RSA-227 - Annual Client Assistance Program (CAP) Report

Arizona (Arizona Center for Disability Law) - H161A110002 - FY2011

General Information

Designated Agency Identification

NameArizona Center for Disability Law
Address5025 East Washington Street
Address Line 2Suite 202
Zip Code85034
Website Address
TTY 602-274-6287
Toll-free Phone800-927-2260
Toll-free TTY800-927-2260

Operating Agency (if different from Designated Agency)

NameArizona Center for Disability Law
Address5025 East Washington Street
Address Line 2Suite 202
Zip Code85034
Website Address
Toll-free Phone800-927-2260
Toll-free TTY800-927-2260

Additional Information

Name of CAP Director/CoordinatorJohn C. Gutierrez
Person to contact regarding reportJohn C. Gutierrez
Contact Person Phone6022746287

Part I. Agency Workload Data

A. Information and Referral Services (I&R)

Multiple responses are not permitted.

1. Information regarding the Rehabilitation Act241
2. Information regarding Title I of the ADA102
3. Other information provided62
4. Total I&R services provided (Lines A1+A2+A3)405
5. Individuals attending trainings by CAP staff (approximate)5,387

B. Individuals served

An individual is counted only once during a fiscal year. Multiple counts are not permitted for Lines B1-B3.

1. Individuals who are still being served as of October 1 (carryover from prior year)35
2. Additional individuals who were served during the year54
3. Total individuals served (Lines B1+B2)89
4. Individuals (from Line B3) who had multiple case files opened/closed this year. (In unusual situations, an individual may have more than one case file opened/closed during a fiscal year. This number is not added to the total in Line B3 above.)5

C. Individual still being served as of September 30

Carryover to next year. This total may not exceed Line I.B3. 50

D. Reasons for closing individuals' case files

Choose one primary reason for closing each case file. There may be more case files than the total number of individuals served to account for those unusual situations, referred to in Line I.B4, when an individual had multiple case files closed during the year.

1. All issues resolved in individual's favor14
2. Some issues resolved in individual's favor (when there are multiple issues)13
3. CAP determines VR agency position/decision was appropriate for the individual1
4. Individual's case lacks legal merit; (inappropriate for CAP intervention)4
5. Individual chose alternative representation0
6. Individual decided not to pursue resolution3
7. Appeals were unsuccessful0
8. CAP services not needed due to individual's death, relocation, etc.0
9. Individual refused to cooperate with CAP8
10. CAP unable to take case due to lack of resources1
11. Other (please explain)

E. Results achieved for individuals

1. Controlling law/policy explained to individual13
2. Application for services completed.0
3. Eligibility determination expedited0
4. Individual participated in evaluation0
5. IPE developed/implemented9
6. Communication re-established between individual and other party8
7. Individual assigned to new counselor/office2
8. Alternative resources identified for individual3
9. ADA/504/EEO/OCR/ complaint made0
10. Other9
11. Other (please explain)

Caller received strategies for VR eligibility (1), VR agreed to keep case open (2), No response or further contact from client (3), Client will advocate for herself (2), VR will keep case open (1)

Part II. Program Data

A. Age

As of the beginning of the fiscal year. Multiple responses are not permitted.

1. 21 and under12
2. 22 - 4033
3. 41 - 6439
4. 65 and over5
5. Total (Sum of Lines A1 through A4. Total must equal Line I.B3.)89

B. Gender

Multiple responses not permitted.

1. Female48
2. Male41
3. Total (Sum of Lines B1 and B2. Total must equal Line I.B3.)89

C. Race/ethnicity

1. Hispanic/Latino of any race12
For individuals who are non-Hispanic/Latino only
2. American Indian or Alaskan Native2
3. Asian0
4. Black or African American9
5. Native Hawaiian or Other Pacific Islander0
6. White63
7. Two or more races3
8. Race/ethnicity unknown0

D. Primary disabling condition of individuals served

Multiple responses not permitted.

1. Blindness (both eyes)5
2. Other visual impairments5
3. Deafness9
4. Hard of hearing3
5. Deaf-blind0
6. Orthopedic impairments7
7. Absense of extremities0
8. Mental illness17
9. Substance abuse (alcohol or drugs)0
10. Mental retardation0
11. Specific learning disabilities (SLD)1
12. Neurological disorders5
13. Respiratory disorders1
14. Heart and other circulatory conditions1
15. Digestive disorders0
16. Genitourinary conditions0
17. Speech Impairments0
18. AIDS/HIV positive0
19. Traumatic brain injury (TBI)1
20. All other disabilities34
21. Disabilities not known0
22. Total (Sum of Lines D1 through D21. Total must equal Line I. B3.)89

E. Types of individuals served

Multiple responses permitted.

1. Applicants of VR Program20
2. Clients of VR Program69
3. Applicants or clients of IL Program0
4. Applicants or clients of other programs and projects funded under the Act0

F. Source of individual's concern

Multiple responses permitted.

1. VR agency only74
2. Other Rehabilitation Act sources only5
3. Both VR agency and other Rehabilitation Act sources10
4. Employer0

G. Problem areas

Multiple responses permitted.

1. Individual requests information0
2. Communication problems between individual and counselor7
3. Conflict about services to be provided75
4. Related to application/eligibility process5
5. Related to IPE development/implementation5
6. Other Rehabilitation Act-related problems0
7. Non-Rehabilitation Act related0
8. Related to Title I of the ADA0

H. Types of CAP services provided

Choose one primary CAP service provided for each case file/service record.

1. Information/referral7
2. Advisory/interpretational18
3. Negotiation17
4. Administrative/informal review0
5. Alternative dispute resolution1
6. Formal appeal/fair hearing1
7. Legal remedy0
8. Transportation0

Part III. Narrative


a. Type of Agency used to administer CAP: 1) External — Protection and Advocacy

b. Source of funds expended:

Federal Funds: $179,662 State Funds: $0 All Other Funds: $0 Total from All Sources $179,662 c. Budget for current and following fiscal years:

Category Current Fiscal Year Next Fiscal Year Wages/Salaries $109,983 $127,370 Fringe Benefits $33,497 $42,255 Rent/Parking $11,406 $14,614 Travel $7,264 $9,828 Board/Staff Meetings $3,674 $3,911 Equipment Rental/Purchase $2,756 $3,985 Materials/Office Supplies $2,111 $2,700 Telephone $1,899 $1,926 Professional Dues/Seminars $1,339 $1,268 Accounting Fees $1,110 $1,110 Bonding Insurance $1,052 $884 NDRN Database $612 $612 Payroll Processing Fees $588 $621 Equipment Repair $579 $666 Postage $570 $1,213 Trainings — Facilities/Supplies $420 $2,524 Reference Materials $344 $500 Copying/Printing $244 $2,533 Staff Accommodations $173 $3,630 Total Budgets $179,621 $222,150

d. Number of person-years:

Type of Position Full-time equivalent % of yr. position filled Person Years Professional Full Time 1.27 100% 1.27 Part-Time 0 0 0 Vacant 0 0 0

Clerical Full Time .91 100% .91 Part-Time 0 0 0 Vacant 0 0 0

e. Summary of presentations made.

Center staff conducted or participated in the following outreach events during Fiscal Year 2011:

1) 12-Oct-10, Booth/Table, Disability Expo, Phoenix Convention Center, Phoenix, Arizona, 250 people attended. 2) 15-Oct-10, Booth/Table, Building an Inclusive Tucson Conference, University of Arizona Marriott, Tucson, Arizona, 100 people attended. 3) 29-Oct-10, Booth/Table, Arizona Council for the Blind Conference, Glendale, Arizona, 250 people attended. 4) 03-Nov-10, Training, CAP Services, AZ Rehab Services Administration, Counselors Ongoing Rehabilitation Education (CORE) Training, Phoenix, Arizona, 21 people attended. 5) 09-Nov-10, Booth/Table, Phoenix School of Law Conference, Phoenix, Arizona, 100 people attended. 6) 12-Nov-10, Presentation, Life Planning Workshop, Disability Empowerment Center, Phoenix, Arizona, 13 people attended. 7) 12-Nov-10, Booth/Table, Independent Living Resource Fair, Disability Empowerment Center, Phoenix, Arizona 100 people attended. 8) 18-Nov-10, Booth/Table, Center Services, Southern AZ Association for the Visually Impaired Family Awareness Day, Tucson, Arizona, 40 people attended. 9) 20-Jan-11, Presentation, Outreach to Congressman Trent Franks Office, Glendale, Arizona, four people attended. 10) 22-Jan-11, Booth/Table, Transition Fair (Tomorrow Festival), Valley Vista high School, Surprise, Arizona, 2,000 attended. 11) 25-Jan-11, Booth/Table, East Valley Transition Fair, Mesquite High School, Gilbert, Arizona, 150 people attended. 12) 25-Jan-11, Presentation, Alternatives to Guardianship, Mesquite High School, Gilbert, Arizona, 50 people attended. 13) 26-Jan-11, Training, Overview of ACDL Services, ASU Law School, Phoenix, Arizona, 21 people attended. 14) 09-Feb-11, Presentation, Client Assistance Program, RSA Training Center, Phoenix, Arizona, 11 people attended. 15) 16-Feb-11, Booth/Table, Career Services Fair, Sandra Day O’Connor College of Law, ASU, Tempe, Arizona, 10 people attended. 16) 11-Mar-11, Presentation, Rights of Vocational Rehabilitation Clients, Pilot Parents, Tucson, Arizona, 17 people attended. 17) 04-Apr-11, General Outreach, Ability Counts Conference, Arizona State University, Tempe, Arizona, 500 people attended. 18) 06-Apr-11, Presentation, Accommodations under Title III, Interpreters, Tax Incentives and Service Animals, St. Luke’s Behavioral Health Center Breakfast Series, Phoenix, Arizona, 32 people attended. 19) 09-Apr-11, Booth/Table, 2nd Annual Health and Wellness Fair, Disability Empowerment Center, Phoenix, Phoenix, Arizona, 260 people attended. 20) 15-Apr-11, Presentation, Providing Services to Vulnerable Populations in Tough Economic Times, Arizona State Bar Minority Convention, Phoenix, Arizona, 30 people attended. 21) 20-Apr-11, Presentation, Center Services to Vocational Rehabilitation Applicants and Clients, RSA New Staff (CORE) Training, Phoenix, Arizona, 25 people attended. 22) 21-Apr-11, Training, Legal Advocacy in Disability Rights, ASU School of Social Work, Tucson, Arizona, 30 people attended. 23) 10-May-11, Training, Center Services to Vocational Rehabilitation Applicants and Clients RSA Core Training, Tucson, Arizona, 10 people attended. 24) 27-May-11, Presentation, Congressman Raul Grijalva District Office Visit, Tucson, Arizona, five people attended. 25) 06-Jun-11, Booth/Table, Assistive Technology Conference, Glendale, Arizona, 300 people attended. 26) 14-Jun-11, Training, New VR Counselors CORE Training, Phoenix, Arizona, 14 people attended. 27) 22-Jun-11, Presentation, Center Services to VR Applicants and Clients, RSA New Staff CORE Training, Tucson, Arizona, eight people attended. 28) 27-Jun-11, Booth/Table, General Outreach, Arion Care Solutions LLC Office, Chandler, Arizona, 20 people attended. 29) 09-Aug-11, Presentation, Priorities Forum for FY2012, DIRECT Center for Independence, Tucson, Arizona, 16 people attended. 30) 20-Sep-11, Training, RSA CORE Training, Phoenix, Arizona, 10 people attended. 31) 24-Sep-11, Booth/Table, Deaf Fest 2011, Hotel Tucson City Center, Tucson, Arizona, 990 people attended.

For Fiscal Year 2011, the Center reached a total of 5,387 individuals at all of our outreach events, trainings, and presentations for the CAP program. At these events, we disseminated 4,766 brochures, guides, flyers and other miscellaneous materials and 2,825 Client Assistance Program brochures.

f. Involvement with advisory boards:

The CAP Coordinator is a member of the State Rehabilitation Council (SRC). Along with being an active member of the SRC, the CAP Coordinator also participates as a member of the subcommittee known as Program Review Committee (PRC). This committee is particularly important to CAP since it involves monitoring and providing input to relevant issues regarding Vocational Rehabilitation (VR).

The CAP Coordinator is also member of a committee that has been looking into trying to find solutions to the procurement process. Procurement has been a part of VR for over five years. Procurement has made it extremely difficult for VR clients to receive services in an appropriate and timely manner. Procurement is not only a problem for the clients it is also a very awkward and frustrating process for VR staff. This committee has been working on trying to find a resolution on how to possibly have the State of Arizona, who runs Procurement, give VR back some of its independence in being able to provide funding for clients in a timely manner.

The CAP Coordinator is also a member of the Statewide Independent Living Council (SILC) Outreach Committee. This Committee provides trainings statewide, with particular focus on rural and the Native American populations.

The Deputy Executive Director of the Arizona Center for Disability Law serves on the SILC Board as Vice Chair and is also on the Executive Committee and Nominating Committee.

g. Outreach to Unserved/Underserved Populations:

Two underserved populations are individuals with visual impairments or blindness and those who are deaf or hard of hearing. On October 29, 2010, Center staff provided information at a booth at the Arizona Council for the Blind Conference in Glendale, Arizona with approximately 250 people in attendance. On November 18, 2010, the CAP Advocate disseminated information at the Southern Arizona Association for the Visually Impaired (SAAVI) Family Awareness Day held in Tucson, Arizona. Forty individuals attended that event. Center staff also provided information and materials at our booth at Deaf Fest 2011 on September 24, 2011 at the Tucson Hotel City Center. More than 990 individuals participated in this event.

CAP advocates and Center staff continue to conduct outreach programs in outlying areas throughout the state. We focus our efforts on Spanish speaking underserved communities as well as the many Native American communities throughout the state.

Short-Team Assistance Team

The Center utilizes a centralized intake system known as Short-Term Assistance Team (STAT). STAT staff initially handles all requests for assistance, including CAP issues. Our STAT is staffed by trained advocates under the direction and supervision of the Information and Referral (I&R) Supervisor and the Deputy Executive Director. CAP advocates have provided training to STAT staff so they can provide callers with information and referral assistance, a brief service, or short-term technical assistance at the time of their initial call to the Center. Annually, CAP staff conducts training sessions for the STAT to acquaint them with new issues relating to the CAP program which will, in turn, assist them in conducting initial interviews. Once STAT staff has conducted these initial interviews, they assign cases to CAP staff for further advocacy services.

Center Self-Advocacy Guides

The Center disseminates 19 Self-Advocacy Guides on topics related to vocational rehabilitation rights and Title I of the Americans with Disabilities Act. CAP callers can view or download the guides from the Center’s website. The guides are available on the Center’s website 24 hours a day, seven days a week, thus facilitating outreach to our clients not only in the Phoenix metropolitan area but also in outlying areas. The majority of our callers indicated that they have access to our website and prefer obtaining copies of our materials via the Internet rather than through the mail.

The following guides relating to the CAP are available from the Center: — An Overview of the Employment Protections of the Americans with Disabilities Act — How to Enforce Employment Rights under the Americans with Disabilities Act — The ADA and the Job Applicant: Recruitment, Applications and Interviews — The ADA and the Reasonable Accommodations — Drug and Alcohol Testing under the Americans with Disabilities Act — The ADA and Medical Examinations — The ADA and Confidentiality of Medical Information — The ADA and Disability-Related Harassment — Summary of Vocational Rehabilitation Rights: Eligibility for Services — Summary of Vocational Rehabilitation Rights: Evaluations — Summary of Vocational Rehabilitation Rights: Individual Plan for Employment (IPE) — Summary of Vocational Rehabilitation Rights: Vocational Rehabilitation Services — Your Appeal Rights for Disputes about Vocational Rehabilitation Services — A Summary of Your Vocational Rehabilitation Rights: Assistive Technology and Services

The Center provides guides that have been translated into plain language to accommodate our clients who may have cognitive disabilities, have a seventh grade or lower reading level or difficulty with English. These guides are listed below:

— How to File a Charge When You’ve Been Treated Unfairly — Making Your Job Work for You — Have You Been Treated Unfairly at Work? — Getting a Job When You Have a Disability — How the ADA Protects Your Medical Information at Work

The Center now has 14 of our guides and manuals translated into Spanish. We will continue to translate our materials into plain language or Spanish as the need arises.

h. Alternative dispute resolutions:

The case of MM

MM is a 28-year-old male with muscular atrophy. MM has been a VR client for several years. In August 2010, CAP was able to have VR agree to do an evaluation, home modifications and a driving evaluation.

As of January 11, 2011 nothing had been done on this client’s case. VR was delaying and not following the recommendations that had already been approved. Since VR was continuing to delay services for this client, CAP assisted the client to file a Request for Mediation.

VR agreed to Mediation. This mediation was successful, and VR agreed to amend this client’s Individual Plan for Employment (IPE) to work on the recommendations. MM has now received a new laptop, and the required assistive technology needed to work the computer. Also, this client has been provided with a new shower chair. Finally, this client will be having an updated driving evaluation and driving training December 2011.

The case of GW

GW is a 47-year-old male who has the disability of blindness. GW requested to be accepted into the Business Enterprise Program (BEP) through the Arizona VR program. This client wanted to be in this program in order to learn how to operate his own food vendor business. However, this client’s request for being admitted to this program was denied by VR and, therefore, he filed a Request for Mediation. Both VR and the BEP agreed to mediate this issue.

CAP agreed to assist this client with having VR and BEP at least let this client try this program and learn how to run one of these types of businesses. Unfortunately, at the Mediation, both BEP and VR chose not to even consider this client’s request. Actually, both of these agencies chose not to provide any type of mediation resolution regarding this client’s issue. Because of the reluctance of both VR and the BEP to attempt any type of mediation, this client was given no choice but to go forward and request an Administrative Fair Hearing.

Since the Center agreed to represent GW only through the mediation stage, we have concluded our services with him. GW, however, is continuing to receive services through his VR counselor to achieve his employment goal of operating a food vendor business.

i. Systemic Advocacy:

The Arizona CAP has addressed the following issues regarding systemic advocacy:

Consultants’ having the authority to deny VR client services

CAP staff has noticed that an alarming number of consultants are making the decisions on whether VR clients are to receive specific services. Consultants appear to be acting as VR Counselors in making the final decision on whether the client receives a service. CAP staff has also seen this in all different areas where VR uses consultants including those who provide visual evaluations, psychological evaluations, or evaluations where specific therapies are being requested by clients. It appears that VR, instead of making their own conclusions, are accepting the consultants’ decisions as the final word and, therefore, claiming because the consultant states a client should not have a service that is being accepted by VR Counselors as the reason for the denial.

CAP staff has spoken to RSA Administration about this growing problem. RSA Administration has stated they would look into this issue and inform consultants of their role. However, CAP staff continue to see this program violation occur.

VR staff’s leaving the VR Program en masse

Another systemic issue impacting VR performance is that VR employees are leaving in alarming numbers. A CAP staff is a member of the State Rehabilitation Council (SRC). The Council was informed late last year that VR had lost approximately 150 counselors in the last year. This terrible trend only continues. For example, in the Phoenix metropolitan area, there are 11 VR offices. Six supervisors have already left within the last two years. Four more supervisors are leaving within the next couple of months.

The loss of so many staff means that VR is so short-staffed that those that remain are carrying the caseloads of two or three Counselors. Some Counselors have informed CAP staff that they have as many as 150 to 200 clients at one time. This, of course, means that clients are not receiving services in a timely manner. These overwhelming caseloads, along with so many other issues that the VR program is dealing with, only means that even more VR staff will be leaving.

The reasons for so many staff leaving are varied. One of the reasons is that VR is a state agency in Arizona, and the state has made many employee cutbacks because of budget cuts. These cutbacks include cuts in pay and reductions in benefits and in incentives that VR staff used to receive for such things as being bilingual and working with special needs populations.

CAP staff has discussed this huge concern with RSA Administration. Although they are well aware of the issue, they do not have an answer on how to stop the ongoing mass exodus of VR counselors.

RSA has attempted to hire new staff. However, it has been very difficult to find qualified individuals to work in this field. It is CAP staff’s understanding that as few as 25 new staff have been hired.

VR’s not negotiating in providing services for clients.

In the past, VR was always willing to have meetings to discuss issues with clients and attempt to resolve issues. However, this year more than ever, VR is not willing to negotiate an attempt to resolve issues on a client’s behalf. CAP staff has noted that instead of being willing to meet and discuss client issues and resolutions, VR is immediately sending clients to the highest level of appeal — Administrative Fair Hearings. CAP staff is aware that approximately 10 clients have had to forego attempting to meet to resolve issues and had their cases sent to fair hearings. Since CAP is mandated to attempt to resolve issues at the lowest levels, CAP staff advises clients to request the lower level of appeals, either Informal Reviews or Mediation. Both of these lower levels are frequently denied by VR staff; therefore, leaving clients no choice but to deal with the fair hearings process.

This is a difficult issue for CAP staff to discuss with VR Administration. It appears that it is the Administration itself that is denying clients at the lower levels of appeals and sending these cases to these Administrative Fair Hearings.

j. Interesting cases:

The case of K.O.

The CAP assisted K.O. a 36 year-old woman with Learning Disabilities whose employment goal is to be a dog groomer. She was not able to successfully complete the required training program so she asked Vocational Rehabilitation (VR) for assistance in completing the training and reaching her employment goal. CAP helped with negotiations with the VR counselor and supervisor, and an agreement was reached in which the client received neurobiofeedback, cognitive therapy, job development, and job coaching.

Because K.O. has received these services, she has now successfully groomed 100 dogs and is a certified dog groomer. The neurobiofeedback and cognitive therapy assisted her with her memory issues that improved her work skills and also daily living skills which enabled her to pay her bills and maintain her home.

The case of J.B.

J. B. is a 27 year-old male with muscular dystrophy. He was seeking to have VR support him receiving a Bachelors Degree in Graphic Arts. VR had initially told this client that it would only pay for an Associate’s Degree; J. B. has been in an entry-level position for some time. He is a family man with a child, and due to his disability, he requires more money to make a sufficient living.

The CAP Advocate learned from this client that VR had paid for the Associates Degree, but he also required a van modification. The VR Counselor told the client that VR would pay for either the Bachelors degree or the van modification, but not both. Unfortunately, this client winded up paying for his own van modification. This has led to financial complications for this client.

The CAP Advocate met with client and VR and discussed client’s request to obtain a Bachelor’s Degree in Graphic Arts. Also, the Advocate informed VR that they were wrong in telling this client that they would pay for either school or the van modification, but not both. VR tried to make the statement that a client has to have a promise of a job in order to have a van modification provided. The CAP Advocate explained that if a client requires a van modification in order to be successful in his Individual Plan for Employment (IPE), VR most certainly can make an exception to policy and provide the needed van modifications.

It is the CAP Advocate’s belief that VR finally realized they had seriously wronged this client and agreed to pay for the Bachelor’s Degree in Graphic Arts. Also, VR agreed to let the client attend school part-time, while he continued working to help with his financial situation because he had to pay for his own van modification. Additionally, VR has assisted this client with providing modifications to his home in order to make the bathroom wheelchair accessible.

k. On-line information/outreach:

The Arizona Center for Disability Law, the P and A which houses the Arizona CAP, has several websites. Consumers can visit the Arizona Center for Disability Law’s main website at Included on this site are descriptions of the CAP, the hours of the STAT intake lines, as well as the CAP and ADA Guides. All self-advocacy guides are available on the website for immediate viewing and downloading. Our social networking sites provide information on trainings, outreach events, and other topics of vital interest to our clients. For fiscal year 2011, our website had 216,448 total hits.

During this fiscal year, the Center increased our presence on Facebook and Twitter social networking sites to keep our clients and the general public better informed. Our Facebook site now has 362 followers, increasing by 197 from our members at the end of last fiscal year. Our Twitter account has 100 followers — a large increase from 13 followers last fiscal year, and we are following 173 members on Twitter. We are constantly researching innovative methods to get our message to the public who are interested in our services and programs and can further our goals throughout Arizona.

CAP staff strives each year to communicate with more clients and counselors through e-mail rather than phone or regular mail. Since many of our clients with disabilities, including a vast majority of clients who are deaf, prefer to use e-mail, our staff has found this to be an effective form of communication. Arizona’s CAP advocates and staff will continue to provide vital information and assistance to consumers through a variety of communication methods.



This Report is Complete and Correct.Yes
Date Signed:21-Nov-11
Name of Designated Agency Official:Peri Jude Radecic
Title of Designated Agency Official:Executive Director