Topic Number2.3.24Effective DateOctober 1, 2015
ProcedureWWRC Client Transportation
Purpose
  • To assure client transportation requests and services are met in the most cost-effective, safe, expedient, and collaborative manner
  • To ensure that client transportation requests and services are identified as a vital, direct need to the client's vocational rehabilitation program
Accountability Indicators
  • There is evidence that WWRC and DARS/DRS employees understand and consistently apply standards, expectations, and protocols governing the transportation of VR clients and other appropriate parties using Agency vehicles. 
  • The DARS/WWRC Transportation Committee effectively addresses any identified issues related to Agency transportation of VR consumers, requiring minimal, if any assistance from Agency Administration.
  • The level of client and sponsor satisfaction with Agency transportation of VR consumers is high, with any identified issues resolved in a timely, responsive manner, as perceived by the client, family, and/or sponsor. 
Policy ReferenceN/A
Detailed Governance Reference

Intranet Document Repository (Counseling Subsection):  WWRC Client Rights, Responsibilities, and Disclosures for Services (Items #12-14)

 

Executive Staff ContactMike Kelley, Dean of Students and Director Residential Services/Rehabilitation Counseling Divisions

 

Every Day in Every Way We….. 

 

Put Clients First

Take Care of Customers

Work in Teams

Are Organized, Utilized, and Valuable

Preserve Leadership Ethics, Accountability, Center Values, and Public Trust

 

Governance Procedures 

This governance procedure primarily addresses the coordination of transportation and related logistics for VR consumers attending WWRC, as a collaborative process between the Center and the Agency's DRS Field Program.  A designated DARS/WWRC Transportation Committee provides oversight and monitoring of the implementation of this governance procedure to address any identified issues, exchange information and ideas, and ensure consistency of Agency transportation services for VR consumers with universally understood standards, expectations, and protocols. 

 

WWRC and DARS are not responsible for the transport of individuals who are not DARS clients (such as family members or friends).  There are two types of exceptions:

 

  • WWRC and DARS may transport an individual who is identified as a DARS client personal care attendant, if the request is made in advance and meets administrative approval as a medically necessary accommodation. 
  • Individuals with disabilities who meet WWRC admissions criteria and reside out-of-state, including the Virgin Islands, are occasionally accepted for WWRC programs and services and may need transportation assistance to/from the Center.  See "Unique Circumstances" subsection of this governance procedure for further guidance. 

 

It is the responsibility of the client/family to coordinate independent transportation when leaving campus for personal reasons, such as weekends, non-WWRC designated holidays, and special family events.  
 

Note:  WWRC clients may only be transported using an approved state vehicle.  Any exception requiring use of a personal vehicle must be prior approved by the WWRC Director, or designee.  Follow After Hours Administrator Access protocol outside of standard business hours. 

 

Transportation Protocols

 

All client transportation requests shall be submitted to the WWRC or DARS Counselor for consideration.  The Counselor will review to determine if:  all transportation options have been explored; the request is a necessary component to the impact/outcome of the client's vocational program/employment; and/or the family is unable to meet the request.  Should feasibility of the request be in question, the WWRC or DARS Counselor will (along with other staff as deemed necessary) present the request and circumstances to DARS and/or WWRC management to make the decision.

 

Once deemed that WWRC/DARS transport meets required criteria, the following protocol applies:

 

  • DARS TRANSPORT – If initiated in the client's home community, the DARS counselor shall submit the transportation request to the assigned DARS van driver for the region.  The DARS van driver will work with the DARS Counselor, client, and WWRC (if indicated) to schedule trip(s).  When the DARS transportation request is initiated through a WWRC Counselor, the WWRC Counselor shall submit a request to the DARS Counselor via email and copy the appropriate DARS van driver and the designated Rehabilitation Counseling Support Technician.   The DARS Counselor will work with the DARS van driver to determine the necessity of trip(s) and schedule accordingly.
     

    WWRC's Office of Safety and Risk Management highly recommends that vehicles used by DARS Transport be equipped with the following supplies for driver and passenger safety:  gloves, hand sanitizer, alcohol wipes, biohazard bag, gauze, bandage tape, and band-aids.  When included, these items will be funded through the DARS budget.

     
  • WWRC TRANSPORT – If WWRC Transportation is required, the WWRC Counselor or ancillary service staff (Student Health, Rothrock Hall, or Admissions) will submit the transportation request to either the designated WWRC Rehabilitation Counseling Support Technician, or the designated WWRC Transportation Supervisor/Fleet Manager.  The designated WWRC Transportation Supervisor/Fleet Manager will review the request and determine the availability of WWRC resources to address the need.

 

Special circumstances may impact the applied protocol:

 

  • Pre-Admission Transportation Requests
     

    No client transportation request should be approved at a pre-admission level without prior discussion involving the DARS and/or WWRC counselor, Admissions staff, and a designated transportation staff member from DARS or WWRC.  In some circumstances there may be transportation limitations that need to be discussed (locales, times, resources, etc.,) prior to scheduling/confirming trips to appointments, meetings, etc.  Therefore, transportation staff can assist and advise in making the most advantageous and cost-effective manner of handling situations; that means fewer problems once the client arrives to the Center.

     
  • External Training Option (ETO) and Student Internship Program (SIP) Learning Experiences
     

    WWRC clients on ETO and SIP assignments in the local community will rely on WWRC transportation to and from their training site.   The assigned ETO Instructor or SIP Coordinator is expected to contact the designated WWRC Transportation Supervisor/Fleet Manager prior to establishing the site to check scheduling, times, and availability of drivers to facilitate transportation to the site. 

     
  • New Admissions, Leaves, and Discharges
     

    If the need is identified by WWRC and/or DARS Counselors for client transportation services related to a new admission, a leave, or a discharge, the DARS Counselor will submit this request to their respective DARS regional van driver.  The DARS van driver will determine if a trip can be accommodated and inform the designated WWRC Rehabilitation Counseling Support Technician (email or phone call) of client(s) involved and of the scheduled trip.  Clients are responsible for making sure they have their medication(s) and/or any other necessary items packed and with them prior to transport. 

     

    If the situation requires the use or assistance of WWRC transportation services, the WWRC Counselor, designated WWRC Rehabilitation Counseling Support Technician, and WWRC Transportation Supervisor/Fleet Manager  need to be included in the planning process.

     
  • Community-Based Appointments
     

    These types of appointments are generally related to non-medically necessary personal issues.  Examples include:  a trip to the local health department for contraception needs; to dental appointments for continuing routine dental services; an appointment for court appearance; an appointment with an assigned probationary officer; and, an appointment for prenatal care.  Although these types of appointments can be considered important to client's overall program, attention needs to be focused on how essential this component is to client's vocational program and workplace success.  WWRC/DARS does try to accommodate these requests, if there are no logistical constraints or lack of resources involved.  However, staff, clients, and families should be encouraged to search for other transport options available first (such as Medicaid transport, the local transit system, etc.,) before requesting WWRC or DARS transportation services.

     
  • Removal from Campus Due to Behavior Concerns/Threat to Self or Environment
     

    At times, it may be necessary to remove a client from the WWRC environment due to behavioral and/or disciplinary issues that pose a risk to the client and/or others' safety.  In such a case, the individual whose signature is listed as 'removal responsibility' on the client's application will be contacted with the expectation that this individual will provide necessary means to transport the client.  If a client is unable to secure transportation through this means, alternative options will be considered and determined by the client's WWRC Counselor, DARS Counselor, WWRC Transportation Supervisor and/or other staff as appropriate.  
     

    It is expected that removal under these circumstances will be immediate.  The WWRC Dean of Students & Division Director, Residential Services and the WWRC Rehabilitation Counseling Manager are available for consultation and guidance, as needed.  Timeline exceptions will be considered on a case-by-case basis and will be the exception, not the norm.   Decisions reached by the Residential Services and Rehabilitation Counseling Division Directors are final.

     
  • Transportation Related to WWRC Holidays
     

    WWRC and DARS provide transportation for clients to go home during the scheduled Fall and Winter Holiday Breaks (November/Thanksgiving; December/Christmas). WWRC closes its campus during these times; therefore all clients are required to leave.  WWRC and DARS will provide transportation for those clients who have no other means home.   The designated WWRC Rehabilitation Counseling Support Technician is expected to coordinate communication with  DARS and WWRC and will send out a memo with dates, and transportation options by the first week of October annually.  
     

    Coordination of these trips is shared between the designated WWRC Rehabilitation Counseling Support Technician, WWRC Transportation Supervisor/Fleet Manager, and assigned DARS Regional Drivers.  WWRC provides a chartered bus in November and December to transport clients who reside in the Tidewater region of the state.  
     

    The Center does not completely close for any other holidays other than those mentioned above.  It is the client/family responsibility to provide transportation home for the scheduled Spring Break (March/April).

 

  • Coordination with the Greyhound Bus Station and AMTRAK


    WWRC provides trips to the Greyhound Bus Station in Charlottesville, Virginia on an as needed/resource available basis.  Clients are responsible for the purchase of their ticket prior to departure date.  Requests for a ride to AMTRAK station in Staunton, Virginia are handled on a case-by-case basis, contingent on available resources and time constraints.  Clients should be encouraged to make these requests as early as possible in order to be accommodated.

     
  • Coordination with WWRC Infection Control Procedures
     

    If it becomes necessary for WWRC or DARS driver to transport a client home who has been diagnosed as contagious or infectious, the WWRC Physician and Nursing Director will determine all needed levels of precautions and communicate these precautions to the WWRC or DARS driver prior to transporting client.  The overall objective is to protect the client as well as others coming into contact with the client.  Universal precautions should always be followed.  If a driver feels that for some reason he/she may be in an at-risk situation, this can be addressed with the driver, manager, and infection control staff as necessary.

     

Transportation Baggage Limitations

 

Baggage is restricted to two (2) pieces of medium-sized luggage due to space limitations with DARS/WWRC transportation vehicles.   The only exception is for clients being admitted to Rothrock Hall who may need to bring medically necessary supplies and equipment; allowances will be made, as transport space allows. 

 

DARS/WWRC drivers do not transport televisions, stereos, large computers, refrigerators or microwaves (note that microwaves are not permitted in dorm rooms as they are a potential fire hazard).  VR clients need to make other transportation arrangements should they choose to bring any of these items.  Anyone who attempts to bring an excessive amount of belongings, will be asked by the DARS/WWRC driver to reduce the amount before able to be transported.  Clients should understand that if these items are purchased after their arrival at WWRC, transporting them home will require other arrangements. 

 

Upon discharge, if client leaves personal belongings at the Center, items will be held by Residential Services for fourteen (14) days, as space allows.  The client will need to make plans to retrieve personal property as soon as possible.   

 

Unique Circumstances

 

  • Transportation Coordination for Clients in Outpatient or Day Status

 

Clients in Outpatient or Day Status do not typically require WWRC transportation coordination; requests for such should be the exception, not the norm.  The need for transport will be considered on a case-by-case basis, but should be a last resort.    To be considered, the client must be in a short-term program at WWRC (Vocational Evaluation, Outpatient Evaluations).  If a client is going to be in a long-term training program, consideration should be given to a residential placement for that individual (WWRC dormitory).

 

If the decision to provide transportation for the client is affirmed, the assigned Counselor must communicate the following information, in writing, to the client, copied to the designated WWRC Rehabilitation Counseling Support Technician,  WWRC Transportation Supervisor/Fleet Manager,  and, Facility Services Office Service Specialist:

 

    • established dates and times for client pick up
    • beginning and end date for WWRC program enrollment

 

Changes must be communicated, in writing, to the designated WWRC Rehabilitation Counseling Support Technician

 

If the client is sick or not going to need a ride for the day, he/she is expected to contact the designated WWRC Rehabilitation Counseling Support Technician no later than 7:15 AM to cancel the ride.  The designated WWRC Rehabilitation Counseling Support Technician will contact the WWRC Transportation Supervisor/Fleet Manager

 

  • Transportation  Coordination for Clients Who Reside Out-Of-State or in the Virgin Islands

 

While the exception, WWRC does accept individuals with disabilities who meet admissions criteria and reside out-of-state; WWRC has historically seen referrals from the Virgin Islands as well.  In these cases, the WWRC Admissions Department is expected to send a transportation cost estimate to the individual's designated sponsor, in consultation with the WWRC Fiscal Support Services Manager.  The estimate should include transportation costs (round trip) to and from the airport in Charlottesville, Virginia, to include the return trip to the airport for the accompanying family member.  It is recommended to quote a range since we may not know at this time the specific type of vehicle that will be needed (mini-van, wheelchair van with lift, large van, or car) for transport.

 

The WWRC Admissions Department is also expected to coordinate needed logistics with the WWRC Transportation Supervisor/Fleet Manager and designated WWRC Rehabilitation Counseling Support Technician.  They will need to know the arrival and subsequently the departure time of the flight, flight number and number of persons.  The transportation driver is not allowed to park and leave a state vehicle unattended to go into the airport, and the actual parking lot is often a distance from the pick-up and drop-off area in front of the airport.  Therefore, the client and family/attendant need to be directed to proceed to the vehicle pick up area after arrival. 

 

It is recommended to provide the client an emergency phone number to contact in case there are last minute changes in arrival/departure plans or weather issues.  Additionally, if the client will be arriving at the Center after normal business hours, WWRC residential housing staff (dorms, Rothrock Hall) should be made aware of late arrival.

 

The client and family may need information on local hotels.   Transportation needs to know ahead of time if there are identified hotel accommodations so they can plan the trip appropriately.   Be sure to confirm whether the accommodations are in Staunton or Waynesboro to avoid any potential miscommunication regarding the actual hotel location.   It is suggested that, if possible, hotel accommodations in Waynesboro are preferable because of closer proximity and time to the Center and Charlottesville Airport.

 

Appropriate WWRC staff members are expected to document travel arrangements in AWARE service notes.