services at CCRC operate.

1.2 Definitions

CCRC Shutdown—a period when CCRC is closed for business and building maintenance occurs. During these periods, students do not reside in the building, and staff members may use accrued time and take leave or work at another location.

CCRC Staff Members—DBS employees who are employed at CCRC.

CLT—the Center Leadership Team, which consists of the director of CCRC, the manager of Counseling and Vocational Training, the manager of Client Life Services, and the manager of Training Services.

Counseling Staff Member—a CCRC staff member who works as a Center Vocational Rehabilitation Counselor (CVRC) and who is supervised by the CCRC manager of Counseling and Vocational Training.

Field Staff Members—DBS staff members across Texas who are not employed at CCRC or the Central Office.

IPE—the Individualized Plan for Employment, which is a written plan that outlines the services needed by a consumer to prepare for, secure, retain, or regain employment.

Student—Any DBS consumer who is receiving training at CCRC, either as a residential student or as a nonresidential or day student.

Visitor—An individual who is allowed into CCRC but who is neither a current student nor a CCRC employee. This may include DBS consumers who are prospective students or DBS consumers who are former students. This may also include friends or family members of students or other members of the general public who are allowed access for touring or other purposes.

VR Field Counselor—a DBS counselor who is assigned to one of 12 regions and who serves DBS consumers from the regional field office in the consumers' home area.

1.3 Policy

DARS ensures that CCRC staff members, students, and visitors follow the policies and procedures set forth in this CCRC Policy Manual. CCRC staff members are also required to follow the policies and procedures set forth in the DBS Vocational Rehabilitation (VR) Manual and the DARS Business Procedures Manual (BPM).

Students are required to follow the policies and procedures set forth in the CCRC Student Handbook.

CCRC is state property, and DARS must follow associated state and federal laws.

1.3.1 CCRC Services

DARS provides CCRC services for

These services vary depending on the needs of the individuals. The services can include

CCRC also provides training to DARS staff members.

1.3.2 Tours of CCRC

DARS provides tours of CCRC for DBS consumers, their family members, and the public. The tours include the residential dormitory and provide an overview of the training programs.

1.3.3 Admission into CCRC Services

Consumers may apply for multiple services at CCRC, including

The VR field counselor refers DBS consumers to CCRC in accordance with the DBS VR Manual (VRM), Chapter 11: Criss Cole Rehabilitation Center. A current Criminal Background Check (CBC) is required to help CCRC evaluate the safety of all students. Once a consumer, regardless of VR status, is referred to the center, designated Admissions staff will complete a CBC.

The VR field counselor should explain to the consumer that the CCRC referral process requires a CBC and should document that reason for obtaining a CBC, along with a summary of the discussion with the consumer, in a case note.

See more information on CBCs in the VRM, Chapter 4: Plan Development, 4.1.4 Criminal Background Checks and the VRM, Chapter 11: Criss Cole Rehabilitation Center, 11.4.3 Criminal Background Checks.

Once admitted to a CCRC training program, the student receives

1.3.4 Records

CCRC student records are kept in accordance with DARS records retention policies in BPM, Chapter 13: Records Management, 13.2 Records Retention and BPM 13.4 Confidential Information. Students receiving services at CCRC are DBS consumers and have an open Vocational Rehabilitation (VR) case in ReHabWorks. All documentation is completed according to DARS standards found in the VR Manual and ReHabWorks Users Guide.

CCRC counseling staff members complete the orientation and intake paperwork with the student. The CCRC counseling staff maintains a paper file external to ReHabWorks.

CCRC staff members access information in the paper file and maintain confidentiality in accordance with DARS policy in BPM, Chapter 20: Confidentiality and Use of Consumer Records and Information, 20.7 Safeguarding Consumer Records and Information.

1.3.5 Student Rights

CCRC ensures that students' rights are protected in accordance with the DBS VR Manual, Chapter 1: Protection of Legal Rights. Students are afforded certain basic rights, which include

When starting services at the CCRC, the student receives a copy of the brochure entitled "Vocational Rehabilitation Appeal Procedures - Can We Talk?" as required in DBS VR Manual, Chapter 1: Protection of Legal Rights, 1.2.1 Notification of Rights.

1.3.6 Complaints, Appeals, and Hearings

Students are afforded the same rights as all other DARS consumers; most of the students are DBS VR consumers. If a student has a complaint about services or how the services were provided, he or she can call the DARS Inquiry Line (1-800-628-5115) or contact the center director. Complaints must be handled promptly and at the lowest possible management level. See BPM, Chapter 21: DARS Standard Consumer Services, 21.2 Appeals and Hearings.

DBS strives for, within policy and fiscal constraints, consumer satisfaction with its services. When an issue is not resolved after discussion between the applicant or consumer and the counselor, DBS offers an appeal process to assist in remedying applicant or consumer dissatisfaction with respect to

1.4 Persons Affected

This policy manual applies to all CCRC staff members, including permanent, contract, temporary, volunteers, and interns. It also applies to students and visitors.

1.5 Responsibilities

Effective training requires a committed partnership and active participation in the learning process by the student, CCRC staff members, and field staff members.

Staff Members

Staff members must

Supervisors and Managers

Supervisors and managers must

Field Staff Members

Field staff members must

Consumers

Field and CCRC staff members must advise consumers that they must

1.6 Procedures

The applicable CCRC program and procedures are set forth in detail in the DBS VR Manual, from preapplication through the entire program to postprogram planning.

The following linked documents are contained in the CCRC Procedures and address responsibilities found in this manual chapter.

For information on communication between the VR field counselor and CCRC, see Contacts with Field Staff After Acceptance.

For information about CCRC referral, admission, and training programs, see Program and Consumer Flow.

For information about consumer progress reports and meetings, see Documentation Report Writing Procedures.

For additional services for the consumer, see Referring Consumers for EAS or ATU Evaluation.

For information on consumer expectations in the computer lab, see Computer Lab and Equipment Standards.