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.
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.
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.
DARS provides CCRC services for
- DBS consumers (students),
- family members of students,
- Texas School for the Blind and Visually Impaired (TSBVI) students, and
- the general public.
These services vary depending on the needs of the individuals. The services can include
- tours of CCRC for visitors,
- CCRC training programs, and
- Off-site mini trainings
CCRC also provides training to DARS staff members.
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.
Consumers may apply for multiple services at CCRC, including
- a mini training in their DBS region, conducted jointly with CCRC;
- a tour of CCRC;
- the Confidence Building Training Program;
- the Proficiency Training Program; and
- the Career Focus Training Program.
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
- a new student orientation,
- an assessment,
- a Progress Training Report, and
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.
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
- the right to be informed of their rights in their preferred media,
- the right to services that are nondiscriminatory,
- the right to protection of personal information contained in DBS records, and
- the right to appeal decisions regarding their planned services or their eligibility for such services.
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.
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
- denial, reduction, suspension, or termination of services;
- the nature or content of the consumer's IPE; or
- the delivery or quality of vocational counseling services provided by DBS.
This policy manual applies to all CCRC staff members, including permanent, contract, temporary, volunteers, and interns. It also applies to students and visitors.
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 must
- follow policies and procedures of CCRC, DARS, and HHS;
- coordinate with the field staff and the student to identify training needs;
- provide student orientation and evaluation;
- provide training to students in compliance with their IPE; and
- communicate with students and the field staff about
- program information, and
- services offered.
Supervisors and Managers
Supervisors and managers must
- follow policies and procedures of CCRC, DARS, and HHS;
- monitor the quality of programs; and
- coordinate internal program and professional development training.
Field Staff Members
Field staff members must
- identify consumers who need CCRC services,
- make appropriate referrals according to CCRC Program Guidelines, and
- communicate with consumers and CCRC staff members about program information.
Field and CCRC staff members must advise consumers that they must
- follow CCRC Program Guidelines, which are provided to consumers in their preferred medium as part of the http://www.twc.state.tx.us/jobseekers/criss-cole-rehabilitation-center#publications">CCRC Student Handbook;
- participate in training activities and apply learned skills; and
- inform appropriate staff members when unable to participate in training activities.
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.