Plan (Individualized Plan for Employment or IPE)

How does the VR counselor determine the services required for the customer?

VR counselor examines the assessment reports, medical and psychological records and determines the services based on the input from the customer about his/job goal. The customer or another advocate can request changes or additional services. The services have to be consistent with the job goal and the disabilities, and should be necessary to achieve the job goal.

Is it possible to make changes to the goal for employment?

It is possible to amend the IPE (individualized plan for employment) to reflect a change in the job goal if the customer and VR counselor agree that it is appropriate and there is enough justification that can be put forth to VR. In most circumstances the consumer must provide the rationale for the change in employment goal. The amended IPE must go through the approval process again by both the consumer and VR. It is advisable to be diligent during the initial preparation of the IPE and avoid changes as these can cause delays in successful rehabilitation.

What is IPE and how does it relate to VR services?

The Individualized Plan for Employment (IPE) consists of three parts;

  • the employment goal,
  • an outline of services necessary to obtain the goal, and
  • the responsibilities of both the consumer and VR

IPE is a plan prepared by the VR counselor in consultation with the customer. The FWD or 'consumer' will have both input and influence in its contents. The plan is based on the available details of the customer's strengths, informed choice of the customer and the appropriate employment goal of the customer as agreed by VR. The IPE is a blueprint of the VR services to be provided to the customer in order to achieve employment and independence. The services must first be identified and agreed upon by both VR and the consumer and included in the IPE. Services not identified and agreed upon in the IPE will not be provided by VR. All services must relate to either the employment goal or the functional limitations resulting from the physical or mental impairment. The plan has to be approved by VR and signed by the customer before services can be started. IPE can be amended as required, by the customer or the VR counselor. Annual review of the IPE is mandatory.

Who determines the 'appropriate job goal' for the customer? Will the customer be able to choose his own job goal?

The customer can choose the job goal as per his/her 'informed choice'. However, both VR and the consumer have to agree to the goal as determined by the comprehensive assessment that considers the consumers abilities, interests and limitations. The goal has to be realistic and achievable for the individual taking into consideration the severity of the disability and the cost of achieving the goal. For example, it is not very realistic for a small vegetable grower to have a job goal to be 'owner' of a large dairy operation if the basic resources are not currently available. The VR process is not designed to reach lifelong dreams, but to realize realistic goals within reasonable amount of time and help achieve economic independence.