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


General Information

Designated Agency Identification

NameMassachusetts Office on Disability
AddressOne Ashburton Place 1305
Address Line 2
Zip Code02108
Website Address
TTY 617-727-7440
Toll-free Phone617-322-2020
Toll-free TTY617-322-2020

Operating Agency (if different from Designated Agency)

NameMassachusetts Office on Disability
AddressOne Ashburton Place 1305
Address Line 2
Zip Code02108
Website Address
Toll-free Phone617-322-2020
Toll-free TTY617-322-2020

Additional Information

Name of CAP Director/CoordinatorNaomi Goldberg
Person to contact regarding reportNaomi Goldberg
Contact Person Phone617-727-7440

Part I. Agency Workload Data

A. Information and Referral Services (I&R)

Multiple responses are not permitted.

1. Information regarding the Rehabilitation Act2,067
2. Information regarding Title I of the ADA945
3. Other information provided3,837
4. Total I&R services provided (Lines A1+A2+A3)6,849
5. Individuals attending trainings by CAP staff (approximate)3,390

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)21
2. Additional individuals who were served during the year116
3. Total individuals served (Lines B1+B2)137
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.)9

C. Individual still being served as of September 30

Carryover to next year. This total may not exceed Line I.B3. 17

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 favor91
2. Some issues resolved in individual's favor (when there are multiple issues)9
3. CAP determines VR agency position/decision was appropriate for the individual3
4. Individual's case lacks legal merit; (inappropriate for CAP intervention)6
5. Individual chose alternative representation4
6. Individual decided not to pursue resolution15
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 individual22
2. Application for services completed.1
3. Eligibility determination expedited13
4. Individual participated in evaluation4
5. IPE developed/implemented19
6. Communication re-established between individual and other party31
7. Individual assigned to new counselor/office5
8. Alternative resources identified for individual34
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 under10
2. 22 - 4068
3. 41 - 6458
4. 65 and over1
5. Total (Sum of Lines A1 through A4. Total must equal Line I.B3.)137

B. Gender

Multiple responses not permitted.

1. Female72
2. Male65
3. Total (Sum of Lines B1 and B2. Total must equal Line I.B3.)137

C. Race/ethnicity

1. Hispanic/Latino of any race11
For individuals who are non-Hispanic/Latino only
2. American Indian or Alaskan Native1
3. Asian5
4. Black or African American18
5. Native Hawaiian or Other Pacific Islander0
6. White89
7. Two or more races0
8. Race/ethnicity unknown13

D. Primary disabling condition of individuals served

Multiple responses not permitted.

1. Blindness (both eyes)6
2. Other visual impairments2
3. Deafness7
4. Hard of hearing1
5. Deaf-blind2
6. Orthopedic impairments11
7. Absense of extremities0
8. Mental illness39
9. Substance abuse (alcohol or drugs)2
10. Mental retardation3
11. Specific learning disabilities (SLD)29
12. Neurological disorders7
13. Respiratory disorders0
14. Heart and other circulatory conditions1
15. Digestive disorders0
16. Genitourinary conditions0
17. Speech Impairments0
18. AIDS/HIV positive0
19. Traumatic brain injury (TBI)6
20. All other disabilities15
21. Disabilities not known6
22. Total (Sum of Lines D1 through D21. Total must equal Line I. B3.)137

E. Types of individuals served

Multiple responses permitted.

1. Applicants of VR Program4
2. Clients of VR Program136
3. Applicants or clients of IL Program9
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 only140
2. Other Rehabilitation Act sources only6
3. Both VR agency and other Rehabilitation Act sources3
4. Employer0

G. Problem areas

Multiple responses permitted.

1. Individual requests information137
2. Communication problems between individual and counselor53
3. Conflict about services to be provided123
4. Related to application/eligibility process14
5. Related to IPE development/implementation20
6. Other Rehabilitation Act-related problems0
7. Non-Rehabilitation Act related10
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/referral0
2. Advisory/interpretational44
3. Negotiation78
4. Administrative/informal review7
5. Alternative dispute resolution0
6. Formal appeal/fair hearing0
7. Legal remedy0
8. Transportation0

Part III. Narrative


Part III. Narrative

a. Type of Agency Used to Administer CAP:

The Massachusetts Office on Disability (MOD) administers the Massachusetts Client Assistance Program (CAP). MOD, as an independent state agency statutorily accountable only to the Governor of the Commonwealth, is an external public agency for RSA purposes. The Governor designated MOD to administer the CAP at the program’s inception in Federal Fiscal Year (FFY) 1985 and has retained that designation in each subsequent year. MOD is also separate from and external to the state vocational rehabilitation grantees and all other Rehabilitation Services Administration (RSA) grantees within the Commonwealth as well as the Commonwealth’s Protection and Advocacy Systems grantees.

b. Sources of funds expended:

Source of funding Total Expenditures spent on individuals
Federal funds222,116
State funds1,575
All other funds0
Total from all sources223,067

c. Budget for current and following fiscal years:

Category Current Fiscal Year Next Fiscal Year
Wages & Salary128,236132,083
Fringe Benefits (FICA, unemployment, etc.)43,25446,018
Equipment Rental/Purchase4,6004,600
Legal Services00
Indirect Costs32,05933,021
Total Budget223,691231,622

d. Number of person-years

Type of Position Full-time equivalent % of year position filled Person-year

e. Summarize Presentations Made:

Client Assistance informational brochures are distributed by the VR agencies and the Independent Living Centers in Massachusetts to all new applicants for services. Mass Office on Disability (MOD)/CAP staff presents information about CAP and other rehabilitation programs and projects at all community meetings they attend and all trainings at which they present. In FFY11 there were 189 such meetings with 6,176 attendees that were either eligible for RSA services or associated with individuals that are eligible. Staff presented at 116 trainings across the state with 3390 attendees. CAP performed outreach about its services and other rehabilitation programs and projects to one of the One Stop Career Centers in Massachusetts and has distributed informational brochures to the others.

f. Involvement with Advisory Boards:

CAP staff continues to be represented on both vocational rehabilitation agencies’ consumer councils and the Statewide Independent Living Council. CAP serves as a member of the Massachusetts Rehabilitation Commission’s Regulations Subcommittee. MOD/CAP has been a major contributor to the Massachusetts Model Employer program, an initiative aimed at improving employment opportunities for people with disabilities inside state government. MOD/CAP also works with the Employment Now Coalition, a cross-disability organization seeking to increase competitive employment of people with disabilities in Massachusetts.

g. Outreach to Unserved/Underserved Populations:

MOD/CAP has regular working relationships with, makes presentations to, and receives referrals from agencies throughout the state that work with various underserved populations. CAP has worked closely with the Commonwealth’s Office of Diversity and Equal Opportunity as well as the Governor’s Diversity Council which specifically seeks to improve employment opportunities for underserved populations.

h. Alternative Dispute Resolution:

It is MOD’s policy to encourage alternative dispute resolution in all possible situations. CAP consumers are routinely alerted to the possibility of various alternative dispute resolution methods. In FY2011 no cases were mediated. In one instance where a fair hearing was requested the VR agency declined to mediate and the matter was ultimately resolved through informal negotiation. Even with the availability of mediation negotiations are still the most often successful means of alternative dispute resolution for the consumer at all levels of CAP advocacy. Negotiation resulted in settlement in all but a handful of our cases prior to more formal appeals. Sharing a belief that VR dollars are better spent on services than on process CAP staff make every effort to resolve disputes informally therefore avoiding the more costly means of resolving disputes (mediation, informal/formal hearing).

i. Systemic Advocacy:

In FFY2011 CAP was available to work on regulatory and other systemic change issues but none presented themselves.

j. Interesting cases

A client with a learning disability wanted to study at a college that had a particular art program. He did not have a signed IPE. He was denied funding from the VR agency because it was a private institution and the state higher education system has an art school. The client did not want to attend the state school because of a particular aspect of the art program at the private school. His advocate negotiated with the VR counselor and area office director to settle the case informally. Ultimately the client received the cap on tuition funding to attend the institution of his choice. The VR agency also agreed to provide funding for books, supplies, and food while he was on campus.

A client who is quadriplegic and has dyslexia was attending college with funding from the VR agency.

He further requested that they partially fund a piece of equipment that would allow him to scan written material. This would assist him in reading and allow him to maintain his assignments. He had received partial funding from fundraising efforts and the company that sold the device gave it to him without full payment. Consequently the VR agency denied funding as they considered it to be reimbursement. Meanwhile the company was seeking to collect payment from the client. The advocate worked with the VR agency and the assistive technology department and was able to secure funding for the device prior to the informal appeal. The client continues to use the device and maintain his grades at college.

A client with an orthopedic disability had been a VR client for many years and had various goals over that time. She was denied a new request for funding in support of a new goal of being a day care provider. The VR agency said that she had not followed through with her other goals in the past. They also maintained that she could not operate as a day care provider because she lived in subsidized housing. The advocate investigated the housing issue and discovered that this was inaccurate. The advocate represented the client at the administrative review. They were successful and the VR agency agreed to provide funding that would assist the client in becoming a licensed day care provider. The client is currently taking courses and intends to obtain a day care license shortly.

A VR client sought to attend a private school to get a degree in social work. The VR agency advised her to attend the closest state school that offered the program. The client could not comply because she was the caretaker of her disabled child and the closest state school was too far from her home. The advocate successfully represented the client at the administrative review. The VR agency agreed to provide the funding the client needed to attend the private school. It was above the tuition cap that the VR agency typically provides at private schools. The client is now attending the program of her choice and working towards her degree.

K. On-Line Information/Outreach

MOD has a website at [ahref="">[/a]. It includes information about disability related legal rights and services available in Massachusetts. The Client Assistance Program has a page within that site at

[ahref="">[/a]. The Massachusetts Client Assistance Program page contains information about services available from CAP and explains how to request those services. In FFY 2011 the website

received 171,793 hits.



This Report is Complete and Correct.Yes
Date Signed:29-Dec-11
Name of Designated Agency Official:Naomi Goldberg
Title of Designated Agency Official:CAP Director