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

Colorado (Center for Legal Advocacy) - H161A110005 - FY2011

General Information

Designated Agency Identification

NameCenter for Legal Advocacy
Address455 Sherman Streeet
Address Line 2Suite 130
CityDenver
StateColorado
Zip Code80203
E-mail Addresstlcmail@thelegalcenter.org
Website Addresshttp://www.thelegalcenter.org
Phone303-722-0300
TTY 303-722-3619
Toll-free Phone800-288-1376
Toll-free TTY800-288-1376
Fax303-722-0720

Operating Agency (if different from Designated Agency)

NameCenter for Legal Advocacy
Address455 Sherman Streeet
Address Line 2Suite 130
CityDenver
Zip Code80203
E-mail Addresstlcmail@thelegalcenter.org
Website Addresshttp://www.thelegalcenter.org
Phone303-722-0300
TTY303-722-3619
Toll-free Phone800-288-1376
Toll-free TTY800-288-1376
Fax303-722-0720

Additional Information

Name of CAP Director/CoordinatorGeoffrey Peterson
Person to contact regarding reportGeoffrey Peterson
Contact Person Phone800-531-2105

Part I. Agency Workload Data

A. Information and Referral Services (I&R)

Multiple responses are not permitted.

1. Information regarding the Rehabilitation Act9
2. Information regarding Title I of the ADA0
3. Other information provided3
4. Total I&R services provided (Lines A1+A2+A3)12
5. Individuals attending trainings by CAP staff (approximate)384

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)11
2. Additional individuals who were served during the year19
3. Total individuals served (Lines B1+B2)30
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.)4

C. Individual still being served as of September 30

Carryover to next year. This total may not exceed Line I.B3. 18

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 favor7
2. Some issues resolved in individual's favor (when there are multiple issues)1
3. CAP determines VR agency position/decision was appropriate for the individual0
4. Individual's case lacks legal merit; (inappropriate for CAP intervention)2
5. Individual chose alternative representation0
6. Individual decided not to pursue resolution6
7. Appeals were unsuccessful0
8. CAP services not needed due to individual's death, relocation, etc.1
9. Individual refused to cooperate with CAP0
10. CAP unable to take case due to lack of resources0
11. Other (please explain)

E. Results achieved for individuals

1. Controlling law/policy explained to individual6
2. Application for services completed.0
3. Eligibility determination expedited0
4. Individual participated in evaluation1
5. IPE developed/implemented6
6. Communication re-established between individual and other party1
7. Individual assigned to new counselor/office1
8. Alternative resources identified for individual0
9. ADA/504/EEO/OCR/ complaint made0
10. Other2
11. Other (please explain)

1- Unable to locate client 2- Client would’t cooperate with resolution of their issue

Part II. Program Data

A. Age

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

1. 21 and under1
2. 22 - 408
3. 41 - 6421
4. 65 and over0
5. Total (Sum of Lines A1 through A4. Total must equal Line I.B3.)30

B. Gender

Multiple responses not permitted.

1. Female14
2. Male16
3. Total (Sum of Lines B1 and B2. Total must equal Line I.B3.)30

C. Race/ethnicity

1. Hispanic/Latino of any race1
For individuals who are non-Hispanic/Latino only
2. American Indian or Alaskan Native0
3. Asian1
4. Black or African American3
5. Native Hawaiian or Other Pacific Islander0
6. White25
7. Two or more races0
8. Race/ethnicity unknown0

D. Primary disabling condition of individuals served

Multiple responses not permitted.

1. Blindness (both eyes)0
2. Other visual impairments0
3. Deafness2
4. Hard of hearing2
5. Deaf-blind0
6. Orthopedic impairments7
7. Absense of extremities0
8. Mental illness10
9. Substance abuse (alcohol or drugs)0
10. Mental retardation0
11. Specific learning disabilities (SLD)3
12. Neurological disorders1
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)3
20. All other disabilities0
21. Disabilities not known0
22. Total (Sum of Lines D1 through D21. Total must equal Line I. B3.)30

E. Types of individuals served

Multiple responses permitted.

1. Applicants of VR Program2
2. Clients of VR Program27
3. Applicants or clients of IL Program3
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 only28
2. Other Rehabilitation Act sources only3
3. Both VR agency and other Rehabilitation Act sources1
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 provided17
4. Related to application/eligibility process2
5. Related to IPE development/implementation7
6. Other Rehabilitation Act-related problems1
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/referral1
2. Advisory/interpretational6
3. Negotiation5
4. Administrative/informal review3
5. Alternative dispute resolution0
6. Formal appeal/fair hearing2
7. Legal remedy0
8. Transportation0

Part III. Narrative

Narrative

CAP Narrative

a. Type of agency used to administer CAP:

External - Non-Profit organization: Colorado Protection and Advocacy Agency

b. Source of funds expended:

Federal Funds FY 2011 CAP P&A Grant funds: 130,896. Federal Funds FY 2010 CAP P&A Grant funds: 44,695. Sub-TOTAL CAP P&A Grant funds: 175,591. Other funds: None TOTAL FUNDS from all sources: 175,591.

c. Expenses for fiscal year:

EXPENSES Human Resources Flexible Benefits 3,699.66 Salaries 101,649.25 Contract Employees 520.19 Insurances 11,056.23 Worker’s Compensation 248.42 Unemployement Tax 82.92 FICA Expense 7,665.86 TSA Expense 6,288.10 Misc. personnel expense 29.38 Total Human Resources 131,240.00 Operating Expenses Accounting Services 529.01 Auditing Fees 959.85 Legal Fees 5.01 Consultant Fees 286.22 Litigation Expenses 350.00 Travel 2,995.88 Staff & Board Development 305.03 NAPAS Conference Exp. 1,476.52 Meeting Expenses 611.78 Marketing Expenses 28.56 Training Expense 32.58 Office & Gen. Supplies 1,574.95 Equipment Purchased 2,441.35 Leased Equipment 588.52 Equipment Maintenance 399.46 Computer System Expen 1,060.77 Rent 21,766.16 Utilties 430.76 Building Maintenance 151.20 Interest Expense capital lease 81.56 Telephone 1,959.69 Postage 239.85 Printing/Copying 599.29 Subscriptions/Reference 1,831.17 Dues & Memberships 1,555.02 Malpractice Insurance 801.36 Business Insurance 136.04 Accomodation Services 218.04 Depreciation 495.31 Publication Expense 13.87 File Storage 420.96 Miscellaneous expense 5.09 Total Operating Expenses 44,350.86 TOTAL EXPENSES 175,590.86

d. NUMBER OF PERSON-YEARS:

TOTAL FTEs: 2.02

CAP Coordinator 45.7% Rights Advocate 75.8% Rights Advocate 14.1% Rights Advocate 1.1% Director Legal Services 12.5% Attorney 8.8% Executive Director 7.6% Dir. Admin Services 7.1% Office Manager 6.3% Financial Manager 7.0% Administrative Assistant 6.9% Administrative Assistant 5.7% Administrative Assistant 2.9% Director of Development 0.1% TOTAL FTEs 2.0

E. Summary of Presentations Made: On October 29, 2010 the Director of Legal Services presented to the Parents Encouraging Parents conference, in Vail, Colorado, on the topics of IDEA, Section 504 and transition services. There were 140 parents in the audience.

The Legal Center did an outreach booth at 2 events. The first one was October 8, 2010 at the Center for Independence in Grand Junction. This was attended by 60 people looking for community resources.

The second was a Resource Fair sponsored by the Mesa County Workforce Center. This was held on January 19, 2011. The general public was invited to this event. We estimate that 100 individuals stopped by The Legal Center booth.

April 1, 2011- The Director of Legal Services gave a presentation on IDEA & Section 504 including transition from high school into adult services for Parents Encouraging Parents (PEP) and the Colorado Department of Education (CDE). There were 100 parents and educators in attendance. This presentation was held in Denver.

April 13, 2011- The Director of Legal Services did a presentation for CDE on IDEA & Section 504 including transition from high school into adult services. There were 100 parents, educators and attorneys in attendance. This was held in Denver.

May 6, 2011- The Director of Legal Services did a presentation for the Mountain Board of Cooperative Education Services (BOCES) in Salida, CO on IDEA & Section 504 including transition from high school into adult services. There were 30 teachers and administrators in attendance.

August 3, 2011- The PABSS advocate gave a presentation called “An Introduction to PABSS/CAP” to a Depression and Bipolar Support Group in Denver. There were 14 consumers in attendance.

f. Involvement with Advisory Boards The CAP Coordinator applied for appointment to another term on the Statewide Rehabilitation Council in July 2011. With a new Governor taking office in January, it is taking time for the new staff at the Office of Boards and Commissions to process applications.

Initially, the staff had a concern about re-appointing the CAP Coordinator to another term, saying that CAP surely had more than one staff person and another CAP staff could fill that position. The CAP advocate was just appointed to her second term on the SILC and doesn’t have the time to sit on the SRC as well. The CAP Coordinator still has not been reappointed but the Director of Vocational Rehabilitation met with the Boards and Commissions staff and the staff seems much more understanding of why the CAP Coordinator should be reappointed. The CAP Advocate has just been reappointed to a new term on the SILC and now chairs the Public Policy Committee. She completed a course called “Smooth as SILC” sponsored by the Independent Living Research Utilization which has strengthened her understanding of SILCs and how they operate.

The CAP Coordinator has completed his term on the National Disability Rights Network CAP Committee and is no longer involved with this group.

g. Outreach to Unserved/Underserved Populations The presentations that the Director of Legal Services did reached a broad audience of parents in both urban and rural parts of Colorado. The two outreach events The Legal Center did in Grand Junction, CO were generally for people looking for, and in need of, community resources. Grand Junction has an unemployment rate that is higher than the average for Colorado and some of these individuals needed help meeting their basic living needs and also were looking for help finding a job. The event held at the Center for Independence was specifically for people with disabilities so we were able to give them information about several programs that The Legal Center has in addition to information about CAP and Vocational Rehabilitation.

h. Alternative Dispute Resolution The Legal Center continues to use more informal means to resolve disputes prior to requesting an Administrative Review or Impartial Hearing. Sometimes, we are able to assist a client who wishes to resolve an issue on his/her own with technical assistance in self-advocacy. We use negotiation with the counselor which is often successful and maintains the relationship between our client and their VR counselor. Additionally, using informal procedures assists us in gaining information to prepare a case for more formal appeal, if necessary. We find the Administrative Review process to be the most effective way to resolve disputes if we cannot resolve the dispute through negotiation.

This year we did request one Impartial Due Process Hearing after an unsatisfactory decision by the Director of Field Services.

Our use of mediation remains infrequent, in part due to the success of negotiation and the Administrative Review process in resolving disputes and in part because in order for a consumer to request mediation they must first request a formal hearing.

i. Systemic Advocacy

The CAP Coordinator was part of a Stakeholder’s Panel that interviewed applicants for the four Regional Supervisor’s positions. In March the Director of Field Services retired and on June 30 all three of the Regional Supervisors retired. A new Director was hired in August and interviews for the Regional Supervisor positions were held in September. DVR decided to add one more Regional Supervisor position so now there are four.

The CAP Coordinator continues to serve on DVR’s Policy Advisory Committee. This committee is charged with reviewing/revising the DVR Policy Manual. Much work has been accomplished but several chapters still need revision. The CAP Coordinator is serving on the Self-Employment and the Appeals and Mediation subcommittees and revising these two chapters of the policy manual. The Self-Employment chapter has been drafted and is being reviewed. The Appeals and Mediation subcommittee has not yet met. There are several changes we’d like to make to the Appeals policy, including separating mediation from the formal hearing request.

There is interest within DVR to change the Administrative Review process so the final step is with the four Regional Supervisors rather than with the Director of Field Services. We are concerned that this could create inconsistency in resolving appeals. Decisions may rest with what part of the state an appeal was filed rather than the merits of the case. We would prefer that decisions be consistent across the state and that the Director of Field Services be the final step in the Administrative Review process.

j. Interesting Cases

Case 1

The client had been a successful chef but due to his back problems can’t do this now. He lives in western Colorado and, because his disability prohibits working, is essentially homeless. He’s interested in doing video production but, if he goes to school, he’d have to move to Denver or out-of-state. His counselor says he’d have to get student loans to pay room & board. She did seem like she’d at least pay for tuition. The advocate said that VR could potentially provide funding for room and board.

The client appealed through Administrative Review process. The issue was denial of maintenance payments while the client was in school. DVR would not agree to pay rent; instead they told the client that he could live in a homeless shelter. The client and advocate requested an impartial hearing and almost immediately got an offer from DVR to pay the client $300/month for his rent. Client felt he needed $350 and asked for this. DVR agreed to pay his landlord $350 for his monthly rent. Client agreed to this and a final settlement agreement was drawn up and signed by all parties.

Case 2

A client with multiple disabilities, including a hearing impairment, a psychiatric disability, an orthopedic impairment and a Traumatic Brain Injury contacted CAP because she’d been with DVR for three years and said that VR hadn’t done anything to help her find a job. The CAP advocate investigated and found that one problem was that she couldn’t complete the Financial Need Analysis because her estranged husband, with whom she was still living, refused to provide any financial information. In order to break the stalemate, the advocate suggested that VR only provide job-related services, for which a Financial Need Analysis was not necessary. DVR provided only job placement services and was able to find a job that met all her needs. The client is happy with her new job.

Case 3

The client has an Individual Plan for Employment for self employment and wants to start a "mug shot" newspaper. The paper would get information from local police and Sheriff’s departments about people who had been arrested and make the information available to the public. DVR is worried they might have liability if someone sues the client and asked for a review by the Attorney General’s office.

The CAP advocate had conversations with the VR counselor and with the attorney for the AG’s office. At first, the attorney didn’t think VR should support this idea. She didn’t think there was much liability but didn’t believe VR should have to worry about it. The client had spoken with an attorney and gotten his own legal opinion but the AG’s attorney was not aware of this. The advocate sent her this information. She offered to have someone else in the AG’s office review this for a second opinion.

The client spoke to the Field Supervisor who said that the AG’s office had approved his business plan and it was up to the VR Director for a final decision. The client finally got approval for his business and is now getting VR support to start his paper.

k. On-line Information & Outreach

We continue to make improvements to our web site and have recently added links to Facebook and Twitter to increase our communication with the public. Our website had 60,291 hits in FY2011.

Certification

Approved

This Report is Complete and Correct.Yes
Date Signed:21-Dec-11
Name of Designated Agency Official:Mary Anne Harvey
Title of Designated Agency Official:Executive Director