Asset Development and VR's Role in Kentucky

Asset Development is a "Critical Part" of VR's Role in Kentucky: Agency leads the nation in taking financial stability measures for VR clients in poverty

Kentucky Office of Vocational Rehabilitation (KYOVR) believes putting vocational rehabilitation clients on a pathway to financial stability is a critical part of public VR’s role. Motivated by the high level of poverty for individuals with disabilities, the agency conducted a statewide asset development summit in October 2012 which clearly established the connection between employment success and financial stability. Kentucky now leads the nation by bringing this issue to the forefront and taking innovative steps to incorporate asset development into VR services.

The October Summit brought together over 60 members of the Kentucky disability and asset building communities to begin a dialogue on working together to build economic self-sufficiency for persons with disabilities (additional information about the Summit ). Since the successful summit KYOVR has been exploring several approaches to develop capacity and expand asset building strategies.

Individual Development Accounts (IDA) KYOVR would like to be able to offer their clients IDAs because they have proven to be an effective tool to both acquire savings and build the behavioral changes that need to occur in order to leave poverty. Focusing on rural areas where transportation needs are acute, OVR is proposing a pilot to establish IDAs for the purchase of vehicles. OVR and Kentucky Domestic Violence Association (KDVA) are discussing a partnership to set up accounts for ten individuals who would each save $2,000 over a period of six months to two years and receive a match of $2,000. OVR would provide the case management. This exciting pilot is still in the planning stages.

Regional Asset Development Summits KYOVR plans to organize regional summits based on the model used for the Statewide Summit. They would like to partner with local Bank On initiatives. The agency has tentatively identified Ashland, Northern Kentucky, Lexington, Bowling Green, and Owensboro as possible locations.

Asset Development Pilot Project with Transition Students KYOVR is currently establishing a pilot project on asset development for transition students in collaboration with Southeast TACE. TACE will provide technical assistance and training. It is proposed that selected KYOVR counselors work with three school systems to incorporate asset development and financial planning into the transition plans of 40 students. Campbell and Jefferson County School systems have agreed to participate with a third district in Southern Kentucky to be named.

Web Page KYOVR is considering how to include an asset development page on the KATLC website.