The Criss Cole Rehabilitation Center (CCRC) is a comprehensive vocational rehabilitation training facility operated by the Department of Assistive and Rehabilitative Services, Division for Blind Services. It is located in Austin, Texas, at 4800 N. Lamar Blvd.
The mission of the Criss Cole Rehabilitation Center is to work in partnership with consumers and staff toward the accomplishment of employment and independent living goals. CCRC provides non-visual evaluation, and training services in a residential/community setting.
The information provided is organized in four sections:
Use this information to assist the consumer to make an informed choice about how CCRC services can be useful in reaching the consumer's work and living goals. This section includes:
- Who Can Be Referred
- Center Programs
- CCRC Resource Information
- Resource Information Guide
When the consumer has made a decision to seek admission to CCRC for General Program or Specific Services, use this information to complete the referral and to coordinate services with Admissions from consumer acceptance to arrival.
Center Program Descriptions
This section outlines information for the General Program and Specific Services from arrival through completion of training.
Documentation of services provided and recommendations at the Center will be posted in the consumers case folder in ReHabWorks.
Use this information to help consumers make informed choices about participating in CCRC services. This information applies to all consumers
applying for services at CCRC.
Eligible consumers include those who
- are referred by a VR staff person;
- are blind or legally blind;
- have a permanent residence, or provide documentation relating to residence status as described in
11.4.2 Referrals for the Training Program;
- can move about independently or with personal attendant services;
- are able to travel approximately one and a half miles per day, walking with an assistive device;
- can perform daily personal care (such as toileting, hygiene, dressing, and feeding) independently or with personal
- are willing and able to attend scheduled classes;
- are able to control their own behavior (not injurious to self or others, nondestructive of property);
- can evacuate a building once oriented;
- have stable health; and
- can independently manage health and medication.
CCRC programs are designed to address each consumer's specific needs.
CCRC offers training in one or more of the following programs:
- Confidence Building Training Program
- Proficiency Training Program
- Career Focus Training Program
For more information on training programs offered at CCRC, see 11.11 Training Services Available at CCRC.
CCRC provides the following services to allow consumers to make informed
choices about how CCRC may serve their rehabilitation, training, and
- a CCRC tour; and
- outreach services, including mini training, career guidance, and college preparation.
The following resources are available to consumers to help them make informed choices about participating in CCRC services.
- Telephone Inquiry: Questions about CCRC and available services should be directed to the CCRC Admissions coordinator at (512) 377-0349.
- Tour: Referring staff members are encouraged to offer all CCRC-eligible consumers the opportunity to tour CCRC. Tours are individualized and must be arranged at least
three weeks in advance. A tour can last one or two days.
The CCRC admissions process begins when the consumer decides to apply for CCRC services. The following information outlines the steps from the consumer's initial referral to
his or her arrival for CCRC programs. For deadlines related to the admissions process, see the current
CCRC Calendar. Contact the
CCRC Admissions coordinator for assistance or to review individual consumer circumstances.
The referring staff person completes the ReHabWorks Service Record, which automatically delegates the action to CCRC Admissions.
Admissions acknowledges the referral request in ReHabWorks by
entering a completion or cancel date in the service record service,
- placing the referral in an accepted status when all necessary referral information has been received (See General Packet Referral Information below).
- placing the Referral in a Pending Status until all referral information is received.
- placing the Referral in a Scheduled Status when a specific date for the service has been determined. The
admissions coordinator mails an acceptance packet to the consumer.
- documenting the referral as a No-Show in ReHabWorks case note if the consumer does not arrive for the scheduled service.
Certain information is required for all consumers. Additional information is required for consumers with special circumstances. For
questions regarding documentation requirements, contact the CCRC Admissions coordinator.
Send the information indicated below to the CCRC Admissions Office by email to
Andrea.Moen@twc.state.tx.us, by fax at (512) 377-0317, or by mail to
CCRC Admissions Office
4800 N. Lamar Blvd., Austin, TX 78756
Referral Packet Required Information
All consumers must provide
- documentation of legal blindness from an eye medical professional, such as an optometrist, ophthalmologist, or
- general physical
information from a medical professional within the past 12 months;
- TB test results within the past 12 months; and
- a current criminal background check.
Special Circumstances Information
If a consumer meets one or more of the following criteria, he or she must also submit the information indicated below.
If the consumer is under age 18, submit
If the consumer has a guardian assigned by the court, submit
If the consumer is on parole or probation, submit
- the name, address, and phone number of the parole or probation officer; and
- court documents indicating conditions of parole or probation.
If the consumer has had a substance or alcohol issue at any time in the past, submit the
Substance Abuse/Alcohol Abuse Contract.
If the consumer has an HIV or AIDS diagnosis, contact the CCRC Admissions coordinator before submitting any referral information to ensure protection of confidential information as mandated by federal law.
For additional information on protection of HIV information, see Chapter 1: Protection of Legal Rights, 1.4.1
Confidentiality of HIV Status.
If the consumer has a mental health diagnosis, submit a mental health stability statement from the consumer's mental health provider
stating that the consumer
- is stable,
- can manage his or her mental health issues independently,
- can manage his or her prescribed medication independently, and
- can participate in an intensive blind rehabilitation training program.
If the consumer does not have a permanent residence, submit written documentation from the residential provider or family member that
- the consumer's name,
- phone number, and
- a statement that the consumer can return to this residence at any time.
The following information is optional:
- O&M (orientation and mobility) reports, and
- a Vocational Diagnostic Assessment Report.
The CCRC requires that a CBC be completed on all referrals. Once a consumer, regardless of VR status, is referred to the center, designated
Admissions staff will complete a CBC.
Designated Admissions staff will obtain the necessary information to complete the DARS1510 from the referring field counselor prior to running
Evaluating and Documenting CBC Results
CBC reports contain criminal action occurring in the State of Texas. CBC reports will either show no criminal action or criminal action
matching the name and date of birth submitted. CBC reports are often incomplete and difficult to interpret. CCRC Admissions staff members should
consult with their supervisory chain and Legal Services if they need help to interpret the results. They can send questions regarding CBC reports
Staff members should document results in the consumer's electronic record in ReHabWorks. Staff members should not document any details of the
CBC report in the case note; they should just list the date the CBC was requested, the date the CBC was run, and the impact of the results on the
consumer's acceptance into CCRC. Staff members should indicate on the case note if the consumer is not accepted or if there is some restriction on
the consumer's acceptance based on the CBC (for example, the consumer can attend CCRC during the day but is not permitted to stay in the CCRC
Maintaining the CBC Results
If maintained, the CBC must be placed in a sealed envelope and stored in a locked file cabinet as part of the paper case record. A note on the
envelope must identify it as a CBC and indicate the date of the seal and that the CBC should not be released. If the CBC needs to be reviewed,
staff members are required to sign and date when the envelope is opened and again when it is resealed. In order to maintain confidentiality,
immediately upon receipt, the CBC should be printed and all electronic copies should be deleted from electronic files in a secure manner.
Releasing the CBC Results
The designated Admissions staff can release a copy of the CBC report to the consumer in accordance with the
Business Procedures Manual, Chapter 20: Confidentiality and
Use of Consumer Records and Information, 20.10.4 Release of Information Contained in Criminal History Records and
20.8.3 Release of Consumer Criminal History Records Obtained
from the Department of Public Safety.
This section provides information about General Program and Specific Services.
(Revised 10/07, 01/08, 07/09,
To transfer a case to the CCRC, use the following procedure.
Field VR Coordinator, VRC, or Transition Counselor
- completes a partial case review noting that an IPE has been
developed, which adequately provides for CCRC training, including
transportation and maintenance;
- electronically mails the review to the center VRC before the
- with agreement of the designated center VRC, transfers the
consumer's electronic case file within two days of the admission date to
the center VRC; and
- reviews and prepares the paper case file and mails it to the center
VRC within 15 days of the admission date.
- updates the IPE and/or IPE amendment to
- add services that were not anticipated, and
- issue service authorizations for the services that are added; and
- notifies the field VRC or transition counselor (TC) when the IPE is changed.
If extenuating circumstances could adversely affect the transfer of a case, the
center VR coordinator and field VRC determine how to proceed.
If a consumer moves to another region before completing his or her CCRC program, the case is transferred back to the referring field VRC or TC and VR or program coordinator before any decision
is made about case transfer.
For guidelines on transferring cases, see Chapter 40, Case Management, 40.4.3 Procedure
Referral from IL to VR While the Consumer Is Attending CCRC
(Added 01/08, revised 02/13)
If a consumer attending CCRC decides to pursue employment, you may refer the consumer to the VR program while he or she is attending CCRC.
- The center VRC coordinates a joint staffing with the
The center VRC documents the results of the joint meeting in a case note in the IL case.
- field VR coordinator,
- center VR coordinator, and
- field VRC who receives the case upon completion of CCRC services.
- If a VR case is opened, the center VR coordinator contacts the ReHabWorks system administrator allowing the referral to be made to VR.
- The center VRC proceeds with an application and preliminary assessment to determine eligibility in VR. If the consumer is eligible for VR services, the center VRC completes a comprehensive assessment to determine the scope of services and develop the IPE.
- Upon signing the IPE, the center VRC notifies the ILW so the IL case can be closed.
The following outlines the sequence of services provided to consumers from arrival through completion of training:
The purpose of the orientation program is to familiarize consumers with the philosophy, guidelines and procedures of CCRC. Discussions provide opportunities for consumers to gain information that encourages them to build confidence and become self-advocates.
The purpose of the initial assessment is to provide the consumer an opportunity to demonstrate the skills they already possess and identify additional/new skills that will assist them to reach their rehabilitation goals.
Program planning occurs following assessment. Center staff complete recommendations which are shared with the consumer and referring staff in order to determine the most appropriate next step for the consumer. Referring staff are encouraged to participate in the program planning process and are provided with follow-up documentation. The recommended next step may include:
- further assessment
- alternative training options, other than the Criss Cole setting
- Full-time Center training.
Consumers participate in training in one or more of the following categories. (see 11.11 Training Services Available at CCRC for detailed information)
- Core Classes - All General Program consumers are required to participate in all recommended core classes non-visually.
- Need/Elective - Available by consumer request or to meet individual consumer situations
- Program Reviews: The consumer and Center VRC meet periodically throughout the consumer's training program with referring staff to review training progress. Progress documentation is provided to the referring staff.
- Completion/Graduation: The Center expects all consumers to complete their training programs.
Upon completion, the consumer is recognized for his/her accomplishments during a graduation ceremony. Family, friends and DBS staff are invited to attend.
Tours are highly individualized to provide consumers and their families with general information about CCRC and the programs provided at the Center. Consumers who tour have an opportunity to:
- View the CCRC video
- Participate in a tour of the physical facility
- Meet with staff for individual consultations and to answer specific questions
- Participate in CCRC classes upon request
- Meet with current CCRC consumers.
Food, lodging and transportation are available upon request.
Short Term Training
Referrals may be made for:
- Short Term Training
- Field Services (i.e. Mini Training, Diabetes on the Road, O & M, Career Guidance, etc...)
Food and lodging are available upon request.
Note: Transportation not provided by CCRC.
Throughout the consumer's training program, he or she is encouraged to make the connection between what is being learned and how to apply new skills in the home, community, and work environments. Documentation of the consumers Center Training services and next step plans will be provided in ReHabWorks.
Case transfer from CCRC to the field is via ReHabWorks.
The following information resources are available from the DBS Intranet site or TWC Internet:
- CCRC Brochure:
Describes CCRC services using a picture format. Useful in educating the public about CCRC (English, Spanish, large print,
braille, and regular print versions are posted on the DBS Intranet under CCRC; select the link for publications).
- CCRC Calendar: CCRC summary of important dates. A listing of
CCRC services and general procedural information related to center admissions. Annually updated and posted on the DBS
Intranet under CCRC, select the link to the center calendar.
- CCRC Student Handbook: Provides specific information
about CCRC programs. A handbook is sent to each consumer before arrival for CCRC programs (English, Spanish, large print, braille,
and regular print versions are posted on the DBS
Intranet under CCRC; select the link for publications).
- CCRC Manual: Provides policies and procedures for the facility and training program.
- Frequently Asked Questions on the CCRC Consumer Training Programs page: Provides answers to the questions most frequently asked by consumers and families regarding CCRC services. (Appendix C)
- Expectations of CCRC Consumers: Information to share with a consumer when referring to CCRC.
See 11.8 for expectations.
- Outreach services:
Provides information on CCRC outreach services that are provided in the regional offices, including mini trainings.
Counselors are encouraged to share the following information with consumers when discussing a referral to CCRC:
- Participating in the CCRC training program is similar to attending a college. Consumers work with their field VR counselor, center
VR counselor, and CCRC instructors to choose programs or courses to meet their vocational goals and individual needs.
- CCRC consumers participate in evaluative training activities. These activities give consumers opportunities to demonstrate their
knowledge and functional skills. Consumers' time in programs may vary, based on individual needs.
- The center VR counselor compiles the evaluative training recommendations for each consumer and schedules the consumer for classes.
- Consumers, the center VR counselor, and referring staff members use information gathered during all training activities to develop a
Center Services Plan.
- Progress Training Meetings are scheduled on a regular basis with consumers, the center VR counselor, and referring staff members.
- Consumers have the option to complete all center training programs nonvisually through the use of sleep shades. Sleep shades help
consumers minimize their dependence on vision and overcome their fear of blindness. Instructors discuss program and training options
with consumers during tours, on the first day of classes, and throughout the training program.
- Consumers are expected to apply skills of daily living as they are learned.
- Consumers are expected to complete the training program.
For additional information regarding CCRC expectations, contact the CCRC Admissions coordinator or CCRC director.
To participate in CCRC programs and services, consumers must
- be blind or legally blind;
- be referred by a field VR counselor;
- be focused on employment and be VR consumers;
- have a permanent residence, or provide documentation relating to residence status as described in 11.4.2;
- be willing and able to
- participate and demonstrate progress in CCRC classes;
- participate in recommended nonvisual training;
- transfer skills learned from one setting to another;
- attend scheduled classes;
- participate and benefit from group instruction;
- apply learned skills;
- live cooperatively in an adult residential setting;
- perform daily personal care (such as toileting, hygiene, dressing, and feeding) independently or with personal
- move about independently or with personal attendant services;
- independently manage health and medication; and
- take responsibility for their own behavior.
For additional information regarding CCRC expectations and program guidelines, contact the Admissions coordinator or CCRC director.
The following are answers to questions commonly asked by consumers about CCRC services:
- How much does it cost to go to CCRC?
- Room and board are furnished. Consumers will need spending money for outings, personal need items, and some training and medical needs.
- How will the consumer get to CCRC and home again?
- The referring staff will assist the consumer in arranging transportation to Austin. The consumer arranges for transportation home after completing CCRC services as coordinated with the Center VRC.
- What if the consumer wants to go home to visit?
- Consumers are responsible for the cost and arrangements for these trips. Consumers are encouraged to coordinate visits home with their CCRC counselor.
- Can family and friends visit the consumer at CCRC?
- Yes. Family and friends are encouraged to visit in the evening and on weekends. Families may visit during class time to observe skills learned as coordinated with the Center VRC.
- How long will the consumer be at CCRC?
- The length of time in evaluation/training at CCRC is based on each consumer's Individualized Center Services Plan. The average length of training is 6 to 9 months.
- What will the consumer do while at CCRC?
- The consumer will participate in evaluations and attend recommended classes for training. Some classes are required such as basic blindness skills and others are elective and/or based on individual need. During the evenings and on weekends, the consumer may attend scheduled classes, planned activities or engage in activities of their choice.
- Does CCRC find jobs for consumers?
- Although some consumers are employed during or immediately after CCRC training, CCRC services do not include job placement. CCRC staff will assist consumers with self-assessment, occupational exploration, and job seeking skills/post secondary education guidance. A Work Experience Program (WEP) is also available toward the end of the training program.
- What's the living situation like?
- CCRC has a residential area, much like a dormitory setting, with large rooms that accommodate two people. ( CCRC Consumer Handbook)
- Will the consumer have a roommate?
- Most people have a roommate.
- Can consumers come and go as they please?
- Consumers are expected to attend classes. Consumers are free to come and go as they like when their class schedule allows. All consumers are required to sign out when leaving the facility for safety and security purposes.
- What if consumers get there and they don't like it?
- Staff will encourage consumers to complete the evaluation/training planned, though they are free to leave CCRC at any time. Consumers are encouraged to contact their CCRC counselor if this is a concern.
- What kind of people go to CCRC?
- People who are blind from all over Texas come to CCRC. They include people from all adult age groups who have a variety of work and educational backgrounds.
- What expectation does the Center have of consumers?
- Work in partnership with Center Counselor
- Participate in Initial Assessment/Evaluation
- Take part in developing the Individual Center Services Plan
- Attend and actively participate in scheduled classes
- Apply basic blindness skills as they are learned
- Follow Center standards of conduct
- Complete recommended program
- What opportunities do consumers have regarding blindfold training?
- The training focus at CCRC is basic blindness skills. Using sleep shades as a strategy encourages consumers to minimize their dependence on vision and overcome the fear of blindness. Following the completion of the Basic Blindness Skills program, and the development of increased confidence; consumers receive additional training on the use of vision, if needed, to optimize the tools available.
- Will the referring staff be involved with the consumer's program while they are at CCRC?
- Absolutely. The consumer and the Center Counselor will maintain close contact with the field staff throughout the consumer's stay at CCRC.
Consumers participate in training in one or more of the following programs:
- Confidence Building Training Program
- Proficiency Training Program
- Career Focus Training Program
The Confidence Building Training Program is a seven-week nonvisual training program where a consumer builds a
knowledge and experience base to support the vocational goal of being independent and successful as a person who is blind.
The Proficiency Training Program is individualized training that builds skills based on the consumer's current
capabilities and vocational goals. The consumer can choose from a variety of classes; the length of training is based on the consumer's
The Career Focus Training Program is individualized training that prepares the consumer for employment by
developing, implementing, and applying employment readiness skills and capabilities based on the consumer's personal career goals.
For additional information, see the
CCRC serves meals cafeteria-style to consumers at no cost. Special dietary arrangements can be made upon request. Consumers live in the residential
hall of CCRC. All rooms accommodate two residents. Preference for residential services is given to consumers living outside the Austin area.
When consumers arrive for the CCRC Training Program, their transportation is coordinated by the referring field counselor through
the Counseling Department. Consumers are expected to apply skills to travel independently if they take trips home during training.
Personal attendant services required by consumers must be arranged in advance of the consumer's admission date and coordinated with the
CCRC Admissions coordinator.