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

Kansas (DISABILITY RIGHTS CENTER OF KANSAS) - H161A110013 - FY2011

General Information

Designated Agency Identification

NameThe Disability Rights Center of Kansas
Address635 SW Harrison Suite 100
Address Line 2
CityTopeka
StateKansas
Zip Code66603
E-mail Addressrocky@drckansas.org
Website Address
Phone785-273-9661
TTY 877-335-3725
Toll-free Phone877-776-1541
Toll-free TTY877-335-3725
Fax

Operating Agency (if different from Designated Agency)

NameThe Disability Rights Center of Kansas
Address635 SW Harrison Suite 100
Address Line 2
CityTopeka
Zip Code66603
E-mail Addressrocky@drckansas.org
Website Address
Phone785-273-9661
TTY877-335-3725
Toll-free Phone877-776-1541
Toll-free TTY877-335-3725
Fax

Additional Information

Name of CAP Director/Coordinator
Person to contact regarding report
Contact Person Phone

Part I. Agency Workload Data

A. Information and Referral Services (I&R)

Multiple responses are not permitted.

1. Information regarding the Rehabilitation Act1
2. Information regarding Title I of the ADA1
3. Other information provided6
4. Total I&R services provided (Lines A1+A2+A3)8
5. Individuals attending trainings by CAP staff (approximate)3,645

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)26
2. Additional individuals who were served during the year104
3. Total individuals served (Lines B1+B2)130
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.)6

C. Individual still being served as of September 30

Carryover to next year. This total may not exceed Line I.B3. 29

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 favor37
2. Some issues resolved in individual's favor (when there are multiple issues)27
3. CAP determines VR agency position/decision was appropriate for the individual4
4. Individual's case lacks legal merit; (inappropriate for CAP intervention)7
5. Individual chose alternative representation1
6. Individual decided not to pursue resolution14
7. Appeals were unsuccessful2
8. CAP services not needed due to individual's death, relocation, etc.0
9. Individual refused to cooperate with CAP16
10. CAP unable to take case due to lack of resources0
11. Other (please explain)

Not a disability rights issue.

E. Results achieved for individuals

1. Controlling law/policy explained to individual33
2. Application for services completed.1
3. Eligibility determination expedited6
4. Individual participated in evaluation0
5. IPE developed/implemented10
6. Communication re-established between individual and other party26
7. Individual assigned to new counselor/office8
8. Alternative resources identified for individual20
9. ADA/504/EEO/OCR/ complaint made0
10. Other0
11. Other (please explain)

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 - 4051
3. 41 - 6464
4. 65 and over3
5. Total (Sum of Lines A1 through A4. Total must equal Line I.B3.)130

B. Gender

Multiple responses not permitted.

1. Female68
2. Male62
3. Total (Sum of Lines B1 and B2. Total must equal Line I.B3.)130

C. Race/ethnicity

1. Hispanic/Latino of any race11
For individuals who are non-Hispanic/Latino only
2. American Indian or Alaskan Native1
3. Asian0
4. Black or African American28
5. Native Hawaiian or Other Pacific Islander0
6. White82
7. Two or more races3
8. Race/ethnicity unknown5

D. Primary disabling condition of individuals served

Multiple responses not permitted.

1. Blindness (both eyes)4
2. Other visual impairments1
3. Deafness5
4. Hard of hearing1
5. Deaf-blind0
6. Orthopedic impairments20
7. Absense of extremities1
8. Mental illness45
9. Substance abuse (alcohol or drugs)1
10. Mental retardation7
11. Specific learning disabilities (SLD)5
12. Neurological disorders8
13. Respiratory disorders1
14. Heart and other circulatory conditions2
15. Digestive disorders1
16. Genitourinary conditions0
17. Speech Impairments1
18. AIDS/HIV positive0
19. Traumatic brain injury (TBI)7
20. All other disabilities20
21. Disabilities not known0
22. Total (Sum of Lines D1 through D21. Total must equal Line I. B3.)130

E. Types of individuals served

Multiple responses permitted.

1. Applicants of VR Program38
2. Clients of VR Program82
3. Applicants or clients of IL Program7
4. Applicants or clients of other programs and projects funded under the Act4

F. Source of individual's concern

Multiple responses permitted.

1. VR agency only100
2. Other Rehabilitation Act sources only9
3. Both VR agency and other Rehabilitation Act sources15
4. Employer6

G. Problem areas

Multiple responses permitted.

1. Individual requests information15
2. Communication problems between individual and counselor18
3. Conflict about services to be provided61
4. Related to application/eligibility process11
5. Related to IPE development/implementation20
6. Other Rehabilitation Act-related problems6
7. Non-Rehabilitation Act related2
8. Related to Title I of the ADA1

H. Types of CAP services provided

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

1. Information/referral22
2. Advisory/interpretational49
3. Negotiation7
4. Administrative/informal review7
5. Alternative dispute resolution21
6. Formal appeal/fair hearing1
7. Legal remedy1
8. Transportation0

Part III. Narrative

Narrative

Narrative

a. Type of agency used to administer CAP: Identify the type of agency used to administer the CAP and type of agency operating the CAP, if different. Types of agencies used to administer the CAP include, but are not limited to:1) external -- P&A;2) external -- other public agency;3) external -- nonprofit agency;4) internal to State VR agency (not sub-contracted); and5) internal to State VR agency (sub-contracted).Effective 04/01/2005 the CAP was re-designated to the Disability Rights Center of Kansas, Inc., the designated Protection and Advocacy System for Kansas.

b. Sources of funds expended: Specify the total expenditure of funds used in providing services to CAP-eligible individuals according to the source of funding. Provide this information even if the agency’s only source of funding is the Federal formula grant. The following chart is recommended:Source of funding Total expenditures spent on individualsFederal funds $185,534State funds 0All other funds 0Total from all sources $185,534The "all other" category is broad and includes funds from local governments, earned income (e.g., legal fees), charitable contributions, and other grants or contracts. This category does not include in-kind donations. However, it is hoped that CAP agencies will collect this information separately if appropriate.c. Budget for current and following fiscal years: Be sure to outline the budget for the current and subsequent fiscal years. This item should include a breakdown of dollars expended/allotted for administrative costs (e.g., salaries for personnel, equipment, etc.); and services to individuals and other expenses (e.g., training of staff, travel, etc.). The following chart is recommended:Category FFY 2011 FFY 2012Wages & Salaries $107,571 $72,269Fringe Benefits $ 31,083 $22,607Materials/Supplies $ 2,270 $ 1,528Postage $ 1,203 $ 459Telephone $ 1,933 $ 1,421Rent $ 11,070 $ 6,190Travel $ 11,538 $ 4,203Copying $ 0 $ 0Bonding/Insurance $ 933 $ 841Equip Rent/Purchase $ 2,274 $ 1,146Legal Services $ 0 $ 0Indirect Costs $ 0 $ 0Miscellaneous $ 15,659 $14,336Total Budget $185,534 $125,000d. Number of person-years: "Person-years" refer to the actual time that positions (both professional and clerical) were filled during the period covered by this annual report. If a position was filled throughout the year, it counts as one person-year. Positions filled for any fraction of the fiscal year should be expressed in "full-time equivalents. Person-years should be reported for all CAP personnel whose salaries are paid totally or partially by Section 112 funds. Identify the number of person-years staffing CAP this fiscal year. Be sure to include an explanation of the number of full-time, part-time, and vacant positions. Enter the full-time equivalent for all par-time positions. The following chart is recommended:Type of position FTE % yr filled Person-yearsExecutive Director 1 100% 1Deputy Director - Administrative Division 1 100% 1 Deputy Director - Legal Division 1 100% 1Case Attorneys 5 100% 5Case Advocates 4.5 100% 4.5Office Assistant 1 100% 1

Administrative Assistant 1 100% 1Outreach/Special Projects Director 1 100% 1Duties:Executive Director - Overall leader and director of the agency. Administrative head of the agency. Employs staff (hires/fires). Ensures accountability, effectiveness and efficiency of agency’s programs and services.Deputy Director - Administrative Division - Responsible for accounting, bookkeeping, accounts receivable & payable, building and lease issues, human resources, etc. Supervises the Office Assistant and Outreach/Special Projects Director. Deputy Director - Legal Division - Responsible for legal work product of the agency. Supervises the staff attorneys and advocates. Carries an active caseload. Prosecutes cases. Case Attorneys - Provide legal representation.Case Advocates - Provide advocacy representation and case advocacy. Office Assistant - Answers phones, does office and administrative tasks, etc.

Administrative Assistant - Provides administrative support to the legal division and assists with general administrative tasks for the entire agency.

Outreach & Special Projects Director - manages the tasks associated with outreach, communications/public relations, marketing/publications, and administrative office functions of the agency.

e. Summary of presentations made: Summarize the types of presentations made about CAP and other rehabilitation programs and projects. Include in the summary an estimate of the number of persons attending the presentations. DRC staff conducted numerous outreaches across Kansas to inform the disability community about the CAP, P&A programs and services, the Rehabilitation Act and disability rights issues. DRC staff completed 130 presentations to approximately 3645 people during FFY 2011 where the CAP and the Rehabilitation Act were either the focus of the presentation or these issues were part of the presentation or materials provided. f. Involvement with advisory boards: Identify in what ways CAP is involved with advisory boards (e.g., State Rehabilitation Advisory Council, Statewide Independent Living Council, etc.). DRC is an active member of the State Rehabilitation Advisory Council and participates closely with the Kansas Association of Centers for Independent Living, the Big Tent Coalition, the Mental Health Coalition as well as many other Kansas disability organizations. The Executive Director of DRC is also the Convener/Chair of the Big Tent Coalition, the largest cross-age, cross-disability advocacy coalition in Kansas.

DRC is a member of the Working Healthy Advisory Board. This year Working Healthy and DRC collaborated on a significant project. Together DRC staff and Working Healthy Staff created a “Consumer Handbook.” This handbook is a calendar type tool for all consumers that are working and need to keep track of their hours, pay receipts, expenses and information that they have passed on to different agencies about their work. This is a product that can be used for many years to come. DRC and Working Healthy feel this is an important tool for consumers. This tool is especially helpful for CAP-eligible clients served by Vocational Rehabilitation and Independent Living Centers. CAP-eligible clients now has access to a convenient handbook where they can keep all their information they need to maintain benefits under Social Security and become employed. g. Outreach to unserved/underserved populations: Identify the strategies used to conduct outreach to and to serve individuals previously unserved or underserved and/or individuals who are members of minority groups. Describe the impact of your outreach efforts, especially in terms of how your outreach efforts have benefited individuals who traditionally have been unserved or underserved.DRC has an on-going outreach effort to underserved populations to ensure effective access to our services. Whenever DRC considers whether it will conduct an outreach or training, one of aspects we weigh is how will this training reach out to previously unserved or underserved communities. In addition, DRC has collaborated with the Kansas African American Affairs Advisory Commission and the Kansas Hispanic Affairs Advisory Commissions, as well as communication with other racial minority groups (NAACP, etc.) about disability issues and solicited outreach events and opportunities. h. Alternative dispute resolutions: The Act clearly mandates CAPs to engage in mediation (or other forms of alternative dispute resolutions) prior to seeking a formal or legal remedy on behalf of the individual served. Part II-H5 of the Form RSA-227 asks you to identify the number of times your CAP agency engaged in ADR. In addition to that numerical data, be sure to describe, in the Narrative portion of your report, your efforts at engaging in ADR procedures, including how successful (or not successful) your attempts have been and an explanation of why CAP did not engage in ADR prior to seeking a formal or legal remedy. DRC has been successful in representing clients at advocacy levels less than a formal dispute resolution. Prior to pursuing any legal options, part of DRCs built-in case review process is to obtain justice and an effective remedy for the client in a manner that is short of legal action (if at all possible). Every effort is made to work directly with the VR counselor and his or her supervisor to resolve the client’s concern before legal action is needed. In fact, DRC has experienced great success in settling issues and getting matters resolved by working directly with the VR Counselor or VR Supervisor. The result of using the lowest level of advocacy necessary is a quicker resolution to the clients concerns and decreased expense of ADR and litigation.i. Systemic advocacy: Describe the systemic advocacy undertaken. Indicate the problems that have been identified in the delivery of VR and independent living services. To the extent possible, detail evidence/documentation that substantiates the problems. Summarize the activities CAP has undertaken to remedy the problems. Outline the State VR agency’s responses to those activities and explain the status of the problems at the close of the fiscal year. As appropriate, provide CAP’s plans for continuing to address the problems during the next fiscal year.

Examples of Communication Problems that DRC has communicated with VR:DRC has identified as a problem the inability to reach counselors and/or difficulty in setting up appointments.Also, we have identified the difficulty with being able to exercise choice in setting goals, i.e. clients feel counselors are discounting their choices and imposing their values as to whether the client would be successful without letting them attempt certain types of employment goals.VR counselors closing cases that clients do not want closed. The correspondence is sometimes unclear as to why case is being closed or basing it on lack of response when client has been trying to reach them.DRC has identified a problem with the failure to provide the client with information regarding all of the support options available to them. While this is in the written pamphlet sent upon application, it is often not explored in detail when the client meets with the counselor.We have also run into some misunderstanding of letters regarding status on the Waiting List as they say that a person is no longer on the Waiting List but clients do not clearly understand, which means that they are now eligible and then the client does not follow up with making an appointment. Some cases have been coming up where clients have the understanding that funding of services were approved by counselor and have accessed the service based on a verbal (and sometimes written) statement. More than once we have encountered the denial of payment based on the fact that the counselor was in error and did not have the authority to authorize the service. In addition, some calls are coming in regarding ILC services for CAP representation. We have found that these calls have primarily required clarification of the role of ILCs in self directed care. Complaints regarding Attendant behaviors in self directed care are issues that clients often do not clearly understand as to the responsibility that the ILC may claim to actually have.

Systemic Change Advocacy:In addition, DRC has engaged in numerous systems change advocacy efforts that greatly benefit clients of Vocational Rehabilitation and CAP-eligible clients. One specific example is DRCs efforts to create new enforceable standards on the use of seclusion and restraint in Kansas schools. This policy advocacy effort is important to consumers of VR services, because many transition aged youth who receive special education or related services can also be eligible for VR services. DRC advocated strongly for establishing standards and policies to limit the use of seclusion and restraint in Kansas schools. In Kansas there is currently no state law to place limits on placing children in seclusion rooms or harmful restraints. DRC forcefully argued that accountability in the use of seclusion and restraint must be interjected through a consistent, statewide policy. Kansas regulates these tactics in state institutions (KNI, Osawatomie State Hospital, etc.), but not in schools. Persons in state mental health and other institutions have more protection from seclusion and restraint than our school children. State policy needs to hold schools accountable for the use of seclusion rooms and restraint. VR is able to assist with transition services starting at the age of 14. DRC has worked through the CAP to educate the public and policymakers regarding the negative impact of using the dangerous tactics of seclusion and restraint in schools. This is an important VR and CAP issue, because children with IEPs or 504 Plans engage with VR for transition services, and the improper use of seclusion and restraint greatly negatively impacts their ability to transition to employment and adult life. DRC has worked over the last several years to significantly raise awareness regarding the harm that seclusion and restraint can do to Kansas school children in public schools. Thanks to DRC’s advocacy numerous news articles and media stories helped shine a light on those dangerous tactics and the need for common sense enforceable standards to limit their use. Due directly to DRCs continued efforts on this this topic, the Kansas State Board of Education passed guidelines to illustrate how Seclusion and Restraint should be used in Kansas Schools.j. Interesting cases: Describe a few of the more interesting or unique cases that CAP worked on during the fiscal year. Summarize the facts of the case and the activities that CAP undertook or is undertaking to resolve the issues raised by the individual served. Explain whether the case raised systemic or policy-making issues and CAP’s plan to address those issues.Example 1.

MS was determined eligible for VR services, but an Individual Plan for Employment was not developed. A DRC attorney successfully represented MS in numerous meetings with VR staff to develop an appropriate IPE. MS is now successfully receiving services from VR and pursing her employment goal.

Example 2

DS is diagnosed with Dyslexia; she recently graduated from Wichita State University with an accounting degree. VR assisted her with going to college and getting the degree in accounting. When she was in need of assistance to find employment in her field, VR then suddenly said that accounting was not a good fit for her and that she should pursue a different career. A DRC advocate contacted the VR counselor and administrator to advocate for the assistance DS needed. VR agreed to assist DS with employment by referring her to a job placement vendor and paying for the services.

Example 3

CT was in high school, and the school district had a language facilitator since 8th grade due to a significant hearing impairment. The high school attempted to terminate the assistance prior to his senior year because it had not been included in his IEP. A DRC attorney represented CT in convincing the school district to reverse its decision, provide the language facilitator, and include it and other services related to his disability in his IEP. Thanks to these language facilitation services, CT was able to better participate in transition services and receive VR services. CT is now successfully working with the IEP Team and VR on transition issues and a plan to obtain an IPE through VR.

k. On-line information/outreach: Describe efforts CAP may have put forth to create a web page or some other on-line means of providing information to the public. Include information about the number of "hits" your on-line site received.DRC operates a web site, which has been tested and found to be accessibility to persons with disabilities. In addition, during FFY 2011 DRC completed an overhaul of the look and feel of the website to make it more appealing and easier to navigate. This is part of DRC’s continuous quality improvement planning process. DRC also e-mails out its semi-annual newsletter in various accessible electronic formats. DRC has worked diligently to improve the content on the DRC web site. For example, DRC has within the past 3 fiscal years added exclusive and original video content about our services and the rights of people with disabilities on our web site. This video content has been very popular with Kansas consumers, because it allows them to have access to information about disability rights issues in a format that is easily accessible, especially to those with intellectual functioning disabilities. The video format is also good for busy people with jobs who are on-the-go throughout the day. Instead of having to read through brochures and more paper, they can access a short, easy to understand video on the topic. These videos specifically cover the CAP and educate consumers about VR services and employment issues. To our knowledge, this is the first time that VR consumers had access to information about VR services and advocacy for employment issues in an easy to access video format. DRC had 54,707 hits on its web site during the last fiscal year.

Certification

Approved

This Report is Complete and Correct.Yes
Date Signed:30-Dec-11
Name of Designated Agency Official:Rocky Nichols
Title of Designated Agency Official:Executive Director